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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:19 PM   #1
HyperliteG4
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Tax Refund: Which new toy to get?

I plan on setting aside about $1000-$1500 of my tax refund to get some new toys and I would love to hear your advice!

A little background: I have 3 young kids who are at the age where they need to start using a computer. I love movies and have always wanted a home theater system as well.

In our house, we currently have:
  • 24" iMac (Late 2008) - used as a home media server (24000+ songs/450+ movies, most in 1080p) and also for our master iPhoto library. The iTunes library is stored on a 2TB LaCie HDD which is nearly full. I also have a second 2TB LaCie that I use to store some old files backed up from old computers over the years.
  • AppleTV (2nd gen)
  • 50" Panasonic plasma
  • 2 iPads (3rd gen + mini)
  • 2 iPhones (5 & 4S)
  • 3 iPod touch's (all 4th gen - got for kids this past Christmas)
  • 2 MacBook Pro's (used only for work)
  • I do not currently have a network HDD for backup because I use Backblaze Cloud backup on all my computers
  • Airport Extreme router


So... here are the three ways I'm debating on spending the tax refund:
  1. Buy a home theater system (Yamaha RX473 & front/center speakers - no rear for now). I've been wanting to get a surround system for some time now. Benefits: home theater system for me (might be a bit selfish, I know...)
  2. Buy a NAS device to expand my storage at home and possibly use the excess for Time Machine backups of the MacBooks. I was looking into the Synology DS411 and putting 4x 2TB HDD's in it. Benefits: storage expansion, local backup.
  3. Buy a Mac Mini and turn my 2008 iMac into a computer for the kids to use. I would transfer everything from the iMac to the Mac Mini and use the Mac Mini for the home media server instead. If I went this route I might buy another LaCie HDD to expand my storage. Benefits: computer for the kids to use.

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:35 PM   #2
hkim1983
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I would opt for 1 or 3 personally. Option 1 offers the longest usable life out of all 3 options and it's something your children can enjoy and appreciate as they get older. It also helps that it's the option that would make you the happiest from a personal standpoint.

I suppose option 3 is acceptable too.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:32 PM   #3
WhiteIphone5
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let the kids keep the iMac 2008 and get yourself a Retina Macbook Pro 13/15 or iMac 21.5/27
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:36 PM   #4
Giuly
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Spend those $100 and update to a third-gen Apple TV with 1080p resolution.

I'd go with #1 though, because surround sound is awesome. But get all speakers, or at least skip the center for the rear ones. The front and center won't give you surround sound, the front and rear speakers however will.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:38 PM   #5
HyperliteG4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuly View Post
Spend those $100 and update to a third-gen Apple TV with 1080p resolution.
I was going to wait and see what Apple does with the AppleTV this year, or at least until the rumored A5X ATV's are available.
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