MBP or Lenovo for development?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jstad, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. jstad macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2007
    I am selling my Vostro 1400 and picking up a better laptop for software development. I am curious what your thoughts are when it comes to MBP development. Currently I am debating between the June 2007 revision of the MBP (2.2GHz, 8600 w/ 128MB). The only concern I have is the low resolution screen. I used to own a MB and the resolution was a concern (1280x800) and 1440x900 on the MBP does not seem to be a large improvement. The lenovo has a 1680x1050 option which isnt available in the 15" MBP.

    So for any developers out there, is the screen resolution a problem for you? The problem I run into on 1280x800 is when multiple windows are open (MSDN documentation, Visual Studio or Textmate, Safari) things become cluttered very quickly.
  2. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    I am not a developer, but several of my best friends are. One of them uses an MBP and loves it. He loves it because he can run all three OSes - Windows, OS X, and Linux - on the same computer - and a portable computer at that. As a developer, he finds that highly useful for cross-platform testing, and because he develops for different OSes depending on the project he is working on.

    As for the resolution, for serious development, I'd just pick up an external screen. The DELL UltraSharp series is good, and not that expensive. Then, get a laptop stand, and you can dual monitor with the laptop LCD and the external. That will eliminate the 1440x900 problem, and, for the rare times you do need to "code on the go," I think the 1440x900 will be okay. If you code on the go a lot, you might consider the 17" with a 1920x1200 screen.

    The ThinkPad is a great laptop, and may be a great choice if you do all Windows development. But otherwise, I think the MBP offers a lot of flexibility that programmers and IT professionals find exceedingly valuable.
  3. matperk macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Wirelessly posted (Treo 700wx - Alltel: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320))

    Like what was said by jahutch, a main benefit would be to run all three OSes on one system. I do web development and this is very beneficial. It is extremely helpful to test and develop in any environment you choose. I don't know what kind of development you do, but it would seem to me that it would be good to have the ability to develop in any environment rather than just one, especially because of the rise in mac and linux sales/installs.

    Just my two cents.
  4. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    Agreed on all counts. I do Web development for a few professional organizations to which I belong, and I also do a little Cocoa development on the side as a hobby.

    Multiple platforms for testing on a single machine is a huge time-saver.

    As for screen resolution, I really do think the highest resolution possible is a must. The idea of adding an external display is a good one, provided most of your development takes place close to that display. Mine doesn't, so I wanted high resolution on the laptop itself. My 17" SR 2.6GHz hi-res does the trick nicely.
  5. antmo macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2008
    i've been doing software development for almost 15 years and find the 17" 1920x1200 mbp a fantastic tool. the physical machine is only 1" thick (i may be a minority here, but i agree with apple that the thickness is the most important dimension in a transportable device...basically anything that you're putting in a bag anyway and doesn't just go in your pocket), it will run macosx, windows, linux, *bsd, etc (both in vm or natively) and has all the useful posix/unix cli tools built-in via the free developer tools.

    so you have a very powerful machine, a high-quality high-res led screen and very diminuitive form factor for a 17"...they hold their value well too, so if you change your mind you won't take as bad a bath on the resale :)


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