Web Design and MacBooks

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by FullerGarrett, Jun 28, 2015.

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Which MacBook is better for web design?

  1. MacBook Air (13")

    25.0%
  2. MacBook Pro (13")

    75.0%
  1. FullerGarrett macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    I'm new to MacRumor Forums. In fact, I'm new to the Mac platform altogether, when I bought my first Mac Mini back in November and became a convert from Windows. And since I've used Windows 8 and seen preview videos of Windows 10, it looks like I will not be going back. I'm a high school student (Junior this year) and also run my own business.

    I operate my own website design and graphic design business. Right now I do everything on my MacMini, but I want to be able to run my business on the go so I decided to buy some sort of MacBook to transfer my business files to (purpose for buying a new computer is for mobility and giving presentations, as well as isolating my business stuff from my personal files.) On a day-to-day basis I use TextEdit to code my websites (I know it is basic, but it works well), Pixelmator to create my graphics, and Pages/Numbers/and Keynote for general business purposes such as invoices, receipts, brochures, proposals, etc. I will also, from time to time, work in iMovie but that is on a rare occasion. I'll be running my entire business from the MacBook, so I need it to be powerful and efficient.

    My question is: which MacBook is right for me (the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?) I'm on a strict budget so I can't afford a high-end MacBook Pro, but I also want something that will last a few years. I like the features that come with the MacBook Pro (ForceTouch Track pad, Retina display, etc.) but my advisors have advised the MacBook Air as it meets all my needs (the web/graphic design works well on the MacMini, which is the base model late 2014 MacMini) and has a better battery life (12 hours.)

    Any suggestions? Also, does anyone have any suggestions for good (and inexpensive) HTML/CSS coding software for the Mac that will work? In Windows I used to use Dreamweaver CS3, but the copy I had was Windows-only and I wasn't a huge fan of the Dreamweaver CC edition for the Mac (I downloaded the trial version.) Any suggestions, as TextEdit is nice but I'm looking for something more professional. I've tried Adobe Edge Code CC, but I don't like it either. I also tried Muse CC but I didn't like the drag/WYSIWYG interface (I'm "old school" so I like manually coding my sites.)
     
  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #2
    Instead of retyping everything, I'll refer to a similar reply here: MacBook Air vs Macbook Pro for University

    In the end I prefer my MacBook Pro over the new MacBook Air I just got for work. I probably spend more time on my Air now since I'm at work a lot and use it around the house since it's so light and lasts all day long. But the screen is just so much better on the rMBP and the speakers are richer too. It also feels a bit more solid in my opinion.

    The Air is a great machine though, and if you need to shave a little off your budget and want a little more battery life it's a good choice. Going refurbished would be a good option to save some cash, and buying from a retailer without tax helps a lot too.

    I'd go try them both out at a store if you have the chance and compare them side by side and decide based on what you prefer. I love the Air, but I prefer the build and screen of my Pro by a long shot.

    As far as web design apps go. You might take a look at Adobe's Brackets. I used it in an HTML & CSS class last semester and was pretty happy with it when the rest of the class was using Notepad ++ and Windows. I was the only Mac user haha.
     
  3. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #3
    Oops. Must've also said the nearest Apple Store is about 100 miles away.
     
  4. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #4
    Just looked at Brackets. It looks just like Edge Code, with the annoying closing bracket system. Is there any way to turn the automatic close function off, as it is annoying when I enter something like a <strong> attribute inside of a <p> element.
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    MacBook Pro, definitely.

    Just please make sure it's the Retina MacBook Pro ... the non-Retina model is tragically outdated (last released June 2012) and horrendously expensive.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Is there a Best Buy closer to you? The larger stores usually have a decent selection of Macs. Some of the smaller Best Buy stores don't carry any Apple products though.
     
  7. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #7
    We have one nearby, and it is decent sized. I'm not 100% sure if they sell Macs on hand, because when I was getting my MacMini I called them and they said they'd have to order it and it'd take a while to get there (I ended up driving 100 miles to the Apple Store in KC.)

    I may be using the money I've saved for the MBA/MBP as a down payment on a car, but that depends on whether or not I get the job I've applied for (I have an interview later today.) If I do get the job, how can I optimize my MacMini for web/graphic design? I was thinking about adding a second monitor to my MacMini, but I have two questions there:

    a) does the Mac support dual monitors without a splitter (two Thunderbolt 2 to DVI adaptors), and
    b) where can I buy a good but inexpensive monitor that is good for web and graphic design that uses the DVI connector?
     
  8. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    While the retina screen is nice, the Air will give you a more realistic view of what the web actually looks like being that the majority of sides are not using retina assets. Power wise, as you know from your MacMini, both are fine. The retina screen provides a big benefit that if you set it to the higher resolutions you can fit more on your screen. The Air gets you a thinner, lighter package with longer battery life.
     
  9. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #9
    Yes, the MacMini does everything I need it to and more. I'm worried about getting Adobe Creative Cloud on it. While I don't use CC now, I do plan on upgrading to CC when I get the new computer.

    I'm going to try to stay way from used, although people have recommended buying something used. I want something new as it has the latest and greatest, and you don't have to worry about incompatibilities and whether or not it will work with Yosemite (or El Capitan.)
     
  10. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #10
    I vote for the rMBP, because of the Retina display.
    Yes, that should work fine.
     
  11. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #11
    I downloaded Brackets and have been using it for the past two days without any major issues.

    I really like the Retina display and ForceTouch trackpad, but also like the additional battery life, lightweight, and the money I'd save with the MacBook Air. My MacMini (1.4GHz with 4GB of RAM) has essentially proven to me that even with lower-end specs, you can still do decent graphic and web design as my Mini powers right through most graphic design tasks (more advanced designs give it a little bit of a problem, though) like a hot knife through butter. The only apps that my Mini has problems with is GarageBand and iMovie, and I suspect that those issues are related to the lack of RAM. (I'll be upgrading the RAM in the MBA to 8GB during checkout, though.)

    So, should I save my money and go with the Air or go ahead and spend the money with the Pro? I do like the idea of extra screen real estate, but should that be a concern of mine?

    (Also, I haven't and probably will not consider the 2015 MacBook. I'm not a huge fan of the "less ports = better function" idea Apple came up with. Plus, it lacks power AND RAM, although it has a higher price tag and the Retina display and force touch to make you feel like you're getting a mid-range laptop when I really consider it Apple's low-end.
     
  12. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #12
    If you want to run two displays you will have to go with the Pro, unless you have Thunderbolt monitors you can daisy chain, because the MBA only has one TB2 port where the rMPB has two, plus an HDMI port.

    I've run two 1080p monitors off HDMI and Thunderbolt (both with DVI adapters) along with the built in display and it worked just fine.

    I will say the screen scaling capability on the rMBP does come in handy when you're on the go and don't have an external monitor. I'll scale it to 1680x1050 using Brackets and Chrome or Dreamweaver to get a better view of the site and code at the same time since it won't fit at 1280x800.

    If you plan on being at a desk or around an outlet more often than not, I'd go with the Pro 100% of the time. I do love the Air I'm typing this on at work because I go around the building often so I can be unplugged for a long time even at a heavy workload and the lighter weight is appealing when it's in a shoulder bag or you're carrying it around.

    My vote is still on the MBP though. It'll let you run three displays plus use something like a Thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter which I have plugged into my MBA 90% of the time, but I can't use it with a display like I can on my MBP. And it isn't much heavier and is actually smaller overall.

    I don't think you'll regret the extra money spent in a few years time when you're really used to using it and it's just part of your every day life. I splurged on my first 13" MacBook back in 2008 that was close to $2,000 (the first aluminum unibody one with the backlit keyboard) but it lasted me six years and is still being used on a daily basis by my brothers family. Go for it!
     
  13. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #13
    Some people on the 68kMLA forums told me that I would be better off buying a used MacBook. Is this a good idea? I'm having some difficulty "warming up" to the idea of buying a used computer just because of all of the risks and hassles associated with buying used.
     
  14. jmiddel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Enchantment
    #14
    Consider a refurb from the Apple Store, you can save a bunch.
     
  15. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #15
    Thanks, I've considered a refurbished model. But my worries lie in obsolescence. I don't want to buy a $1,200 computer (even if I save a few $100) but have it not work with the software I need it to work with and it become obsolete in the next year or two.

    Should I buy a refurb'd MBP, or spend the extra money and get a new one with 16GB of RAM and will last me a lot longer? (It seems like something that should be an open-close type ordeal, but it is a lot more complex than it seems when money is involved.)
     
  16. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #16
    I wouldn't worry about an Apple laptop that's only a few years old going obsolete in the next few years.

    There was a time when Apple hardware would become obsolete after only a few years, but that was for technical reasons, e.g., transition from PPC to Intel or transition from 32 to 64 bit. Now that everything is Intel and 64-bit, there isn't much of a technical reason to obsolete anything. In other words, there isn't much of a reason why Yosemite would run on a brand new Mac and not a Mac from 5 years ago.

    Also, no reason to think that 16GB of RAM will make your computer last longer. I don't know what you do for work but if you have to ask if you need (or should get) 16GB of RAM, then you don't.
     
  17. FullerGarrett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Missouri
    #17
    I do graphic design (using Pixelmator) and web design (using TextEdit previously since I couldn't find any good HTML/CSS software, until Brett pointed out Bracket. And since, I've been using Brackets.) I may plan on upgrading to Adobe software in the future.

    I like some of the discounts on the used MBP's in the Apple online store, but they honestly are not all that convincing to me. I feel like I should buy a new computer instead of a used/refurbished model, regardless of the savings. Ideas on buying new vs. buying refurbished?
     
  18. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    The latest Creative Cloud runs on my 2008 MacBook Pro. All you need to do is look at the minimum required specs of your software to see how old of a computer is generally supported.

    Based on what you have posted, your software needs are pretty modest. You will be fine with a 2013 computer.

    I would have no problem buying refurbished.
     

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