Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What a nice piece of hardware
. I still think that 3 lbs is too heavy, but I may try one of those babies. Doesn't it look like a notebook should look like (no offense to my ThinkPad X60s)? Thin, light, durable.
I prefer the black colour of the ThinkPad line, but this machine is thin. I'm also not too fond of the MacBook keyboard, so I would have to try one to really make a buying decision.
All and all, a nice laptop.
Do you think the MacBook Air would make a decent development machine, or would you go for at least a MacBook?
I think the MacBook Air can handle development tasks, but I have a couple of issues with it, which I will get to below.
I think it could be a good dev laptop because I use a similarly especed-out ThinkPad X60s. Both machines have similar hardware: CPU, screen size (the ratio is different, though), RAM (2 GBs), weight (3 lbs).
The only issue I have with my X60s, sometimes, is screen real state. I usually have >20 windows opened, so I use "Alt-Tab" frequently. I also would like to see more lines of code in Eclipse or NetBeans, but I've learned to live with the limitation, or, when I'm home, I plug it in to a 17" LCD and get 2 displays to work with.
Finally, this is my caveat with the MacBook Air: the hard drive and the battery. It looks like they are not the standard, replaceable type. First, the hard drive version in the first release appears to be the real-state type and thus more expensive than the alternative. Second, the battery is not user replaceable.
I consider these two items problematic, as batteries die after 1 year, and the easiest upgrade to do to a laptop is a faster, bigger hard drive. For example, I just revived my laptop with 1 GB extra of RAM and a 100GB, 7200 RPM drive: both were extremely cheap (for both it was less than $200), and make it feel like a brand new computer.
I forgot to mention the lack of ports: you only get one USB port and I can't remember which other one. But it's very limited in terms wired expendables. To me this is a problem, too, since I have come to use 3 USB ports, at the same time, for a DVD burner, an external backup drive, and a USB memory key.
Come to think of it, I will wait too see what the competition will do in ultra thins market. I'm certain they will be cheaper, but not as pretty to look at as the Mac Air. I also prefer the ThinkPad black, and the solid ThinkPad keyboard.
As per other MacBooks, I know a couple of colleagues that use the MacBook Pro and have no complaints from it. Specially now that you can install XP natively or run it inside a virtual machine.
But does someone has tested Eclipse on the MacBook Air? I d like to know if performance are good enought for this machine; Thanks i advance.
I dared to buy the MacBook Air 2.1 Ghz and I use it as my primary machine for web development. I use textmate, couple of servers, photoshop, loads of tabs on firefox. It's awesome. I write about it on my blog