Air for Dev-Only Laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jangoforhire, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. jangoforhire macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2011
    I have a 2010 15" MBP (8GB Ram, 2.66 i7) that has served me very well for the past few years. I am going into my senior year of college as a Computer Science major and am thinking about picking up an older 13" air to use strictly for development and school related tasks. My Pro is starting to get bogged down and I think I would rather have some isolation between my programming environment, and my home/play environment. The idea of just having the air in my backpack all the time always ready to boot up and start programing the second a new idea gets in my head is very appealing to me.

    The biggest thing I am worried about is how the screen looks with IDE's like xCode. I have searched this a bit, and even been to the apple store to try it out but they don't have xCode installed on the airs at the store.

    Anyone have any experience with this?

  2. jfisk1987 macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    i made an app with an 11" i5 macbook air. remember, the DPI on the macbook airs is actually higher than the macbook pros (minus retina, not sure if this still holds true). So you wont have an issue
  3. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    It can be small at times, but it's fine. Get an external monitor and you'll be golden.
  4. JoeyCloverfield macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    If your MBP doesn't have the hi-res display then you'll actually get the exact same resolution in a 13" MBA. The UI will be a bit smaller do to the higher pixels per inch.

    If you don't mind the occasional word-wrap, a 13" MBA is perfect for coding. Full screen Xcode and navigate left and right through desktops and Mission Control and you won't even miss the extra space.

    Resolution wise, I went from a 27" iMac to a 13" MBA, and I don't miss the extra pixels.
  5. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I have an 11" MBA and a 15" rMBP. The 11" MBA works great with Xcode - just go full screen and clear the clutter. Learn the hotkeys and navigation is a breeze even with all the sidebars/etc hidden. Lots of room for writing code.

    GUI design isn't as nice on the 11" MBA vs my 15" rMBP when using the built in UI editor. But if you code your UI instead, it is very easy going.
  6. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    The Macbook Air is PLENTY powerful. Just get an external monitor and you're set. That's the set up I use myself as a web developer (see signature).
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I bought a nearly-maxed out 13 MBA for my wife for programming purposes, and she loves it. Uses XCode.
    That said, there is nothing like seeing how it works for you. At least at our local Apple store, they have no issues with installing stuff from the net and trying things out. A couple of years ago I wanted to see how long it took a Mac Pro to open a very large spreadsheet using Open Office. I asked the person standing right there and he said no problem -- customers did this all the time.

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