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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MBP 13" vs. MBA 13"


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Checco

 
Member Since: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 225
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Mac Specs: 21.5" iMac Mid-2011 ~ 15" MBP Mid-2012 ~ iPad 4 16GB ~ iPhone 5 16GB

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Hi all,

I'd like an opinion on the following. I'm considering buying another notebook, being either MBA13" or MBP13". I've seen a few posts along these lines, but nothing since the recent model updates. The main MBA attraction to me is the extreme portability - it's very light and thin and has no spinning HDD (although the MBP also has an SSD option). Also, according to specs, MBA screen resolution is superior. Claimed battery life is also a huge plus.

Now, I have an iMac that I'll use as a primary machine, but whenever away from it, the portable would have to take over, which would be quite often. These are my typical tasks: e-mailing, Word docs, Excel docs, Teamviewer, RDC...and the two main ones: Microchip (PIC) and Windows development. While Microchip has released a native OSX compiler, clearly Windows development requires a Windows machine. I currently run Win 7 Pro x64 with Fusion on my iMac (12GB RAM) and as can be expected, I have no performance issues. I don't develop huge Windows apps, but do use SQL Server Express for a couple of them.

My thinking is that if I get a(n) MBA with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, it should cut it. Allowing 4GB RAM for Windows should be plenty, as this is my current setting and all works well. There is also the option of Boot Camp, but in my view it defeats the purpose of buying an Apple product. The 1.8GHz or 2GHz i5 should also be reasonable.

The other question is this. How does an SSD device deal with building projects over the longer term? Building creates a compiled output of every source file (say about 30-50 source files per project) and I'd build multiple times per day....although the compiled files would sit in the Virtual Disk.

What are your thoughts?

Cheers,
Checco
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chscag

 
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I can't answer your questions regarding building projects but since you have an iMac at home, it seems to me the MBA would be suitable for you. If it were to be your only machine, I would recommend the MBP instead.
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Checco

 
Member Since: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 225
Checco has a spectacular aura about
Mac Specs: 21.5" iMac Mid-2011 ~ 15" MBP Mid-2012 ~ iPad 4 16GB ~ iPhone 5 16GB

Checco is offline
Thanks chscag. Still on the fence though, as the Air becomes expensive with maxed-out RAM, CPU and SSD....particularly when not in the US. Once I decide and start working on the notebook, will feed back as to how it turned out.

Cheers.
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