Web development, can I do it on an Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by .murphy., Aug 25, 2014.

  1. .murphy. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    #1
    Hi guys, looking for some feedback in trying to decide what's the prefect Mac for me.

    I'm really drawn towards the long battery life of the Air. Portability is also very important to me.

    Based on some research and the battery consumption comparison on anandtech of i5 and i7 airs, I finally set on
    13'' MBA, 1.4GHz i5, 8Gb RAM, 256 SSD

    As I've never worked on a such a machine before, I'm kind of concerned as to whether it will be appropriate for my daily tasks.

    Those would include running IntelliJ PhpStorm, MySQL Workbench, Sublime text, and usually a couple of browsers with around ten tabs each. Also a vagrant box with Ununtu, running php, mysql and apache, for which 2Gb of ram will be allotted.

    I have not yet found a like minded developer with similar setup to get information whether the Air can handle this scenario.

    And a second question .. what would be the battery expectancy of a 13'' rMBP with similar specs running the same tasks?

    Thank you for your time,
    murphy
     
  2. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #2
    Easily!

    I use my Air for web development daily without any difficulties at all. When with clients I can easily run all day on battery power, though when in my own office I always run from mains.

    I also have a 27" iMac which is used for similar work, and I have to say there is really no difference beyond screen size. Both screens are helpful when testing responsive code (which is why I also run iPad and iPhone)
     
  3. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #3
    Absolutely. The MBA is a workhorse disguised as an ultrathin portable. :cool:
     
  4. Akarin macrumors 6502

    Akarin

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nyon, Switzerland
    #4
    Excellent set-up for web dev. You'll also be able to run your VM easily. I have the same MBA config except that I do Rails dev on it and also run an Ubuntu VM with PostgreSQL.

    The screen size may be an issue, though. From my perspective, 13" is fine for development outside of the office (which I do a lot) but for long dev sessions, having to tab between the browser, the editor, the console, etc... can be tiring. That's why I coupled my MBA with a 27" screen in the office.

    But as others have said: the MBA is a gem for development of any kind (except video intensive ones, like fast-paced 3D games).
     
  5. .murphy. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2014
  6. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    The MBA is definitely capable of all those tasks.

    Consider the rMBP with the same specs. You can't beat the better screen and physically it's hardly heavier than the MBA, and has a smaller footprint.
     
  7. .murphy. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    #7
    I am considering it.. but I'm on the go a lot, and I'm not sure I can make the retina last for 8-9 hours... and at the moment my preference is towards battery life.
     
  8. .murphy. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    #8
    Arranged to buy the Air today, so that particular dilemma is over :)

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  9. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    Congratulations on your purchase :). On the battery front, I can get over 12 hours on the rMBP. It depends on the tools being used. Coding in Netbeans reduces that by half, as the IDE works too hard on syntax highlighting and checking, when scrolling and changing files. The good thing is that with Mavericks we have the tools to determine exactly which applications are using up CPU and battery life, and to change our apps or usage to eke out longer battery life. I've also found that reducing the screen brightness by two to four notches from the maximum can save a lot of battery power.
     
  10. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    I thought under normal use the rMBP was clocking in at the same 7-9 hours as the MB Air?
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    You thought wrong.
     
  12. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    Oh, interesting, all the reviews seems to have gotten 7-8+ hours out of it.

    For a 13" what's the common result out of the "9+ hour battery" ???
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    What reviews?
    What is a "common result"?

    Battery life completely depends on what you do and how/what brightness on you do it?
     
  14. yosemit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    #14
    7-9 hours sounds right for rMBP, but 13" Air gives 12-15 hours.

    The problem with 7-9 hours is that, you may still have to take the charger for a whole day of use. It adds about 0.5 lb to the travel weight.

     
  15. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #15
    I easily get 12+ hours out of my Air. It's a great machine in all respects, but the battery life is truly exceptional.

    Congrats op on your purchase, enjoy your new device.
     
  16. Akarin macrumors 6502

    Akarin

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nyon, Switzerland
    #16
    My experience is anecdotal at best and based on no scientific calculations but I use my MBA nearly exclusively for development (web dev + Xcode), have Dropbox running at all times (it seems to be the app eating the most power) and I usually get between 11h-12h of battery life with screen brightness at 100%.

    Have fun with your MBA, .murphy. It's easily the best computer I've had in 20 years :)
     
  17. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #17
    I'd love to see someone get 12-15 on the Air.... I've had every model (current since 2010).... it doesn't die in 5 hours, but if I get 7-8 I'm surprised. Heard of those who use their screen super low for low-intensity tasks getting 8-9 but never more than 10.

    ----------

    Which word was hard to comprehend, common or result?

    Common - of a sort or level to be generally expected

    Result - effect, or outcome of something
     
  18. Akarin macrumors 6502

    Akarin

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nyon, Switzerland
    #18
    Look at my post just before yours. It has been like this since I got it in July 2013. MBA 2013, i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 13".
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #19
    Both in context.
    The battery life depends on what you do. Their is no common result.
     
  20. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #20
    well in that case I really want to cross over to the 13" ... I have the 11" and the battery life is good, not amazing though. I just like it because even on the smallest commuter planes I'm able to use it on a tray table, and I know that won't be the case with the 13" .. I know because I had one 2 years ago ... ugh, dilemma.
     
  21. nexusrule macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #21
    A retina 13'' would be a better fit overall, air does better in battery life only.
     
  22. ckeck macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #22
    Based on what? Air benchmarks faster in most cases due to all the extra pixel-pushing the 13" rMBP has to do, plus the default resolution of the MBA is higher.

    I'd say based on his needs, the MBA is the "better fit overall". Lower cost, better battery life, lighter, faster.

    "Retina" displays are still a bit immature IMO. They do look incredible, don't get me wrong, but the default res of the 13" rMBP is laughable and if you scale it, you introduce screen/UI lag. I've tried every generation retina...13 and 15 waiting for this to be resolved and it's still not.

    Normally I think of myself as a "power user" but I switched to an MBA in 2012 and haven't been able to switch back to a Pro machine yet (now running a loaded 2013 13" Air).

    You'll love it!
     
  23. mwa Suspended

    mwa

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Location:
    Memo: A Slower Seesaw!
    #23
    oh that's helpful. :p :D
     
  24. webishpeople macrumors newbie

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #24
    Webish People is a team of highly experienced.

    Webishpeople provides best and global company for website development, web design and search engine marketing company in India.
     
  25. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a

    JHUFrank

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #25
    As someone who has had both rMBP and a MBA, I have to say the biggest differences in the two boxes is display and battery. My MBA under my normal usage got 7-8 hours a day. I thought that was excellent battery life. My rMBP gets a bit over 5. I am pleased with that. I figure the offset is the display. The MBA has a very good display, but is not near as good as the rMBP.
     

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