This is what I'm trying to figure out. I have a netbook now and a desktop for editing. I'm thinking about buying the 13 inch MBP for a year long trip I'm taking to South America next year to do photo editing on. Was thinking of getting the refurb i7 from the end of 2011 for around $1150. But now i'm wondering if I should just buy a smaller MacBook Air sized ultrabook(with hopefully better specs and around the same price or cheaper than 1100 bucks.)
Also, to those of you out there who are complaining about the high price... why do you think so? Are there comparable laptops out there for much cheaper?
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Is windows or mac better for editing?
thanks in advance!
Windows and Mac use mostly the same tools for editing and mostly use the same underlying hardware in both systems, so for all intents and purposes they are nearly identical while actually using the tools you will likely use to edit. If you prefer the operating experience/user interface of one over the other, or if a single piece of editing software that is exclusive to one or the other is indispensable to you, then your choices become obviously, limited.
That said, if you are looking for a cheaper budget/travel laptop editing machine (and not just a bleeding edge, top of the line rig) then I think it would be a mistake to try to match specs. There are for example, processors out in the wild for $1,000 that are only marginally faster than $300 cpu's. Same with every component in the system. You should be able to find a good value in the machines you are already looking at, if you want more power for the same price or would prefer a cheaper price altogether, you will probably find some accommodations on the Windows PC side of things. And to be blunt, any current mid-range or better laptop is for most purposes, including professional ones, overkill for 2D image editing alone so you have little to worry about. If you are gaming or doing something much more intensive, you probably already know what you will need and aren't even reading this....
Personally I opted for a cheaper, less powerful, reasonably portable machine with a multi-touch + wacom digitizer built into the screen that can eek out something like 18 hours in power saving, low-usage mode. I can do normal editing work, and general usage computing away from a plug basically all day if and when needed and I don't need to bring along any external tablets or any other accessories. All in all, I'm fairly happy with that decision to put it humbly, my choices on what to buy for photography equipment on the other hand were naive at best but in the end I have most what I need if not more...
I did a test, putting a 2pixel by 2pixel image in photoshop and painted a black and white checker pattern on it displayed at 100% on this screen which has a rather humble 1366x768 12.5" display. All I will say is that I'm laughing inside. My head has to be over the keyboard to readily discern individual pixels even at high contrasts. Good luck with whatever you buy, hope it serves you well. Cheers.
edit: I've attached a 32x32 pixel black and white checker grid. If you view it at 100% each black or white patch should fill exactly 1 pixel on your display. Unless you get close, it will probably look most similar to a 50% gray patch, as it does on my monitor, which probably has about as low of a resolution as you can even get outside of a netbook or phone.