I am considering adding a second Mac to my stable of beauties (use a 13" Mac book white currently) and frankly speaking I am drooling over the Mac book air. Unfortunately I need the Mac for much more than to just check mails. It would be a development machine
Eclipse + Tomcat + Android SDK. All known resource hoggers (well not Tomcat maybe)
So big question. Is it a silly idea to use the Air or should I go with the Pro.
Recommendations for RAM & HDD welcome.
My current non-work development machine is a base model 11" MacBook Air that I bought in the summer of 2014. It's a brilliant machine and the portability of it is amazing, as is the battery life. I tend to hammer it quite hard and have a bunch of stuff open at once. IntelliJ, Tomcat, PostgreSQL, browsers, mail, slack, terminal, MacVIM, Growly Notes, plus a bunch of other stuff probably, and it rarely skips a beat. Every now and again it'll feel a bit sluggish if I'm really pushing my luck but nothing serious. I thought it would struggle a lot more than it does.
My wife has a 13" MacBook white, and even with it's RAM maxed out at 2GB and a new SSD, switching from it to the Air is like night and day.
I bought my Air off the shelf so was limited for configuration options, but if I had the option I would most likely upgrade to the i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM. SSD's above 128GB get real expensive, real fast so wouldn't bother with that. I have big mechanical back up disks at home, no need for it in a laptop.
For development I would go with a Pro, maxed out in terms of CPU, disk space and especially memory. If that's too rich for your budget I'd give priority to memory, followed by disk space (get an SSD if you can) and finally CPU.
I don't think you'd be happy on an Air for development.