Macbook Air 11 2013 vs Macbook Air 15 2012 (Non-Retina)

Macbook Air 11" 2013 Configuration Costs with 8GB RAM and Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter = $1377.00

Macbook Pro 15" 2012 Configuration Costs with third party 16GB RAM = $1962.99
*RAM cost $163.99 from Crucial
*Will be using my current SSD 120GB in the new MBP
*Will be performing the upgrade for both RAM and SSD myself based on information from iFixit

I am a Mac user of 6.5 years with my Macbook Black 2007 running Snow Leopard. The machine is failing me unfortunately, ie keyboard spacebar issues, abysmal battery life, magsafe adapter ripped, etc. I have since replaced the drive twice, changed the battery, replaced the top case and keyboard, repaired the magsafe adapter, and upgraded the RAM to extend the service life of this machine. It has served me long and well; part of that reason I believe is due to the fact that I could upgrade and repair the machine when required.

Now, I am in the market for a new Macbook, and like my current Macbook, I intend to keep it for as long as possible; thus being able to replace the SSD and battery when it fails without taking a major productivity hit is very important to me.

My usage will revolve around applications like Chrome, Mail, iCal, KeePassX, Acrobat Professional, Photoshop, Plex, VirtualBox, and Aperture. I have a 7" tablet for content consumption so am willing to sacrifice portability for performance and extended service life via self repair/upgrades utilizing third party parts.

Having said that, I prefer to cut down my device count from 3 ie phone, tablet, computer to 2 ie phone and computer. For that, I am willing to consider the Macbook Air and though AppleCare should keep it safe for 3 years, what happens beyond that is simply a matter of luck and/or care.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

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