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View Full Version : Air 13" 8/256 or Pro 15" refurbished




aimango
Jun 28, 2012, 04:55 PM
I've been trying to decide for the past week, but I am still on the fence.

I'm a Software Engineering major (undergrad), and I want to replace my Windows laptop. I do not own a desktop, I plan for this next purchase to be my main computer. Now I'm trying to decide between the new Air or last year's pro.

What I typically do:
-internet
-basic photo editing
-watching videos + movies
-music
-a bit of development (the most processor intensive would be Eclipse or XCode)
-No gaming.

I am leaning towards the new air (+ some upgrades) due to ssd and weight, but I don't know if I will regret the choice. Obviously the Pro has better performance and bigger screen; however, I am not going to do intensive video editing or intensive development (just a little), and I do plan on using an external monitor, so screen size is not a big deal.

Others have also said that in terms of life, the Pro will last me longer. Is that only because it's easier to upgrade a Pro? because I don't see myself upgrading after purchase (I've never done it before on my previous laptops).

Other Questions I had:
Do you guys recommend getting Time Capsule? I have a 1 TB external harddrive to backup to... could I just backup to that?

If were to get the Pro, should I get it refurbished? It's a lot cheaper, although it doesn't seem like I can upgrade RAM when buying online..



Barna Biro
Jun 28, 2012, 05:25 PM
Programming doesn't require top notch hardware... Of course, this is only true as long as you can manage the resources you have in a smart manner and don't open up a crapload of IDEs and what not ( although with 8 GB of memory and the 2.0 Ghz processor you shouldn't have any serious problems even if you were to open quite a few tools at once ).

I am also planning on getting a Macbook Air 13" ( maxed out version ) in the near future... I do have a 2011 Macbook Pro 15" at the moment, but since I like sitting on a sofa or just laying in bed while programming, I sometimes find the Pro a tad bit heavy / uncomfortable.

I've got the Pro a few months ago, before I was using a really old Toshiba Satellite M70 which is light years behind the current Macbook Air. I work in the finance sector currently but have been working on enterprise level applications for quite a while now + I was doing some freelancing before too ( whenever I had time for it ). My Toshiba could handle everything I threw at it so assuming that a 6+ years old notebook can get the job done ( mainly ActionScript 3.0 - Flex and Air - and Java development ), then surely the Macbook Air will also do just fine.

Of course, if you are keen about compile times and such, then you might want to consider getting a Pro instead or even better, a desktop computer. As long as things don't freeze while you're compiling ( they most likely won't ), you'll still be able to continue working on other tasks / issues etc. until the application is built.

It's a small but nice machine... it definitely has limitations, but it of course has some advantages too. Nothing is perfect, but I am quite sure that the MBA will handle the things you throw at it, it might no do it with lightning speed, but it will get the job done... so choose your machine based on the speed you want / need things to move at.

A TimeMachine is always nice... but you can always backup your stuff on whatever HDD you have at hand ( you just need to do it manually ).