MBA 13" / MBP 15" / MBP 15" Hi-Res for Ruby development...or none

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nrb6, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. nrb6 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2011
    First off I'd like to apologise for yet another 'which one should I buy' thread BUT I would be very grateful for some suggestions / recommendations.

    I currently don't own a Mac, I'm from the other side of the tracks with over 2 decades worth of PC experience including building them and developing s/w for them though over the past 5 years or so I've spent most of my time developing web apps in c#.

    I'm looking to get into Ruby as a hobby initially but looking longer term to help escape the MS wilderness.
    A colleague at work who already does Ruby and has a MacBook told me that a Mac is 'the' tool for the job. To paraphrase, Ruby development is not impossible on a PC but the Mac environment is a lot more mature and better supported by the Ruby community.

    Dipping my toe in the water I bought a MBP 13" a few weeks back. It was that or an Air and I just like the feel of the more weighty Pro and the possibility of adding more memory should I need it.
    I received the machine, started it up and thought....err.....what do I do now then, none of these icons look familiar! Having got over my initial shock I noticed the Safari Icon and went for a wander on the web. A little later I installed RubyMine and started having a play with some code and Terminal.

    OK - here comes my first issue (what? other than the fact I don't know my way around OS X and every thing looks alien.) The 13" screen felt cramped. Unfortunately the quick 'play' I'd had in the Apple store hadn't fully let me appreciate this.
    I had played with the 13" Air in the store too but I didn't like it's matt screen compared to the lovely glass and glossy finish of the pro.
    I returned the pro to Apple and I have to say that their customer returns are second to none. I'm struggling to think of another company who will, without gripes, caveats or speaking to managers, take back a piece of technology which has been 'used' without levying a charge.

    OK, so the 13" pro is out, the screen is a little on the small side for loading up an IDE and terminal / editor window(s). So, other contenders are the following :
    13" MBA, 15" MBP or 15" MBP (with or without AG).

    While I'm sure the MBA is a capable machine I'm worried about the text being small on the 13" screen. Although I don't wear glasses I don't want to suffer from eye fatigue if I'm going from a desktop of 3 x 24" monitors at work to a 13" desktop for a further 5 - 6 hours on a night.

    The 15" MBP seems to fit the bill with an extra 2" or so with the same resolution as the Air. It also has the nicer (IMO) glass screen though admittedly this may be less practical with reflection problems.

    The 15" MBP with the hi-res screen would provide me with yet more screen space and may be the ideal solution though I'm wondering what the lower resolution of 1440 x 900 would look like on the hi-res screen should I decide 1680 x 1050 is too small? Also, if I go 15" MBP Hi-res should I go anti-glare or not. I have to say that I think the glass screen looks very classy and I personally think the colour palette seems richer than on the anti-glare. Unfortunately they didn't have any of the 15" hi-res variations out on display in the Apple store so I couldn't compare.

    So what would people recommend?

    13" MBA / 15" MBP / 15" MBP Hi-res (AG?)....or none

    I should clarify that the 'none' option would mean I use the Dell Optiplex i7 with 24" monitor I have at home which is likely to see a lot less use should I buy any of the above.

    If you got this far then thank you for reading the above.
  2. nrb6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2011


    Thought I'd provide an update for anyone else who finds themself in a similar situation or with a similar query.

    I went for the 15" Pro with hi-res anti-glare. My reasoning was that it gave a high resolution which should be ample for my needs as well as options to expand memory and changed HDs etc. I will be upgrading to 8GB straight away.

    Just need to find a suitable case for it now......

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