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I've looked at the Dell XPS - the webcam placement is just dumb and it feels plastic-y. The Zenbook is a contender but battery life is pretty awful and the dark blue with gold trim? I just can't do it. Surface book? Crazy expensive and that rubbish hinge makes it too thick. Surface Laptop? No USB-C which means it won't work with my LG monitor.
And then there's the whole issue of chargers: I find Microsoft's odd brick-and-side-plug clumsy and heavy. Compare Microsoft[^] to Apple[^]. Seems a small thing but when travelling it makes a big difference having a compact brick with just a single thin USB-C cable that can be detached.
Every week - every single week - I trawl through the latest laptops to see if there's one that will replace my current unit but still nothing. The Macbook Air was (in my opinion) the pinnacle. The battery life, the keyboard, the performance. The Macbook Pro has a nicer chassis and screen, but the keyboard is horrid and the bootcamp drivers haven't kept up with the hardware.
So yeah I'm fussy, but dammit: if I'm going to spend that much then I'm going to get something I love working on.
Chris - I feel your pain. About 10 years ago, I used bootcamp to run win WinXP/MSSQL/VS and switched to Parallels and later to Fusion on a 2006 MBP. Not much in the difference. More recently, I've been using a Macbook Air and VirtualBox (Win7 Pro with VS2015 and SQL Server) wihtout any real degredation in performance. The VM is on a thunderbolt connected external HD.
Are you able to install Parallels on your old MBAir and check how it works? Or try VirtualBox - it's free and you can import a VM.
I was thinking about upgrading to a new MBP, but your comments are making me nervous!
My conclusions is: No, parallels will not let you run Visual Studio in a usable manner.
That was my conclusion about 2 years ago - so I gave my Macbook air away to me niece who is studying an arts degree. I simply could not get it to work acceptably and my time is too valuable to waste any more on it.
I have been working with a Macbook Pro & Parallels desktop since 2011 (16 Mb) without to many problems with Visual Studio. Definitely not the issues you mention. I am using the same configuration on a Mac Pro now. I have had some issues with the allocation of memory but the technical support of Parallels has been helpful in solving these problems either by email or remote session.
In 2011 I changed from Windows PC to Mac and bought and installed Parallels desktop on my Macbook Pro. I made an image of my Windows PC with Parallels Transporter Agent. The image also included the Visual Studio version (2010). Transferred image to Mac, opened it in Parallels and started using it.
So I did not use any Bootcamp partition. And I realize (now) that your situation/set up is different because you are not migrating from Windows.
The VS projects I have worked on are not huge but also not small and I also use SQL server.
Over the years I have evolved to Parallels 12, VS 2017, SQL server 2016.
With Parallels 12 I had a problem and had to reach out to Parallels technical support. I had already migrated to Mac Pro with 32 Mb and assigned 20 Mb to my Parallels VM. In the online session the helpdesk also looked at my settings and told me to assign only 4 Mb to the VM. So far everything is working fast enough for me.
So I still think that creating a support ticket could help you.
I used a MacBook Pro about four years ago after my Windows computer died. I installed Parallels and then a Windows 7 Pro instance inside Parallels, and VS, SQL Server, misc tools inside Windows 7. No problems at all. Ran great. In fact, it was better and faster than my Windows machine (which was Alienware), which I thought was really weird since the Windows 7 via Parallels shared resources with the Mac OS. Both machines had 8GB RAM, but the Mac had a great SSD where the Windows machine had a 7200 RPM hard disk. I have not had to use Parallels recently.
I used a 2011 MacBook Pro with BootCamp and didn't really have any issues. I then upgraded to a 2013 MacBook Pro and used VMware Fusion to run Windows 7 and Visual Studio (then Windows 10 and VS). I will say that the move to HiDPI/Retina caused some issues, but I was able to get them resolved through different settings adjustments.
However, over the course of several macOS releases, things change and it became too much of a hassle to keep things working well.
I recently switched to the new Microsoft Surface Book 2 (used Surface Pro 3/4 some too) and have to say that it is hands-down the best laptop I have ever used.
If you primarily develop software using Visual Studio, I'd recommend getting the Surface Book 2 (or even an upper-end Surface Laptop or Surface Pro). Keep the MacBook Air in order to compile Xamarin Forms apps for Mac or iOS. Return the MacBook Pro if you can. Not worth the hassle when such good hardware is available.
No doubt the Surface Laptop is a good option. I've been able to get essentially all day use from the new Surface Book 2. Not playing games or watching the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy, granted. But getting real development work done using Visual Studio along with Internet research and email.
Plus this thing has to drive a 15" HiDPI display, a discrete GPU, and a quad-core i7. I'd say that is a huge accomplishment in battery tech by the Microsoft Surface team.
This may be a dumb comment since I haven’t read the whole thread but why aren’t you using vmware fusion to run windows. It has a few quirks, but nothing like what you describe and its speed is quite good. On my 2-monitor macpro, windows nicely fills one and I can still do mac stuff on the other. There are usb-c adapters that would let you connect your ext monitor and still be able to use the macbook screen.