iOS Dev - Which of these is a better option for Dev?

surfer17

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 28, 2012
48
0
Canada
I already have a gaming rig with very good specs, but sadly it can't run OS X.

I am in need of a laptop for school when I go back in Sept 2013. However, I need something for iOS dev too.

Here are my option and thoughts, please help me choose:

1) Get a Macbook Air, use it with an external monitor - i5/256gb SSD/8gb RAM ($1513 incl. tax[Canada]) - I like this option mainly because of the battery life of the new machine that was introduced yesterday. But I'm not sure if it will be powerful enough for iOS dev for next 3 years.

2) Get a Mac Mini + a cheap Windows Laptop - Only because Mac Mini is user upgradeable. (Don't really know which option would be good enough here)

3) Get a rMBP - I feel its not the right choice for me when I think about all the issues its laden with (ghosting, non-user upgradeable, over heating). Also not inclined towards it due to the high pricing when I already have a powerful desktop.

4) Get a cMBP - Would have like to get this. In fact I had decided upon getting the 15" cMBP with high-res display if it was updated with Haswell. But doesn't look like it will be happening.
 

iPlodder

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2008
59
5
1) Get a Macbook Air, use it with an external monitor - i5/256gb SSD/8gb RAM ($1513 incl. tax[Canada]) - I like this option mainly because of the battery life of the new machine that was introduced yesterday. But I'm not sure if it will be powerful enough for iOS dev for next 3 years.
This would be my choice of the options listed. I'd probably try and save for an i7 if you're looking at keeping it for 3 years, maybe look at a refurb or the 11" (assuming the 13" was what you were after), especially if you've a screen you can reuse from your existing Windows PC.

2) Get a Mac Mini + a cheap Windows Laptop - Only because Mac Mini is user upgradeable. (Don't really know which option would be good enough here)
This would be my second choice. I'm not sure what your school is like, but a (very) cheap Windows laptop may be a better bet if there's a risk of damage or it being stolen. The extras of a keyboard and track-pad/mouse for the Mini will also need to be factored in if you need them.

You could use an iPad+keyboard for the school work? Assuming you're just looking to take note in class? You'll need something to test your iOS apps on once you've written them.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
One advantage of a retina model is that it will let you run your iOS apps in the simulator at full retina resolution without making the simulator window gigantic.
 

devilcm3

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2011
642
7
South Melbourne, Australia
One advantage of a retina model is that it will let you run your iOS apps in the simulator at full retina resolution without making the simulator window gigantic.
+1 this :)

and also if you're dealing with retina resolutions wallpapers, icons, etc inside xcode you'll appreciate the retina display.

you can just get the 13", that would be enough for xcoding :D
 

lavipsi

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2013
2
0
yeah, Assuming you're just looking to take note in class? You'll need something to test your iOS apps on once you've written them.