Honestly, I find this hard to answer.
The new Retina MacBook Air generation is fairly underpowered. Fine for the student/writer/etc. who just wants any decent laptop, but limiting beyond that.
Graphics stuff can and will demand more power, and you’ll be limited.
On the other hand, you say you don’t really do heavy lifting any more. (Which is a bummer. Where’s my AR goggles mockup?) So you may be fine
with the Air.
I just get the sense that you wouldn’t be very happy
Some more thoughts: do you really care much how light the Air is? If so, that might just make it worth it. But your main motivation seems to be price?
I had actually forgotten how good the lowest-end Pro has become this summer. It does weigh 10% more, and it's somewhat thicker (hard to compare as it isn't wedge-shaped). But, $200 buys you:
- a wide-color display
- a CPU that's 23% faster in single-core and almost 2.5 times as fast in dual-core
- likewise, much beefier graphics
You do get the Touch Bar, though, if you hate that…