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MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for Web Development?

The Valley of Code

Your Web Development Manual

I’m writing this post as I see many people on Twitter asking this question. Now if you use Linux or Windows, it’s not even a question for you. Also, you don’t need a MacBook to learn Web Development, you can use any computer.

Apple currently has 2 lineups of laptops, the first is the MacBook Air, and then the MacBook Pro.

I’ve used both, so let me tell you which one I would pick.

If power and speed was the only choice, you’d pick the most powerful MacBook Pro you could afford.

But there’s also portability: does a 16” MBP fit your backpack when you need to move it or commute or suppose you want to take it with you on a backpacking trip because who knows, you might have to do something for 3 minutes to keep the business running, while you’re camping. This happens to me sometimes.

Then the Macbook Air looks like a great choice. It’s much lighter, much smaller. Each gram you remove from your backpack makes the experience just better.

The MBA M2 2022 is 1.24 kg, MBP M2 13” is 1.4kg, MBP M1 14” is 1.6kg.

The 16” is out of the comparison as it’s 2.1kg, a different category. I’ve had a 2019 16” and it’s too big and heavy to move anywhere comfortably.

I currently use a Macbook Pro M1 14” as it’s a good compromise as it has more USB ports than the Air, 3 vs 2, and also has HDMI out (useless to me) and SD slot (important for me) but it’s a hard choice.

USB ports are essential because one will likely be connected to an external display when you’re home or at the office, but then if your display offers more USB ports, you can just use those.

Since the MBA is cheaper (about half price, depending on the specs) and solves 99% of your needs as a web developer, you can’t go wrong with that.

Especially if you like traveling or just bring it around a lot.

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