Apple's ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop, the MacBook Air, seems to have been a bridge between Apple's iPod and MacBook, creating a laptop that is extremely portable. In order to accomplish this portability, Apple removed several key components that are typically found in its MacBook. Many Mac users are concerned that these reductions will limit photo-editing software, such as Aperture. Based on the technical details, you can run Aperture on a Mac Air. However, there a few details you need to know before attempting to do so.
MacBook Air Description
The MacBook Air was Apple's newest addition to the Mac family in 2008. The Air was designed as a netbook with more power. Weighing only three pounds and small enough to fit into a manila envelope, the Air is one of the smallest laptops on the market. To accomplish this, Apple removed or replaced most of the features available to other MacBooks including removing the CD/DVD drive, replacing the CPU with a slower 1.6 GHz CPU and replacing the larger 2.5-inch hard drive with a flash hard drive.
Aperture is Apple's advanced photo-editing program. It is designed specifically for professionals who need to adjust and edit many photos rapidly. Aperture allows photographers to adjust the color balance, contrast, exposure and highlights to the image. Aperture 3 includes adjustment presets that are non-destructive, so you can go back to the original photo. In addition to manipulating images, Aperture is a powerful file-managing program allowing photographers to organize projects into various libraries.
Aperture Minimum Requirements
Aperture 3 requires an Intel Mac computer with a minimum 1 GB of RAM and recommends 2 GB for a Mac Pro. The Mac computers include the Mac or MacBook Pro, MacBook or MacBook Air, iMac or Mac mini. The operating system must be Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later. The technical specifications require a DVD drive to install Aperture. However, you can download the software from the Mac App Store. Aperture needs 1 GB of disk space for applications and documents, and 7 GB for the library. Although it's not necessary, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor is recommended. Depending on your camera, you will need a way to transfer the images onto the computer and into Aperture. Aperture supports CompactFlash, Mircordrive, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, MultiMedia, SmartMedia, and xD Picture Cards.
Macbook Air Specs
The MacBook Air comes in two different sizes: 11-inch or 13-inch. The 11-inch Air contains a 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache, which can be upgraded to 1.6 GHz. The 13-inch contains a 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache, which can be upgraded to 2.13 GHz. The 11-inch Air can come with 64 or 128 gigabytes of flash storage, while the 13-inch can contain 128 or 256 gigabytes of flash storage. Both computers come with 2 gigabytes of DDR3 memory, which can be upgraded to a maximum of 4 gigabytes. The graphic card is a NVIDIA GeForce 320M, which uses 144MB of the system memory. Both sizes include two USB ports and a headphone and microphone connection. The 13-inch also includes an SD card slot.
According to Apple's Aperture spec site, Aperture will run on a MacBook Air. MacBook Air does meet the minimum requirements to run Aperture. However, the specs for the MacBook Air barely meet some of the minimum requirements. While Aperture will run on a MacBook Air, it will be slower than running Aperture on other Macs. In addition, since MacBook Air does not include a CD/DVD drive, you will need to download Aperture or use a second computer as a remote disc drive to install the software.
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