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JudgeKenny
Dec 1, 2011, 07:14 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm about to get my first Mac computer but wanted to get some feedback first.

This is going to be a Christmas gift from my mom and dad so I need to decide soon. Part of me loves the new MBAs because of the design and thin factor and the fact that they can do everything a regular computer does. They look very slick and I love that.

But a part of me is also IN LOVE with the iMac (always have been!). I love the big, shiny screen and its sleek and elegant design but unfortunately I have to pick one or the other. I'm thinking if I go with the iMac I would buy an iPad later on, to have that as my portable computer when browsing the web in bed or the couch or when traveling.

Anyone out there have an iMac and iPad combo? If so, do you like it or do you find yourself wishing you had a MBP/MBA instead?

All advice or opinions are welcome. Thanks!

~Katie~



TheJing
Dec 1, 2011, 07:19 PM
I would go with iMac + iPad in your situation. That way you get a really good and powerful computer for your desk but at the same time a really portable device that will handle web browsing without a problem when on the go.

Personally I went with Pro hooked up to an external screen + 11" MBA for portability. I considerer getting an iPad before I got the Air but after playing around with my mom's iPad2 this summer I realized it just wasn't my thing.

torbjoern
Dec 1, 2011, 07:21 PM
Many people in this section (including me) will be biased towards the MacBook Air, but what would you use the Air for when not at home? If you would use it for tasks which easily can be done with an iPad, I think I would recommend the iMac+iPad combo. For writing text documents, the iPad is fine. For programming, however, you need a Mac.

joshuaginter
Dec 1, 2011, 07:44 PM
As the last poster says, many people will be biased. If money grew on trees, I would say the best option is to get a MacBook Air with a nice Apple display and then the iPad as well.

Since money does not grow on trees, I would say MacBook Air (hence, my bias). Depending on what you need for processing power, the Air is a sufficient computer for many circumstances. The iPad just won't cut it while on the go if you need to get some real work done.

blesscheese
Dec 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
What will you be doing? Do you absolutely need to be portable?

I don't think you can really go wrong with the iMac and iPad set-up. You may find yourself hampered by the MacBook Air's smaller disk size, as you can rapidly fill it up with photos and movies and music...

However, if you need a computer and you need it to be portable, the MacBook Air is the way to go.

If you only need limited computing needs on the road, the iPad will do just about anything you want. If you have access to the internet, you can also remote into your desktop computer and use programs, but the utility of that will depend on your network speed.

BTW, I use a MacBook Air and a Mac Mini. I'm waiting for the iPad 3 to come out, and then I'll probably get one then. It is nice having a desktop, although, I really don't need it. I travel a bit, and have a work PC laptop, so I just wanted the lightest portable Mac I could get.

JudgeKenny
Dec 1, 2011, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I really don't do anything on a computer other than going online for keeping up with some of my favorite sites (such as this one), email, sampling music (most of the blogs I go on all use Flash for their music streaming), and now that I'm going to get my first Mac, I am itching to learn Photoshop and iMovie.

I'm only 19 and work as a dance instructor so my line of work doesn't require anything complex or over-spec'd. I know that while on vacation trips I could manage nicely with just an iPad, to check up on emails, Facebook, news, etc. I was just wanting to know why most people would choose an MBA before I make the decision to go with the iMac and make sure it's not something I regret later down the line.

tusctodd
Dec 1, 2011, 08:44 PM
or you could get a 17" MBP. Either way you can't lose. They are all sexy machines! :)

fjanderson94
Dec 1, 2011, 08:57 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I have an iMac and iPad combo and I love them both. I think they compliment each other much better than just a MBA. I do love the airs design but for your needs, similar to mine, the Mac would serve as your powerhouse and the iPad is just simply magical and browsing is just fantastic. I think you should go into the store and decide which is best for you however I recommend getting an iMac.

tanhm
Dec 1, 2011, 09:06 PM
iMac and iPad ...

Caliber26
Dec 1, 2011, 09:54 PM
As others have posted on here, go with the iMac/iPad option.

I had actually gotten an iPad for the same reason as you're describing but soon realized it wasn't going to cut it for my needs. I have to have OS X when I'm on the road (which is often) so I ended up selling my iPad getting an 11-inch MBA to take on my travels. (the GREAT part is that I sold the iPad to my roommate and he leaves it on the coffee table 90% of the time, so I still get to use it when I'm on the couch watching TV :D)

However, in your case, if you're only going to use the iPad for surfing the web and keeping up with emails and Facebook, it is the perfect device for you. Its size and portability make it the perfect travel companion. Oh, and make sure to buy the iMovie app for iOS. You'll have a blast playing with it on the iMac (already pre-installed for you) and even more so on an iPad. I've used it a few times on my iPhone and was very impressed, so I'm sure it's even better on the iPad because of the bigger screen.

tmoerel
Dec 2, 2011, 01:59 AM
Why choose? If you can afford take all three :-)

pgreen01
Dec 2, 2011, 02:05 AM
If I were you this is what I would do based on price. Depending on which iMac you were looking at you are going to spend at the minimum $1200. Then as you said later you would get an iPad which is a minimum of $500. So unless you plan on doing some serious Photoshopping or iMoving which both may require more harddrive space and CPU processing why don't you get the 13' MBA which you can find now around 1300 and later on if you still desire it get the iPad 2.5 or 3 for 500. It comes out around the same price.

I personally think you would get more usage out of the MBA because it not only allows you to do the things you mentioned but also also you to be portable. Plus the iPad does not natively support Flash so your streaming music sites would not work.

s1ns
Dec 2, 2011, 05:39 AM
if you do a lot of 'heavy lifting' or gaming that requires that processing power on the iMac get the iMac + iPad combo.
If you don't, the air is sufficient enough for you.
If you do a lot of e-book reading, surfing the web on the couch/bed the iPad will serve you better compared to the air. The air is better for you if you often do a lot of word processing or content creation which I think the iPad is lacking at the moment (in terms of hardware and software).
based on my own experience. ;)
good luck with your choice

glen e
Dec 2, 2011, 07:37 AM
13 in mac air + monitor and keyboard +(port HDD)- meets all your home and need for content creation
ipad2 32 g - meets all you needs for consuming content on the go or in portable settings.

Alvesang
Dec 2, 2011, 10:02 AM
I absolutely love my 11" MBA. Having said that, I vote iMac and iPad for your situation. If you're going to use Photoshop and iMovie you need files to work with, so you'll collect certain amounts of photo and video files which use up quite some space. So there's your external hdd added to an MBA setup. Add a mouse (or even better: a tablet) for Photoshop because using that software with a trackpad (no matter how amazing it is) won't do the trick for several tasks.

So when going with an MBA you'll add several external peripherals reducing the portability factor. With an iMac you immediately enjoy a nice 1TB hdd, a mouse and plenty of screen estate to comfortably use the aforementioned apps.

Sent from my MacBook Air. ;)

Dornblaser
Dec 2, 2011, 11:23 AM
iMac + iPad is a great combo.

johnhurley
Dec 2, 2011, 11:36 AM
All advice or opinions are welcome. Thanks!


As nice as the iPads are ( and next gen should be really sweet ) they don't have:
1) a nice useable built-in keyboard
2) processing power
3) adequate memory
4) adequate storage capacity

If you really need portable computing power a lot of people have both iPads and laptops.

If you don't need portable computing power much at all nothing wrong with an iPad.

It is easy to hook up one of the macbook air's to an external display and the cost of a fairly nice 24 inch external display is way under 200 dollars.

JudgeKenny
Dec 2, 2011, 12:09 PM
Lots of great (but conflicting) replies. :p

Like I said, I don't do anything on a computer that would require more than an iPad, probably, but I still want to have a 'real' computer. I just know that if I get an MBA I will probably have very little to no use for an iPad since the MBA can basically go anywhere with me.

I think I'll have to go into Best Buy and play with all three and see which one(s) I like the most. It's just a shame that I don't have the money to buy all three things cuz they are all so desirable!

glen e
Dec 2, 2011, 12:15 PM
Lots of great (but conflicting) replies. :p

. I just know that if I get an MBA I will probably have very little to no use for an iPad since the MBA can basically go anywhere with me.



an ipad last 10 hours and gets the internet anywhere with 3g and is easy to hold standing up.

a MBA does not do any of these and lasts 5 hours

just be aware these units are very different...

Kendo
Dec 2, 2011, 12:32 PM
Lots of great (but conflicting) replies. :p

Like I said, I don't do anything on a computer that would require more than an iPad, probably, but I still want to have a 'real' computer. I just know that if I get an MBA I will probably have very little to no use for an iPad since the MBA can basically go anywhere with me.

I think I'll have to go into Best Buy and play with all three and see which one(s) I like the most. It's just a shame that I don't have the money to buy all three things cuz they are all so desirable!

iPad is in a different category in the same way a laptop is in a different category than a desktop. Even though I have a MacBook Air, I still utilize my iPad heavily.

The only thing the MacBook Air and iPad have in common is portability but functionally the MacBook Air is a portable full fledged machine while the iPad is very limited (but great at what it does like browsing the Internet).

I take my MacBook Air when I need a portable computer with me. I only take the iPad if I plan on browsing the web only because there is no device better at it. It is literally like reading a magazine on the couch except the whole Internet is in the magazine.

I personally would go with the MacBook Air since you are young and will have many chances to need it on the go. And get the iPad with it.

sostoobad
Dec 2, 2011, 01:04 PM
Here is a curve ball, how about a mac mini +an MBA

Thats what I did, and it works very well for my needs and wants.

The iPad is cool but it is not a computer.

I got the 11.6 MBA, mac mini, keyboard, Acer 20" Monitor.

For about the same price of a iMac + iPad,plus or minus 50.00 you end up with a desktop and a super portable computer.

A plus for the mini is, if it goes down it is a snap to either ship or bring in.

Caliber26
Dec 2, 2011, 02:32 PM
Lots of great (but conflicting) replies. :p

Like I said, I don't do anything on a computer that would require more than an iPad, probably, but I still want to have a 'real' computer. I just know that if I get an MBA I will probably have very little to no use for an iPad since the MBA can basically go anywhere with me.

I think I'll have to go into Best Buy and play with all three and see which one(s) I like the most. It's just a shame that I don't have the money to buy all three things cuz they are all so desirable!

Yeah, unfortunately you're going to have a lot of mixed advice. Ultimately, only you can decide what's going to best fit your personal needs.

Based on what you've expressed, I think the iMac & iPad are the best for you. If you really don't do a whole lot that requires a powerful machine, go with the base iMac. You get a great processor and plenty of storage, to experiment with iMovie, Photoshop, etc. It seems like you'd spend 75% of your time on your iPad, checking Facebook, emails and blogs, so that will be a nice accessory for your iMac.

But, like you said, just go to your nearest Apple Store or Best Buy and play with all of them. You might pick up that 2.9-lb MBA and instantly fall in love with it and forget all about the iMac/iPad. Getting your hands on all of them will DEFINITELY help your make choice on the spot.

FredTheDeadHead
Dec 2, 2011, 03:08 PM
I would tend to agree with many of the other here, my first choice would be a MacBook Air and the iMac. ;-) Even of you juggled the configurations, and got the smaller iMac and the low end Air, it would still be a great combo.

That said, the iMac and the iPad are not bad, the main issue you would have would be in typing more than a email or a quick note on the iPad. But if you need that, you can use a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. At extra cost.

And the iMac would be your 'main storage' for your files, and you should be able to sync stuff up by using Apples iCloud, and also use Dropbox for different kinds of files.

Many MB Air users that I know have started using the Air as their main Mac, even when they have a larger and faster Mac available.

Seasought
Dec 2, 2011, 03:39 PM
Hi Guys,

...

But a part of me is also IN LOVE with the iMac (always have been!). I love the big, shiny screen and its sleek and elegant design but unfortunately I have to pick one or the other. I'm thinking if I go with the iMac I would buy an iPad later on, to have that as my portable computer when browsing the web in bed or the couch or when traveling.
~Katie~

iMac it is :). If you've wanted one for a long time now and can get one, I say go for it. Saving up the cash to pick up an iPad later won't be too challenging I don't think.

TrollToddington
Dec 2, 2011, 04:00 PM
Another vote for iMac + iPad (that's what I have). Do you really think you'll manage to run photoshop comfortably on a 13" screen? I'm sure you'll end up wanting a bigger monitor.

And while we are at it, a MBA has only 128GB of storage (256 on the top model). We have discussed to great lengths the needs of space nowadays in other topics. YMMV but in my experience (and I'm not a power user) 128GB is just too small a storage today if that's gonna be your only computer.

PS consider also getting an external back-up drive.

johnhurley
Dec 2, 2011, 04:16 PM
PS consider also getting an external back-up drive.

Ummm ... not just consider ... just plan for one and make sure you have a good viable backup strategy that you actually follow!

J&JPolangin
Dec 3, 2011, 02:34 AM
I would split up your purchases...I would get an iMac now since they have quad core CPU's in them finally...

The 3rd gen iPad is the next unit I'd buy (as I type this reply from my 1st gen iPad) and finally, when they update to Ivy bridge, I'd get an 11" MBA,

I just got the 21.5" iMac, will "gift" this iPad when the new ones come out and plan on waiting for the Ivy Bridge MBA's myself = much better to have different generations of hardware that don't all "want" to be replaced at the same time!

*** Guess I have to mod my sig :D

i0Nic
Dec 3, 2011, 03:42 AM
13" Macbook Air plus display, and also an iPad.

That's my setup and it's the ideal setup IMO.

Dornblaser
Dec 3, 2011, 09:58 AM
Post-Script: folks have mentioned that it is harder to type on an iPad than a MBA. That is very true, although you can purchase a keyboard very inexpensively. However, an iPad is really good at consuming on-line material, movies, etc., but what the one thing that nobody mentioned are the apps. The Apps give wide ranging utility and functionality that is not found on a laptop. The iPad is a cool device and it offers true mobility.

jterp7
Dec 3, 2011, 10:40 AM
13" Macbook Air plus display, and also an iPad.

That's my setup and it's the ideal setup IMO.

indeed..although the animations on the air may not be the quickest on a TB display.

no matter which way you choose, do wait for the ipad3. I suppose if you wait a bit more, the refurbed/outlet 13s will drop to below 1000 for the base and low 1000s for the ultimate if you need more room.

TheJing
Dec 3, 2011, 12:05 PM
Post-Script: folks have mentioned that it is harder to type on an iPad than a MBA. That is very true, although you can purchase a keyboard very inexpensively. However, an iPad is really good at consuming on-line material, movies, etc., but what the one thing that nobody mentioned are the apps. The Apps give wide ranging utility and functionality that is not found on a laptop. The iPad is a cool device and it offers true mobility.


You are right, there are more apps for the iPad than the Air, but is there anything you can do on an iPad that you can't do on an Air?

Kendo
Dec 3, 2011, 12:20 PM
You are right, there are more apps for the iPad than the Air, but is there anything you can do on an iPad that you can't do on an Air?

Agreed. The whole point of the apps is to dummy down true processing on real computers. Like there is an eBay app to make things easier for on an iPad, but the best way to access eBay is on a real computer with their website.

Dornblaser
Dec 3, 2011, 12:29 PM
Sure, things like some of the topo map apps, the SkyWalk apps come to mind immediately. Certainly those types of apps are more convenient, if not better on an iPad. It is not a dumbing down process, it is a different process. Look beyond the eBay, FaceBook, etc. apps. Look at all of the wonderful medical apps that doctors are using that didn't even exist before the iPad was created. I think that some of the most interesting app development is currently happening in the biz and educational areas. Given some more time IMO you will see more of a divergence in the apps found on the iPad vs. laptops. I am pretty existed to see what will develop.

glen e
Dec 3, 2011, 01:02 PM
Agreed. The whole point of the apps is to dummy down true processing on real computers. Like there is an eBay app to make things easier for on an iPad, but the best way to access eBay is on a real computer with their website.

this is very, very shortsighted...the business/Health care world is buying ipads, not MBA's for many situations...I'll bet you're a student, right?

Kendo
Dec 3, 2011, 01:29 PM
this is very, very shortsighted...the business/Health care world is buying ipads, not MBA's for many situations...I'll bet you're a student, right?

No I'm actually an analyst for a global financial firm but to be honest, I don't have one single colleague who carries around an iPad (for business use at least) and this includes all of the managing directors on my floor (3 MD's and 200 associates). Currently the Blackberry seems to be the tool of choice for most higher ups.

However yes, after reading the responses with the medical apps, I guess I can agree my comments were a little shortsighted. I can definitely see it being a lot more useful carrying around one iPad than 400 charts for each patient. But that has more to do with the functionality of an iPad (carrying around a tablet that stores all this great information) than the actual app itself.

But I was thinking more along the lines of general use when I was posting. I mean it is great that there are apps to help autistic kids which can do more for them than a computer, but I was thinking more along with the average person who sits in a Starbucks (which I'm not saying is the target audience for Apple, but definitely the biggest percentage that contributes to all those iPads that were sold).

Dornblaser
Dec 3, 2011, 01:37 PM
I certainly can understand what you mean coming from a Blackberry/PC work environment. My wife works at one and just broke the mold by ordering an iPhone to replace her Blackberry. The med apps do more than access charts, which is what the airplanes pilots iPads do, some are diagnostic tools. I have an interesting comment about the iPad. Recently we where at a major airport waiting for a flight in the United Lounge. I started to count iPads vs. laptops and I was surprised to see that about 1/3 were iPads that day. I thought that was a pretty high adoption for traveling biz people.

Kendo
Dec 3, 2011, 01:45 PM
True but now we come back in full circle on if the reason why 1/3 of those people have an iPad due to the apps, or due to the sheer portability? :D

In any event, we just proved that both are completely different tools and a MacBook Air can completely co-exist with the iPad.

Dornblaser
Dec 3, 2011, 02:06 PM
Yup, I like the iMac/iPad or MBA/iPad or iMac/MBA/iPad combo.

glen e
Dec 3, 2011, 02:26 PM
But I was thinking more along the lines of general use when I was posting. I mean it is great that there are apps to help autistic kids which can do more for them than a computer, but I was thinking more along with the average person who sits in a Starbucks (which I'm not saying is the target audience for Apple, but definitely the biggest percentage that contributes to all those iPads that were sold).

this is usually the problem as people just think one way and see the ipad as to how it would fit in their lives or what they see at starbucks. It is a combination of the apps and the portability. The batt lasts a lot longer (10-12 hours) so people who are reading PDF's at job sites, people traveling and can't find power, and others who do business standing up. Sonic automotive, who owns about 350 dealers across the US, just put all their brochures and pricing stats on ipads and bought about 2000 of them. So a salesperson can talk to you at the car or on the lot instead of you being pressured to sit in their office. I manage driving events for BMW and when a customer comes in to drive, it is easier to hand them a pad to fill out his vitals than hand him a laptop/clamshell. And the Apple store staff are using pads not clamshells when they wait in you. Retail loves ipads.

Over the last 3 years, every person here who touts the MBA over the pad, has never tried to do business standing up....clamshells don't make it...then again, when I'm writing a presentation, I need the MBA.....Apple knows this and it's why they sell both.

Kendo
Dec 3, 2011, 02:33 PM
this is usually the problem as people just think one way and see the ipad as to how it would fit in their lives or what they see at starbucks. It is a combination of the apps and the portability. The batt lasts a lot longer (10-12 hours) so people who are reading PDF's at job sites, people traveling and can't find power, and others who do business standing up. Sonic automotive, who owns about 350 dealers across the US, just put all their brochures and pricing stats on ipads and bought about 2000 of them. So a salesperson can talk to you at the car or on the lot instead of you being pressured to sit in their office. I manage driving events for BMW and when a customer comes in to drive, it is easier to hand them a pad to fill out his vitals than hand him a laptop/clamshell. And the Apple store staff are using pads not clamshells when they wait in you. Retail loves ipads.

Over the last 3 years, every person here who touts the MBA over the pad, has never tried to do business standing up....clamshells don't make it...then again, when I'm writing a presentation, I need the MBA.....Apple knows this and it's why they sell both.

Agreed but now we are steering away from the apps and arguing based on the iPad's portability factor (your example of handing a customer an iPad and not a clamshell). I never argued about this. In fact I don't even know what we're arguing about anymore haha.

glen e
Dec 3, 2011, 02:39 PM
Agreed but now we are steering away from the apps and arguing based on the iPad's portability factor (your example of handing a customer an iPad and not a clamshell). I never argued about this.

not too much...they are intertwined...ipad apps for retail are far easier to use for customer input than clamshells...due to touch input...Mazda has just gone to pads too for their retail operations...

Kyllle
Dec 3, 2011, 05:00 PM
I'm struggling with the same decision as you, and I'm leaning towards the Air.

If you don't truly need the processing power of the iMac, there is no reason to get it. Just get an external display for your Air, and it's basically the same. Think if you would really use the extra features of the iMac. For me, I don't think I would, so I'd rather just get an external display and an air.

JudgeKenny
Dec 22, 2011, 12:10 PM
Ok, I ended up getting an iMac. I went to the Apple store and played with all their computers and after much consideration, decided for the iMac. I just love the way it looks and feels, plus I've always wanted one. I also used my grandparents' Christmas cash to buy an iPad, so that will be me on-the-go 'computer'. So far, I'm VERY pleased with my decision.

Thanks for everyone's input, and Happy Holidays to everyone. :)

~Katie~

Seasought
Dec 22, 2011, 01:14 PM
Ok, I ended up getting an iMac. I went to the Apple store and played with all their computers and after much consideration, decided for the iMac. I just love the way it looks and feels, plus I've always wanted one. I also used my grandparents' Christmas cash to buy an iPad, so that will be me on-the-go 'computer'. So far, I'm VERY pleased with my decision.

Thanks for everyone's input, and Happy Holidays to everyone. :)

~Katie~

Grats! Glad you were able to make a decision. Enjoy. :)

Caliber26
Dec 22, 2011, 02:36 PM
Congrats on your new computer and iPad! Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine. :)

KohPhiPhi
Dec 22, 2011, 05:43 PM
I personally prefer the MBA + 27" Apple Display over the iMac + iPad. I like to have one single device so I don't have to move around files, passwords and whatnot.