New 12 inch Macbook for Translators?
Thread poster: DJHartmann

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jul 28, 2015

Does anyone think it would work?

I'm looking for a portable option to get away from the office desk iMac on some occasions, and just for small MS Word translations from pdfs (or occasional Wordfast projects).

Tossing between the Air and new Macbook... no need for the Pro, just something small and light.

What do you all think?


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Peter Simon  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:49
Member (2013)
English to Hungarian
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Hi, DJ, Jul 28, 2015

I've been using MacBook Pro for 8 years after Windows-based machines and love it. I've just bought a new one with 16 GB memory and 15" screen, but I only use this one machine, often with an attached larger screen. If you only need it for occasional use, the 8 GB and the video card and double-core chip on the new MacBook will do even for running Parallels with Win if you need to and if the small screen size doesn't disturb you.

I think the Air with its 4 GB is a bit less than necessary for running Parallels. I've allocated 3 GB's to Parallels out of the 16 on the 15" Pro, and it runs well on that. Earlier I had half of 3 GB's on my 2008 Pro and it was quite slow so I never thought an Air would provide improvement on that. You haven't mentioned it but I do as most translation softwares only run on Win, and there the Air seems a bit too little. However, it's a lot cheaper as well.

But then again, even this price is not negligible. Can't you find a small Win-based laptop for a lot less? Of course I still consider the Mac superior.

Success!

[Edited at 2015-07-28 08:48 GMT]


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
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Thai to English
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happy to stay with OS-X Jul 28, 2015

I only have the fortune of using Windows to do a Thai source word count (because for some reason Word for Mac doesn't count Thai words accurately). For this I send to my wife's PC and that's that.

My 2014 iMac (2.9 i5 8gb) handles everything well, but does start to choke on large .docx files with hundreds of pages, attached images and thousands of edits with tracked changes. I've had other experiences with other operating systems that were too scary to talk about!

All I want is to be able to sit outside for those non-CPU-intensive tasks (or possibly on the beach)!

You can get an Air with an i7 processor and it does have a slightly larger screen than the new Macbook.

But then again, the new Macbook is new and it comes in space-grey.

If only the Air had the new screen, the choice would be easy!





[Edited at 2015-07-28 15:18 GMT]


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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Teamviewer? Jul 28, 2015

For the relatively rare cases where I'd want to work away from my desk, I'm considering whether using Teamviewer might be an option. That way, I could use a relatively inexpensive Macbook, as I'd still be using the powerful Mac residing on my desk. Working speed will mainly depend on how much lag TeamViewer will introduce (and on the quality of the internet connection, obviously).

Maybe this could be an option for you as well? I have no idea whether this is feasible in practice, though. Would be interesting to hear from others who have actually tried this.


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
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Great work-around Jul 28, 2015

Thats an excellent idea

Most of the tests say they're unsuitable for video editing or heavy coding... how much CPU do we actually need with CAT tools?


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sans22
Sweden
Local time: 18:49
Macbook air Jul 28, 2015

Hi all,
I use a macbook air with bootcamp and run Windows 8.1, Office 365 and Trados Studio 2015. I have never had any problems and I like the fact that the macbook air is so lightweight. Perfect for travelling with!


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
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Got it! Aug 1, 2015

On my final day of consideration, I placed the Air and new Macbook side by side and downloaded a previous assignment on to each of them (just as an example and yes, and I deleted and emptied the trash after!). These were word files that I had been sent to proofread and were full of tracked changes and notes, along with pdf pages that were pasted into them. These sort of files, in my experience, had caused my iMac to slow down the most.

Both the Air and Macbook handled these files well, with no real difference between them -performance wise.

The one remarkable difference, which made the sale, was the impressive retina screen on the 12 inch Macbook. With both side by side, the tiny writing on the scanned, pasted pdf files within the word document was blurred and incomprehensible on the Air. Whereas, on the Macbook it could be seen clearly. The only way to read these files on the Air would've been to zoom in, which would've meant that the window wouldn't fit on the screen, which would've made things too difficult to work with.

2 days and I'm impressed with the Macbook so far. The faster hard drive is noticeable, and the screen is a gem.

I might look into using an iPad as a second screen to view sources from, but this isn't yet necessary.


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Maciej Szemiel
Poland
Local time: 18:49
Polish to English
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Working on a 12-inch laptop Aug 2, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:

2 days and I'm impressed with the Macbook so far. The faster hard drive is noticeable, and the screen is a gem.



Dear DJ,

how is it working on 12-inch laptop? Is it comfortable? I am used to working on my 15-inch MacBook Pro but it is a bit heavy and I'm thining about buying a smaller one. The new MacBook is stunning but is it comfortable working on it for, let's say, 5 hours?

Thanks.

Cheers!


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
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Thai to English
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It serves its purpose well Aug 2, 2015

Hi Maciej,

I'm really enjoying it. The keyboard takes a little bit to get used to, but I'm now liking it more than the old version. One bonus is that you no longer need to remove a metal wristwatch to type! Additionally, it only requires the lightest touch.

So far have worked 3-4 hours straight on it and had no problems.

However, I would only recommend it if you have another machine reserved as your major workstation.

I get a lot of jobs where I have to translate scanned pdf documents, paste these into a word document and put text boxes over the Thai. These kinds of jobs aren't suitable on the macbook.

I bought the base model, and for its purpose of getting me out of the office, it's doing very well.

Best wishes,

DJH


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xxx2nl  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:49
You can always hook up some external monitors Aug 3, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:

I get a lot of jobs where I have to translate scanned pdf documents, paste these into a word document and put text boxes over the Thai. These kinds of jobs aren't suitable on the macbook.


They will also provide the power for your MB:



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