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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Thinking about switching...a few questions.


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lindseybp

 
Member Since: Jan 11, 2012
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Wife and I have had a Dell XPS13 for several years and over the holidays it started to die. We have been thinking about buying a Macbook Air laptop to replace it. We both have ipads and my wife uses an iphone 4 so we are somewhat familiar with the ecosystem....we just have never used a Mac before.

A few questions we have been mulling over.....

We have a lot of purchased songs and videos on itunes on our current PC. Is there an easy way to get all of that over to a new MBA or would the iTunes Match/iCloud combo be the best way to handle that? If i log into the new MBA on my iTunes account would all my stuff be available then?

Is it worth the money to get the larger SSD harddrive since so much is done in "the cloud" now? My biggest concern here is pictures. We have a Nikon D90 and I always shoot at the highest resolution when taking pics of our babies. I guess I could just store them on an external USB hard drive?

One thing I would like to do is be able to edit the high def videos from our Sony HD camcorder. Would the MBA be capable of this and is the editing software good (and inexpensive!)?

Since my wife and I both use PC laptops for work this would be used only for personal things. Realistically we typically only do things like surf the web, check email, download songs and videos, do light spreadsheet work and word docs (assuming I can just buy MS office for Mac). No gaming.

One more question which I kind of feel stupid asking...can the MBA use flash for websites that use it? We can't on our ipads that's why I ask. Probably a dumb question but I had to ask.

I know we might be able to get a pc laptop with a little higher specs but for what we are going to do with it I think the MBA is probably a good choice. Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.
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Buzzard2010

 
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Welcome to Mac-Forums lindseybp

Hopefully we can help answer a few of your questions.

1: iTunes: iCloud and your iTunes account should be able to handle switching alot of your music that has been purchased through iTunes Store. However if your Dell computer is still operational switching on iTunes Home Sharing will make everything on your Dell's iTunes visible and accessible to your MBA through your home network and you should be able to get any missing files across no problem.

2: SSD: As for your need for capacity of the SSD only you can really answer that one, as only you know exactly how much space you use on your current computer and also how much space you'll think you need dependant on just how many pictures you think you will take. However yes you can always store things like your music, pictures and movies on an external HDD.

3: Editing Videos: Macbook Airs do have impressive processing power, and the SSDs really help speeding things up. However dependant on just how long your videos are going to be you may possibly be better getting a macbook or macbook pro.
All Mac's now come with iLife pre-installed which includes iMovie, which is a very good tool for editing videos. Great program unless you want to do professional things with your videos.

4: For your day to day tasks that you have mentioned the MBA would be perfect for these, and yes you can always get Microsoft Office for Mac.

5: Flash: All Mac's have the ability to use flash no problem, it is only not used on iPhones and iPads.

I hope this helps a little, but in the end only you will know if the move is right for you.
Also you may find the stickies in the Switcher Hangout helpful found here.. Switcher Hangout - Mac-Forums.com

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Just to add to the Video Editing point - you will not be able to burn HD videos to Blu-Ray with the default software included. Especially since you do not have an optical drive of any kind with the MBA.

I would also look into the MacBook Pro as well. Doesnt hurt. Take a trip into a BestBuy or Apple Store and get your hands on them.

If you really are going to be doing video editing, look into the MBP 15" with the 2nd video card.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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lindseybp

 
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If I remove the requirement to be able to edit video do you think the MBA would be the right choice? Realistically I've been wanting to edit our HD videos for years but lack the time and skill. So just being able to pull them off a sony camcorder and put them on a usb hard drive is probably the more realistic need.

Also, I see there is an option to upgrade to a 1.8ghz i7 processor......would I really see any difference in speed?
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Honestly, the MBA would serve you pretty well then. I shoot a Nikon D300 and store my photos on an external drive. Therefore the 256GB SSD on my MBA has less than 50 GB of space occupied right now. That is with most of my media off of the system (iTunes Match stores my songs in the cloud for $25.00 a year). If you don't need to worry about video editing, and don't have a love of CD's. The MBA is a great call.

(And truth be told, the SuperDrive or many items like it are available for a pretty low cost if you happen to need an optical media drive)
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nwhear

 
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Hi MBA i7 is the way to go clearly get the largest capacity SSD that you can afford but as Stormin and others do I keep my photos and music og a WD My pasport USB hard drive.
I havent found any need for a optical drive for some years.
Good luck
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lindseybp

 
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Thanks for all the help.

One last question, are there any advantages to buying at the apple store vs best buy? Best buy actually has a cheaper price.
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no difference at all.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseybp View Post
One last question, are there any advantages to buying at the apple store vs best buy? Best buy actually has a cheaper price.
Well...not really...unless you had interest in purchasing one of Best Buy's warranties. Then Best Buy would be the place to purchase it (you still get the Apple 1 year warranty).

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chas_m

 
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I personally wouldn't set foot in a Worst Buy, but if you're just picking up hardware from them and not talking to any salespeople then I suppose there's no harm.
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Leiyah

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Well...not really...unless you had interest in purchasing one of Best Buy's warranties. Then Best Buy would be the place to purchase it (you still get the Apple 1 year warranty).

- Nick
Is the Best Buy warranty better than AppleCare?
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chas_m

 
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It may cover different things that AppleCare doesn't, but let me put it to you this way:

Best Buy primarily sells appliances and PCs.
Apple primarily sells iOS and Macs.

Which of these two entities is likely to care more that your machine is fixed and that you're happy?
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Leiyah

 
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Good point.

Until now, my Apple experience has been limited to iPods/iPhone/iPad. I have a few SquareTrade warranties for my Apple things because it covered accidental damage, which Apple told me they did not. For my 4s, I purchased the AppleCare because they said the now had AD included.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leiyah View Post
Is the Best Buy warranty better than AppleCare?
Depending what Best Buy warranty you purchase...it can cover a one-time accident:

- liquid spills
- run it over with a car
- dog chews it up
- falls off a desk
- etc.

The Applecare warranty protects against manufacturer defects only. Of course you have to pay extra for the Best Buy warranty...you get 12 months of Applecare for free (but have to pay for extended coverage)...2 additional years (but it's the same manufacturers defect coverage only).

- Nick

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- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
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- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chas_m

 
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Actually, Apple offers AppleCare+ which DOES cover (one) accident -- but that's only for the iPhone, so doesn't apply in this case.

If the OP has been happy with SquareTrade, I'd go with that. I've heard nothing but horror stories about trying to get BB to honour their extended warranties promptly.
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