MBA 13" or MBP 15" to go with my Imac 27 i7

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spib, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. spib macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Nottingham, UK

    I have a 2010 iMac 27" I7 12GB ram which I use for web and software development, some of which is windows development which I achieve using VMWare fusion.

    I would like to add a notebook to my setup for various reasons and I cannot decide whether I need an MBP or whether a MBA would be adequate.

    I also have a windows home server which holds all my music/photos/videos and *some* documents.

    My requirements are
    - Reasonable performance. I don't expect the notebook to be as powerful as the iMac but it would be nice to go off to a coffee shop and carry on working there.
    - Ability to "remote desktop" into my iMac, preferably with the screen resizing to fit the notebook display
    - Synchronisation of documents (development files, business documents) between both machines
    - Synchronisation of iPhoto/Itunes between both machines (i think there is 3rd party software to do this).

    Any advice gratefully received


  2. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    I am in a similar boat to you. I have a 2010 i7 iMac that I use for development and just recently picked up a 13" i7 MBA. I wanted something portable that would allow me to do work. I do not synchronize anything automatically yet, though that is an interesting idea. All of the windows development I do is via VPN into my companies servers so there is no syncing needed. For the IOS work I do, I have been copying things over manually. I am very happy with the MBA as a complimentary computer.
  3. swedefish macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2008
    If you want something portable to take with you when you go out, you definitely should go for the MBA 13. Put in 4GB RAM and you have a great road (or coffeeshop) warrior :D
  4. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2011
    After reading your requirements the 13" MBA looks like a good choice.
  5. Darius Aziz macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Jul 22, 2011
    Just another voice to the chorus, but for your needs and especially since you already have an iMac get an MBA! You'll love the little beastie!
  6. spib thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks for all the responses, very useful. The only thing I'm wary of is the 4GB limit on the RAM on the MBA. I shouldn't hit that i suppose doing browsing and email but if I start using XCode or whatever I can imagine that RAM limit becoming a pain
  7. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    I would do a little test - try simulating what you'd be doing on the notebook and monitor the RAM, then decide if you can live within the limits of 4GB.
  8. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2011
    If RAM is a concern, have you considered going the 13" MBP route?

    If RAM isn't a concern, definitely go with the macbook air. :)
  9. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    If you want to do development work the 13" will feel very small. I do some development on a 15" laptop(1600x1200) and it can feel cramped sometimes.

    Any modern mac with 4 gig will be fast enough for your needs.
  10. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I've owned all 3, and still own the iMac. The 13" MacBook Air is the one I keep going back to for convenience.

    Couple it with a 27 Apple Cinema display and there's little reason to own any other computer if all you're doing is web dev.

    Go with 256 GB storage though, especially if you need to run Windows.

    The Pro - in my view - is not sufficient for any software that requires any real screen space. It feels incredibly cramped after having used the iMac and MBA.

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