2

I could use a little advice on my next computer purchase from a few Apple consumers who have had some hands-on experience with some of Apple's latest products. I have some financing available to me to purchase a new computer in the coming weeks or months. However, personally, rather than buying the shiniest new thing with all of the bells and whistles, I endeavor to make a purchase that meets my personal/professional needs and is, to some degree, financially responsible.

About me now.

That said, a little about me. I am a web developer and graphic designer by trade.

As a web developer, I currently use a "Local (by Flywheel)" setup for local development to run PHP driven projects that are primarily front-end heavy. Atom as my text editor. I do notice a bit of lag when running BrowserSync, Chrome, and with iCloud file-sharing enabled on both computers so I've managed to increase their lives by turning off iCloud file-sharing and keeping things locally backed up to a few external hard-drives.

As a designer, I run a myriad of Adobe products via the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite which also tends to hog resources, especially when running any of this software in parallel with my local development solution. I also use Sketch from time to time which seems to work much better, but I still need both for my needs.

Most everything else I do is on the web. Just about every other App I use for work works great, so I have no real issues there and personally, I don't play many games. At most, I might watch some video for continued learning/instruction.

About my current setup.

I currently have both a Mac mini and a Macbook Air. I'll list out their specs below:

With my Mac mini I use two external monitors (on monitor arms) that I plan on continuing to use. One is true HD, and the other is 4k. With my Macbook Air, I typically do not use an external display.

Mac mini (Late 2014)

  • 2.8 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
  • 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB Fusion Drive
  • Intel Iris 1536 MB Graphics

Macbook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)

  • 1.6 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
  • 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 250 GB SSD Drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000 1536 MB

What I want in a setup.

I can probably spend around $3,500.00 bucks for hardware, the included software, and the additional AppleCare+ extended warranty. This computer will need to last me as long as the two I have now which have lasted around 5 to 6 years. I am also going to be nixing the approach of having two computers (one mobile for working in the office or at a coffee shop, one stationary at home) and using just one computer which I'm hoping is a laptop that can support my two external monitors and just dock at my standing desk when I'm at home. I'm tired of backing up multiple computers and keeping files/settings consistent between them. I am also going to be utilizing some new workflow using Docker to add some flexibility to what I do, and I hear that Docker can suck resources at times (if you can add any advice on this, please do).

All of that said, I'm trying to decide between a new custom-configured 2020 Macbook Air or a Macbook Pro.

Here are the specs on those:

Custom-config'd Macbook Air, $2,249 before taxes and AppleCare+

  • 1.2 GHz quad-core 10th gen Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
  • 2 TB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus graphics

Custom-config'd 13" Macbook Pro, $2,999 before taxes and AppleCare+

  • 2.3 GHz quad-core 10th gen Intel Core i7
  • 32 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X RAM
  • 2 TB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics

At the end of the day I'm only saving about $750 between the two, but that's $750 I could do a lot of other things with, so I just want to make sure that when I'm paying for the Macbook Pro, I'm getting something that is necessary and packs a punch to my workflow, otherwise (to me) it's just a bell or a whistle I don't need.

Again, just looking for a personal take from someone who might own either of these and be willing to shed some light. YouTube has a lot of videos comparing them, but those are just hardware specs, I'm asking you from the stand-point of personal experience as a developer whether owning one over the other has benefited you directly in some way.

Thanks.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.