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My daughter is going into grade 11 needs a new computer (her plastic Dell died after 4 pretty good years). I am probably going to give her my current MBP and then get a new one for myself, and then have you come over and help with all the switching over along with making sure everything is getting backed up ... but here is the dilemma - Macbook Pro with Retina Display vs Macbook Air? (its a good dilemma ... but I am worried as hell that I will be making things worse and spending a lot to do so!)

My main beef with my current MBP is:
1. Slow photo editing - not all the time but it happens often that I waiting for a photo to process after an edit.
2. Low battery life - I am always worried I am going to run out of power when I am away from power ... and I almost always do.

My concerns with the NEW Macbook Pro are:
1. Everything on the web says to wait until they come out with the new chips ... which would then handle the battery life question.
2. Will it make much difference in my editing speed

My ONLY concern with the NEW Macbook Air is:
1. Editing speed - will it get worse somehow going to the air (assume I choose the highest speed option

*If the speed is going to get worse with the AIR, I might consider just waiting until the new MBP's come out and simply try to survive with my iMac at home and iPad on the road and my desktop PC at work.

*But if speed somehow gets better, then I am inclined to get the AIR and relish the long battery life, and simply wait for another time to get me a retina display. (WHAT DOES TURBO SPEED MEAN anyways - would that actually help me?)

Thanks for your help Scotty!

First off, it sounds like you need to rule out the air.  You are dealing with large images and you need as much horsepower as you can afford.  Sot the MBP is going to be the better option.  

Secondly, yes I would wait until the next revision of MBP if you can limp along with your daughter for now.  I think you'll be happier in the long term rather than second guessing your decision for the next few years.  

Third, battery life is never what we want it to be.  I have found that even if our battery life triples in length, within 6 months we are disappointed that it's not double that.

So you may want to wait on the new MBP and when they are released (with the newer lower energy consumption processors) there will be a longer battery life to them.  Also, Mavericks 10.9 will help battery life a little as well.  That's been a big focus on that operating system version.  You'll want to consider the price difference between processor speeds when you ARE ready to buy.  For the large majority of people I work with, I never recommend spending the extra money to get the faster processor but in your case it's something you should consider.

First - Thank you for the quick response - greatly appreciated.

THIS IS MY FINAL QUESTION TO YOU ... (not trying to create the never ending email chain)
I do MOST of my photo editing on my iMac at home - probably 75%. I only do photo editing on my MacBook when I am traveling longer than a day. Before I rule out the AIR, I wanted to know what speed would be like relative to what I have now. With the new chip, 500+GB SSD and this thing called turbo boost, would the AIR be better, the same or actually worse than my current MBP?

The Air would not be slower than your current MBP.  In my experience, nothing beats taking your iphoto library on an external drive down the the Apple store, option launching into iPhoto using your own library and test the speeds of each computer for yourself.  You are investing a couple thousand dollars.  It's not a bad idea to test drive each machine.  That's the only way you can know for sure what you like the best.  

It has been my experience that almost 100% of the time, no matter which choice people go with, they wish they had chosen the other machine as soon as something doesn't act they way they should.  Overall, our expectations have outgrown a computer's ability to perform.  It's the same reason we all speed in a 35 mph zone.  We are not used to waiting on computers but we have all reached a point where we expect our computers to be faster than they actually are.  

I strongly suggest you go put your hands on both machines using your own iPhoto or Aperture library.

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