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This is my question, too! I want one...

Wil Shipley blogged a couple years ago here: http://wilshipley.com/blog/2008/01/macbook-air-haters-suck-m...

about developing his Delicious Library app on his Air. The post itself is a bit much, but there's an addendum at the bottom with some compile stats. Namely, the Air (because he got an SSD) compiled Delicious Library faster than his Macbook Pro.

But I would love to hear others' experience developing on an Air, since that's what I'm considering now, too. This Stack Overflow post: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/549008/macbook-air-for-ip...

mentions that Xcode can't autocomplete well on an old air, but I think it might be because it has a balls-slow 4200 rpm hard drive.

The only thing that concerns me is the processor. What things tax the CPU?




I use a 2009 MacBook Air with 128GB SSD as my only computer with a screen. (i.e. Everything else is headless)

A few things tax the machine:

1. Streaming video, especially flash, and especially when you multitask it.

2. HDMI out. I like to plug my Air into an HDTV and stream video using VLC. Sometimes this will overheat and start skipping.

3. There is lowered responsiveness when the Air is doing a backup to Time Capsule.

4. The Ethernet is not as fast as a normal PC, which can be kind of obnoxious sometimes.

5. If I put it on the bed covers for too long it overheats and slows down. Likewise for couches and occasionally my lap.

All in all I'm happy with this setup, and I use many big apps concurrently: Photoshop, Word, Mathematica, Eclipse, lots of PDFs, iTunes, Safari, VLC, SABnzbd+, as well as many other less taxing apps like Aquamacs, EverNote, Mail.. all concurrently.

The Air has never had a problem for me running standard apps. The issues always crop up when I'm trying to watch video (esp flash) or doing large amounts of i/o either through WiFi or ethernet.


Ethernet is not as fast? I wonder why?


Because it's 10/100 running as a USB dongle.


What? That would drive me crazy. I wonder if the new one is any better. All of my other machines (macs & pc's) are gigabit.


Sadly that is the specs for the new one...


Ouch. It's probably faster to use the Wifi (802.11N).


There are some Gigabit USB adapters that you can buy. They are apparently Mac compatible. Of course, with USB2 peaking at less than half GB ethernet's speed, it's still just an OK solution.


At least for me, Xcode has got a lot more bloated since 2008. Even both my iMac and my MBP seem underpowered - I hate to think what an air would be like. And if Xcode 4 is anything to go by, this isn't going to improve.

My guess is that it's not going to be any fun if you want to run an IDE. But regular text editors shouldn't cause a problem.




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