Best laptop for Mac/Windows and iOS development?

I am a High School student and a hobby programmer. My school has an iPad program, where each student was issued an iPad for school use. Once I got mine, I began to look up information about making apps for the app store, and I discovered that the xCode SDK is only available for OSX. This iPad is the first apple product I have ever owned, and am unfamiliar with the different types of macs. I definitely want a laptop, but am turned away by the MacBook Air's lack of hard drive space, especially since I want to be able to Dual-Boot or BootCamp (I'm familiar with dual booting on an old VAIO) with Windows 7. Is there a need for a CD drive that rules out the MBA? Is there a minimum hard drive space that I should look for?
I want this primarily for developing iOS apps, but also as a good, portable notebook that also can use Windows for gaming.

1 Answer from the Community

  • Alex,

    The most spec intensive part of what you've said is Windows gaming, depending on the type of games you play, that will decide the system spec. You may find that the current games you play need more than the Intel HD 4000 can provide, in which case your only real option is the Macbook Pro 15" with Retina Display or any non-Retina Macbook Pro which have a Geforce GT 650M.

    For installation of Windows you're generally going to need a DVD-ROM drive available to install, even if it's only an external USB drive with the Macbook Air or Macbook Pro with Retina Display. The non-Retina Macbook Pros still have DVD Drives. Alternatively you may be able to use another computer to copy the Windows DVD to a USB thumb drive, you will need specific software to make it bootable, there are guides on how to do this online.

    I develop iOS apps on a Macbook Air 13" and iMac 27" so any Apple computer will suit your needs for iOS development.

    • Answered by Jamie C from Gledswood Hills
    • Jun 1, 2013