MBA for someone start to learn web development?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kalebima, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Kalebima macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    Edit: Typo in the title, how embarrassing :(
    Hey all, I'm going to be making the choice between an MBA and rMBP in the next few weeks and was looking for some advice either way. Both would be specced as i5/256/8gb and the price difference with the educational disc ounce is only around $60. The retina screen seems great and all, but I'm a bit concerned that the resolution is so darn big compared to the air - it doesn't really feel like I'd have much screen real estate at the native resolution and what's the point of having a great screen if you can't fit your windows in it? :p Could anyone weigh in on the optimal choice for someone who will be using it primarily for schoolwork (writing papers) and learning web development? (i.e. pdfs, Code School tabs, Sublime and Terminal open). I currently have the Air and love it but the screen does bother me. If they had a retina at the Air resolution that would be perfect but from what I've read scaling on the rMBP drains battery life. Also I know Haswell improved the rMBP battery, but I'd really miss all day battery life especially as a student! I'm leaning towards the Air now but just wanted to hear if the retina might be better one way or another. Thanks!
  2. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Regarding the displays, the rMBP scaled at 1440x900 looks considerably better than the MBA display.
  3. Kalebima thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    Yeah, but doesn't having to run it in scaled further decrease the battery life? It would be bothersome to have to deal with a 6-7hr battery coming from the 9-11hr battery on the air.
  4. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Not really, just about everyone is getting decent battery life, 10-13 hours, on 13" rMBP, dunno about 15".

    OS X Mavericks plays a part in the increased battery life.
  5. Kalebima thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    Is that factoring in keeping your display at a scaled resolution or are those numbers for the default resolution?
  6. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Running at 1440x900/1650x1080 scaled doesn't really eat up that much battery life, you'll lose maybe an hour of battery life at most.
  7. Kalebima thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    Ok thanks! So given my situation would you be more inclined to go with the Air or the rMBP?
  8. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    I ran my rMBP scaled and never had battery issues.

    1440x900 is really the smallest I found comfortable to use for an extended length of time.

    The 13" Air is a very, very popular laptop for web developers. But what are you going to do be doing? Rails? Java? PHP? Just dinking around with design/css/html? Databases?
  9. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Air is cheaper and offers slightly better battery life but rMBP is much nicer to code on, you also get bigger screen estate if you increase the resolution and reading with a retina screen is a pleasure.

    Is there an Apple store nearby? You can play with them and see what you like the most, that's probably one of the better ways to decide.
  10. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    Neither machine is going to stop you from becoming a good developer.
  11. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I love my Air. I do like the rMBP but to each their own. Get what you want. Either is not a poor choice for web developers. Just make sure you develop your websites to be spec to the common resolutions out there (1 for speed and 2 to hit the majority of people).

    Lastly, look at Coda, great app for web developers. It is pricey but totally worth it.

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