Shopping for new Laptop - Looking for opinions...
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default Shopping for new Laptop - Looking for opinions...

    I'm downsizing from a MBP 15" which has become way to big to lug around. I have a few different options I'm looking at:

    MBP 15" retina 2.3ghz - still big but weighs less, SD slot (a must). Almost a desktop replacement.
    MBP 13" retina 2.9ghz - nice size, decent power, SD slot. Price to power ratio is the least attractive.
    MBA 13" 2.0 - my favorite choice, SD slot.
    MBA 11" 2.0 - very portable, no SD slot. Price to power is the best.

    Running Traktor exclusively with an S2, F1, MidiFighter 3D.

    What does everyone think??

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    I'm in the market for a new laptop too, I would like to hear if anyone has any input. I'm thinking of getting a MBA, or an older MBP. Would the MBA be powerful enough to run Traktor 2.6 smoothly?
    VCI-100se1.3 & Kontrol F1 & Midi Fighter Classic & Traktor Audio 2 & Pioneer HDJ-1000 & Compaq Presario CQ62
    http://www.facebook.com/DjFrostGiant
    http://www.mixcloud.com/FrostGiant/

  3. #3
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Given the Choice I'd go with a 13' MBA, my GF has the 11' and its ridiculously fast at least twice as fast compared with my 2009 13' MBP (which runs everything perfectly) but the screen size is just a lil too small to use for non-dj purposes comfortably.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor AtgAni's Avatar
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    If you absolutely can't manage with a standard 13" pro, get the air. Retina is well overpriced for a bit of a better screen.
    Put an ssd in the pro yourself and it will be faster than an air (non retinas are still upgradable, airs and retinas are stuck at the spec you order)

  5. #5
    Tech Convert
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtgAni View Post
    If you absolutely can't manage with a standard 13" pro, get the air. Retina is well overpriced for a bit of a better screen.
    Put an ssd in the pro yourself and it will be faster than an air (non retinas are still upgradable, airs and retinas are stuck at the spec you order)

    I agree with this. Why are you not considering the MBP13 non-retina? It's much cheaper than the retina, and you can upgrade the SSD and ram yourself.

    Also, am I the only one who still rips CDs these days? Surely a DJ can't source all their music from Beatport, and 256kbps itunes downloads (or even worse, Youtube rips)? The Retina and Air Macbooks don't have a superdrive, so you would have to buy an external drive to rip CDs.

    After looking into this recently, I went for the MBP13 non retina, put in a SSD myself, and moved the old HD to the Superdrive slot, then bought a 10 caddy to use the Superdrive externally. Works like a dream, plus i can upgrade to more ram, and another SSD in the future if needed.

  6. #6
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    I already have a SD so that's a non issue plus I couldn't tell you last time I used any type of physical media. I went the route of an SSD and additional HD caddie in my last MBP. That made it last a few extra years. I'm leaning more towards a 2.6 MBP 15" Retina just for the power. I'm now in the practice of selling off my machines after 1 year of use so I don't plan on keeping this portable more than 18 months.

    Thanks for the insight.

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Emery's Avatar
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    personally I love the airs. The 11" would be way to small for me, even at home I use an external monitor because the 13" can get a little crammed with 4 decks on the screen. I'm curious to why you are leaning towards the 15" retina? Seems very similar to your current MBP, unless you really want nice display, which I cant see being too important when it comes to DJing
    13" Mbp i7 | TMA-1 | Tech 1200's | RANE TTM-57 | NI Audio 4 | Kontrol S4 | F1 | KrK Rokit 5s


  8. #8
    Tech Wizard
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    I just upgraded to a Macbook Air 11". I too was sick and tired of lugging around bigger/heavier laptops! I used to own a White Macbook 13" and let me tell you, The 13" was big enough for me when DJ'ing. Traktor full screen was perfect, that being said, I did not sacrifice any real estate when using 11" MBA. The screen resolution is actually higher on the new 2012 MBA 11" than my Macbook 13". So everything fits as it did before but with extra pixels. Again, not all have the same preference, but the Fast 2.0 i7 and 256 SSD on the MBA is a DREAM!!! to work with. I will never purchase anything other than an Air, I literally don't even feel it when I'm carrying it around. One other thing to note, the new Mac computers all use USB 3.0. A number of older NI audio interfaces do not work with it ( S4, A4, A8, Audio 2). But The new stuff (S2, A6, Z2 and A10) work fine. I also have MF3D running without issue.
    Last edited by Ravishing; 12-17-2012 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Emery's Avatar
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    Really the S4 can't do USB3, but the S2 can? why?
    Last edited by Emery; 12-17-2012 at 05:12 PM.
    13" Mbp i7 | TMA-1 | Tech 1200's | RANE TTM-57 | NI Audio 4 | Kontrol S4 | F1 | KrK Rokit 5s


  10. #10
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    Believe me, It doesn't make any sense to me either, but The s4 is based off of the a4, it was released I believe a year before the s2, so the s2 received newer audio card and driver support. Google it, you will see that NI officially commented on this issue.

    "Native Instruments has conducted compatibility tests with its hardware products connected to USB 3.0 ports of current-generation MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Some NI products are experiencing a degraded audio signal caused by USB 3.0 audio driver issues present in recent versions of OS X.

    The following products have shown to be affected:
    AUDIO 2 DJ / AUDIO 4 DJ / AUDIO 8 DJ
    AUDIO KONTROL 1
    GUITAR RIG MOBILE
    GUITAR RIG SESSION
    KORE 1
    RIG KONTROL 2 / RIG KONTROL 3
    TRAKTOR AUDIO 2
    TRAKTOR KONTROL S4

    The following products have shown to be fully compatible:
    KOMPLETE AUDIO 6
    MASCHINE / MASCHINE MIKRO
    TRAKTOR AUDIO 6 / TRAKTOR AUDIO 10
    TRAKTOR KONTROL S2
    NI hardware products without audio interface functionality (KORE 2, TRAKTOR KONTROL F1, TRAKTOR KONTROL X1) have also shown to be fully compatible with the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro generation.
    Native Instruments is currently in contact with Apple in order to find a solution."
    Last edited by Ravishing; 12-17-2012 at 03:54 PM.

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