Topic: is MacBook air good for programming?
The MacBook Air is one of the most popular laptops since it hit the market, especially with the M1 chip it has seen huge success, as before 2020 Apple had a very tough time with their models, they are slow and not sufficient to perform the tasks.
But things turn around with the 2020 model the Apple MacBook Air is in trend for students and largely for programmers and coders, but if you have not used it before then you must be thinking is MacBook air good for programmers?
Then this post is going to help you a lot to know everything about MacBook air as we have tested the device for a few months and indeed, we have some pros and cons, however, if you need an answer to your questions is mac air good for coding and programming? Request you to read this full post to know everything.
System Requirements for programming and Coding
- CPU: Intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5 (Minimum 4 cores is a must, speed 2.0Ghz or above)
- Ram: 8GB DDR4 with the upgradeable slot. (16GB DDR4 ram is best for heavy or professional users)
- Storage capacity: Minimum 256GB SSD (512GB is best)
- Graphics card: Integrated GPU
- Operating system: Windows 10 64bit, Mac, or Linux.
- Display: Full HD 1920 x 1080.
The above requirement will give you smooth working on programming languages like java, python, C++, etc, Now let us quickly go through the features of the air Macbook, and then we will dive into each point to discuss is mac air good for programming?
However, if you want to jump into an in-depth discussion then just go down still you should go over the specifications so you can understand what you are going to get, so let’s begin.
Also Read: Things to consider while buying a laptop
Apple Macbook Air M1 laptop
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Highlights of the laptop:
- CPU M1 chip with 8 cores with 3.1Ghz speed.
- GPU integrated with 7-8 cores.
- The neural engine’s 16 cores support machine learning.
- Ram Memory up to 8GB.
- Storage capacity available in 256GB / 512GB SSD.
- Storage upgradeable up to 2TB.
- Display 13.3” with excellent color accuracy.
- Excellent long battery life.
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Our Quick Review
Now for instance is MacBook air good for programmers? Yes to some extent it’s quite a good laptop got coding and programming, it is ultralightweight with the aesthetic look it adds a lot of value to professional users, due to its sleek design and of course hardware supports to run applications smoothly you can develop the code on it.
However in this section, I am soon going to reveal our findings while testing this machine but the first question you must ask is is it really worth spending on Macbook? as its a little more expensive than other options, you have quite a few alternatives in the same range or even at the lower range, multiple gaming laptops, student and professional laptop we have in the market.
If you are a beginner level of coder or student who has not dealt with multiple IDE and applications, just work on a single IDE, visual studio, eclipse, IntelliJ, etc where you have to practice basic programs for all this apple MacBook air is perfect on the go machine for you, as it has the capability to deliver a smooth experience on all other tasks.
Now coming to our testing we have literally taken this too extreme level, especially the Ram memory, laptop consumed all the memory after running 4-5 heavy software with multiple tabs opened, and the conclusive result is this device will not allow you to use it as a server machine for professional use.
As a professional full-time programmer, you have to do a high level of multi-tasking where you need to open multiple software with other tools to support you simultaneously, rest if you use other applications like PowerPoint, Excel, and in fact, at a good level.
you can run photoshop it’s quite more efficient than windows and other things like booting and loading are way faster which makes your work easy and increases productivity but again if you work on a cloud setup then not the most recommended machine in this case you need a laptop with 16GB ram, however, most of the coders do not do very high-end development so you can consider it if you are one of them.
Overall you won’t be able to connect it with a server machine which is a drawback, however for basic coding you can use it, if you are ready to spend and looking for only Apple MacBook, then you can go with the Apple Macbook Pro version which features 16GB ram, still its quite expensive and do not have a budget to spend on it then you have multiple windows laptop options available.
Also Read: Best laptop for web designers
is MacBook air good for programmers?
The above overview we have given on the model with M1 chip with 8GB ram + 256GB SSD, now let’s discuss each component of the Macbook Air, so let us begin.
The programming and coding are highly CPU extensive tasks so your main focus should be on the CPU, now Apple has intel-based models as well but in 2020 they have introduced their own processor, now as per brand, it’s faster than other processors.
The speed of the machine is not the important thing to notice still I would say that has all the capability to handle coding and programming work, however, it’s not a beast at the price point but pretty powerful it’s competitive to intel i5 and AMD Ryzen 5.
As I said this integrated CPU has strong Cores support, for programmers the barely 4 cores minimum needed, but this M1 chip comes with 8 cores, this octa-core processor lets you open the multiple tabs and applications overall smoothens the multi-tasking, and increases the efficiency of your work.
Also read: is a gaming laptop worth it
The ram memory is a crucial component for coding and programming as ram stores the temporary data while you working on your projects so basically 8GB ram is a decent option for basic level work however we had enough decision on ram requirement above as the processor is strong enough due to its core support but ram is little tricky matter in MacBook air.
There are 16GB MacBook available but that has a very high-priced model, though I would definitely say it’s worth running heavy programming software still nowadays we have mid-budget laptops that offer a good processor with 16GB memory for under 1000 dollars.
If you compare this with the MacBook pro you will end up saving about 200-500 bugs, moreover, you have to compromise on battery life and portability a bit but as MacBook has a strong battery life of up to 10 hours whereas other laptops will have lower backup depending on the model.
Another thing that limits you in MacBook is that most of their laptops do not have upgradability feature especially with a ram, they use the soldered systems, therefore if you work on heavy applications or develop android systems that require both processing and memory.
This is where it does not allow you to test heavy applications as if it had an upgradability feature you can always extend the ram support, the other latest and modern laptops do come with upgradability.
The MacBook Air model comes with two options one variant has 256GB SSD and another one has 512GB SSD, now as a programmer you do not need to store many heavy applications so 256GB SSD is sufficient additionally you have the upgradable option up to 2TB SSD.
Moreover, for 512GB SSD, you need to spend a little more but it is worth it as you do not have to spend extra bugs on future up-gradation, still, 256GB is enough in the laptop for programming in case of the tight budget as you can manage with external hard drive this will save your money.
Related: Best laptop for Machine learning
In programming feasibility and accessibility of multiple operating systems is essential, the reason why a large number of software engineers and developers prefer the apple mac is due to its feature having the capability of working on different platforms.
For instance, here I am not at all saying windows are not good for programming but Mac is slightly ahead as you have access to other platforms as well in windows you won’t be able to get Mac support but in Apple laptops, you can access windows with few necessary settings.
Additionally, the mac is also built-in to support Unix and Linux operating systems which considers one of the top-rated os for programming to work on coding, under mac you get maximum access to multiple software whereas with windows very limited options.
The mac is essential for programming, just for instance if you want to develop ios applications so you need a mac device so you can register to generate final files.
Therefore it’s largely accepted by programmers and almost everyone wants to get MacBook despite its high price than its competitor.
The mac os is pretty efficient and fast with an excellent battery that results in less charging and long hours of use, these all things impact positively on your performance while coding and programming.
The in-build SSD in this system is incredibly faster than what you get in windows SSD, overall it’s worth your every penny when you compare it to windows.
Also read: Are gaming laptops good for video editing
The Apple laptop is known for its long-lasting battery life this is another reason why many students and professionals do prefer Mac devices, especially the latest invented machines, the overall battery backup is pretty strong you easily get 8-10 hours of running makes it a pretty strong contender for your working need.
The brand claims that it delivers up to 18 hours of battery life which to some extent it does on regular use for day-to-day tasks, however, if you work on heavy applications with multiple tabs the battery drains faster, overall, its an excellent machine for long hours of use.
Design and build quality:
The design of the device is quite professional and attractive, this is suitable for users who is looking for a laptop for business, the build quality compact and sturdy moreover the biggest concern in Macbook its keyboard as the previous versions had issues with quality but latest released laptop since 2020 had sorted out this issue at a great level.
The keyboard offers backlit support while working on late nights you can utilize it by adjusting it as per your comfort, it’s a much-improved model, the Apple has put a lot of effort to make it a robust and tough machine to use, especially credit goes to them as the weight of the laptop 1.25kgs yet made with good quality.
Frequently asked questions:
is MacBook air good for web development?
The MacBook air is a good option for web development but the variant has 8GB ram which is decent enough to work but it’s not the most future-proof option, you need 16GB ram at some point and the Mac air is not having ram upgradability option,
So, in this case, if you have a budget to spend then suggest you go with a 16GB ram variant otherwise look for a laptop that has an upgradability slot for memory with an intel i5 CPU and an SSD drive must.
Moreover, an Apple laptop with an intel i5 is a decent choice for day-to-day regular work but I would suggest going with other options as with the intel variant the quality of the keyboard and overall performance is not the most efficient.
Do developers prefer Mac or PC?
Both are preferred by developers but Mac is a highly preferred choice for developers sheerly due to its thinnest design and weight is not more than 1.25kgs which is a pretty cool option for development professionals, as in this field you often need to visit clients for meetings makes is easier to go outdoors.
Another feature that makes it a better option is its amazingly optimized components that make things faster, additionally, the brightness of the screen is amazing you can adjust as per the situation you can use it anywhere.
The Mac operating system is a very user-friendly operating system that let you access other popular ora such as windows you just have to do a few settings virtually and you also get access to Linux which is the best for programmers and developers.
However, if you are a heavy developer then instead of a MacBook Air with 8GB ram you should consider a 16GB variant, especially if you work on a system where you need to connect your system as a server machine.
Do more developers use Mac or Windows?
The large numbers of developers still use windows for development, as not everyone can afford to get a Mac laptop, however, more than its usage its important to understand which one is best for coding and programming, for more detail you can read above operating system section we have discussed in detail.
For instance, since the last few years, the mac is a more preferable choice for programmers as this allows you to use a maximum Operating system that makes your work a lot easier, you can access windows and Linux as well but you won’t be able to get MAC OS support in windows laptop.
Is 256GB MacBook air enough for programming?
This is depending on your usage if you are solely going to use it for programming purposes then its enough to save applications in your system, another factor that you must consider if you do video editing, saves a lot of movies and videos than 512GB SSD is something you need to save all your data.
Though MacBook air comes with extendibility support for storage but the SSD drives are costly, in this case, you can always keep the extra drive to store all your temporary files, overall Yes 256GB Mac is decent enough for coding and programming.
Final words: is MacBook air good for programmers?
In this post, we have discussed Mac for programming with a detailed analysis of our tests and findings, and also I have covered a specs overview as well, the final verdict on is Macbook air good for coding and programming? It definitely Yes especially due to its Mac operating system.
Also, it’s a much-improved laptop in terms of build quality and keyboard, the battery life is the longest which is the highlight of the Mac, however, let’s summarize the specs the CPU is pretty powerful gives a performance like Intel and AMD but it’s quite faster than windows machine as Mac uses more efficient SSD drive that increases the speed of the device.
The main concern is memory support the 8GB ram is enough for all your work but if you do heavy programming especially if you want to run your machine as a server then 16GB is a must in this scenario MacBook pro is better choice.
However Pro version is a little expensive then you can prefer to go with a gaming laptop as it will have a faster CPU, ram with an upgradable slot, and an SSD drive that enhances the speed, I am sure this discussion is MacBook air good for programming help you to take wise decision if you have any query post your comments, you can also share your thoughts and experience.