Air for writer/coder?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by altecXP, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    I'm thinking of a small machine to go with my desktop for some portable writing/coding that I do. On the tain and such. I would prefer a MacBook, but the Air currently has a higher resolution screen so I am wondering if that might be better?

    Any input?

    Thanks guys.
  2. grawk macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2004
    Southern York County, PA
    As long as you don't need huge cpu, the air is a wonderful solution.
  3. Bakari45 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    I can’t compare the Air to the MBP, but i do have an 11” Air and it works great for writing. Granted, of course, it’s not as fast working a dual monitor setup, but for when I’m traveling or just want to get some writing done outside my office, it works great.

    I pulled out my Air yesterday while waiting for my son when he was getting dental work done. The size of the Air is so unobtrusive that I didn’t feel weird or nerdy typing on it in such a place.
  4. MultiBat macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2011
    I am a writer myself and was set on getting a MBA up until a few weeks ago.
    Then I tried the MBA and MBP keyboards out in a store and to me the MBA keyboard didn't feel perfect.
    Most people really like it, so I suggest you try it out yourself.

    More info on writing on the MBA and MBP in these threads:

    I really liked the higher resolution on the MBA, but for me the keyboard is the most important part. Right now I am eagerly waiting for the refresh of the 13" MBP. I think it is pretty likley that they will bump the resolution on that one so it matches the MBP.
    If they don't, I'll get it anyway.
    If they discontinue that model (highly unlikely) I'll get the 2010 MPB 13".
  5. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    I'm using 11" 4GB for Xcode and Visual Studio (in VMWare/Windows XP) all the time in subway, it works great! It easily fits in ScotteVest jacket, so no bag necessary!

    Da Puppy is da sweetest developer machine I've ever had! :D
  6. altecXP thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Thanks for the feed back.

    If I go with the Air 11 (just waiting to see how the macBook 13in looks after refresh) I am already planing on getting 4GB of RAM. Would you think the 1.6GHz CPU would be worth the cost? I'm a bit old school, I know GHz isn't everything but 1.4 still seems really low, compared to a few others that have 1.66+ in other machines in a similar market.(M11x for example)
  7. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I duel boot a baseline 11 inch air for c++ coding and i love it. no slowdowns because of the ssd. feels really snappy to be honest. More space on the hd would have been nice since i duel boot but as far as memory and cpu its fine for me. Maybe if i was encoding video or opening 8 gb image files in adobe photoshop id notice a slowdown. but not for my coding and and other stuff.
  8. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    No, imho extra 0.2GHz is not worth $100. Put these $100 in your mattress towards the next upgrade :D Both Xcode and Windows/Visual Studio/SQL Server/Matlab are quite snappy on 1.4. Remember, 1.6 will also reduce battery life. 4GB, on the other side, is a must. And 128GB SSD is a must if you're running virtual machines. Portability of 11" is amazing - I carry it in my jacket (Scottevest, just got it, love it!). You can't do this with 13" model. Resolution of 11" is adequate for coding. Overall, it's a great machine for coding on the go. The best thing for coding is not to stop when you're rolling good stuff - it's interruptions that kill the thought process - and 11" is just perfect for that, it's always there for you.
  9. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I use my 2009 Air for coding and writing, and it works out perfectly. The keyboard on it has a bit of a lighter touch than the MBP, and feels a bit clickier in my opinion. It all depends on what your preference in keyboards is. Go to an Apple Store and try them both out to see what you think.
  10. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    In your jacket? Thats pretty sweet ;)
  11. nomar383 macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2008
    Rexburg, ID
    My 11" baseline MBA is perfect for coding on the go. I would recommend the 128GB SSD though since I'm running into the 64GB limit quite often with only a few HD movies on it.

    The screen is beautiful and far superior to any other device I've used. I keep seeing the MBA on my desk or bed and thinking that I don't regret buying it over a MBP or anything else! Use a MBA for a day and the MBP will seem silly and large by comparison.

    I've had 11", 12", 13", 15", and 17" macs and the 11" rocks!

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