QIs a MacBook Air 13″ enough to use Lightroom?


Lightroom 4 wouldn’t run on my Core Duo-based MacBookPro, and doing some demos for Blurb and the Focus on Imaging show were sufficient incentive to make me replace it. While it was a snap decision, I had been thinking about my options and asking around. I didn’t want the current MacBookPro as it’s more expensive and is scheduled for replacement this year, and I had been impressed by the Air’s portability and knew of people happily using it with Lightroom. So about a month ago I nipped into central London on the bus and picked one up in the Covent Garden store.

It’s the 13″ i5-based version and since then I’ve found it just fine for doing LR4 demos at Focus on Imaging and then for 3 weeks up in the Lake District where I was shooting and then reviewing maybe 150 raw pictures a day. The screen is smaller than I was accustomed to, but as a second / travel machine, it seems ideal.

I haven’t been 100% happy with the 128Gb hard drive’s size. It wasn’t the size, more that I really don’t like only having one copy of new pictures. So I think you need to accompany the Air with a portable drive and I just bought a Lacie Rugged 500Gb which seems to be the right combination of size and is powered by a standard USB connection cable. This drive solves the problem in the field, and also makes transferring pictures to the main computer much faster than wifi.

The other thing to consider is output to projectors. Just make sure that you get the USB to digital video adaptor(s) you need.