Since I am taking a new, rather managing position quite soon, my company got me a brand new MacBook Air.
I’ve been using it for few days now, and wanted to share what do I think.
To start with, the specs (this is the simplest version):
- 11.6″ LED 1366×768 display
- 1.6Ghz dual-core Intel Core i5
- 2GB 1337 DDR3 RAM
- Intel HD 3000 (shared 256MB)
- 64GB SSD drive
More specs can be found on apple.com.
What I wanted to test is the compile time using maven of a big big project I am currently working on plus jboss (6) startup time.
I compared with my MacBook Pro I use everyday. It’s specs are:
- 2.4Ghz C2D
- 250GB 7200rpm HDD
- 8GB 1067 DDR3 RAM
Repositories downloaded prior, second mvn clean install with all tests
MacBookPro : Total time: 3:59.889s
MacBookAir: Total time: 2:29.097s
note: on MBA had to decrease Xmx and Xms from 1.5GB to 1GB and permgen from 768MB to 512MB
MacBookPro: Started in 2m:843ms
MacBookAir: Started in 1m:27s:894ms
Yep, MBA is almost 50% faster. Why ? I think it’s the SSD (plus maybe new generation of the CPU) – the tests heavily use the filesystem for the DB tests.
I thought – I want to simulate the full load, so what I did is that I played a full HD (1080p) MKV movie, streamed from a NAS until the battery went totally flat. After turning it up I was able to tell exactly how many minutes of the movie were played (I have it in 2 parts, set to reply all in VLC).
So the wifi was up and running all the time, CPU was decoding full hd.
Result: 3 hours and 14 minutes. Pretty awesome. You can watch full blown movie using a single charge. If it was just writing docs, the apple’s up-to-5hrs might be actually true.
It is great. Not only it “feels” faster then my old MacBook Pro on boot, when opening apps etc. It *is* faster for doing what I do the most – java dev. I just need to upgrade the RAM 🙂
At the same time it is super-portable, super-sexy and runs my favorite Mac OS X (Lion). And the best is – you can get it for around 3000 PLN + VAT. Finally a fair price for a mac. I don’t think you can get much better alternative with windows for that kind of money and with that kind of portability.