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Old Mar 14, 2013, 12:16 PM   #1
truebluecoug
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Help! Should I buy an iMac for my wife?

So my wife's 30th birthday is next week, and I'm debating whether I should buy her an iMac for her birthday or just buy an Apple monitor to connect to her MacBook Pro. Any suggestions?

Her MacBook Pro is a 13" early 2011 model, with the 2.7 GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 750 GB hard drive. She uses it primarily for general web browsing, but also manages a bunch of photos on it. She has Photoshop but isn't a "power user"--she mainly uses iPhoto to manage and alter her photos.

I thought a larger screen would be nice for her to work on her photos with, but don't know if it's worth getting an iMac since her MacBook Pro has pretty good specs (not sure she'd get a huge bump in performance).

Any thoughts??
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 12:30 PM   #2
Serban
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Apple Display 999$, iMac 1200$...so iMac no question here
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
So my wife's 30th birthday is next week, and I'm debating whether I should buy her an iMac for her birthday or just buy an Apple monitor to connect to her MacBook Pro. Any suggestions?

Her MacBook Pro is a 13" early 2011 model, with the 2.7 GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 750 GB hard drive. She uses it primarily for general web browsing, but also manages a bunch of photos on it. She has Photoshop but isn't a "power user"--she mainly uses iPhoto to manage and alter her photos.

I thought a larger screen would be nice for her to work on her photos with, but don't know if it's worth getting an iMac since her MacBook Pro has pretty good specs (not sure she'd get a huge bump in performance).

Any thoughts??
That's a good question. Honestly, it just comes down to preference... the new iMacs are awesome, beautifully designed machines, as is the MacBook Pro she already has. It sounds like it's meeting her needs perfectly as far as the tech inside goes, so when it comes to the specs I suspect a lower end iMac would suit her just fine.

If you were to get a 21 inch iMac, the price isn't that different between the iMac and the monitor. With the 27 inch, there's a bit more of a gap.

In the end, it mostly just comes down to what she needs/wants. My personal preference would be to go with the iMac, just because I love the design, and having an all-in-one is just more elegant than having a laptop hooked into a monitor. If you're okay with getting her a 21 inch screen, I think there's an even more compelling reason to go with the iMac, since the price gap between the Display and the smaller iMac is so small.

The main factors to consider are whether or not she wants to have two computers (taking file transfers and the like into account), how much she uses it at a desk, and price. I think she'll love either one.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
So my wife's 30th birthday is next week, and I'm debating whether I should buy her an iMac for her birthday or just buy an Apple monitor to connect to her MacBook Pro. Any suggestions?

Her MacBook Pro is a 13" early 2011 model, with the 2.7 GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 750 GB hard drive. She uses it primarily for general web browsing, but also manages a bunch of photos on it. She has Photoshop but isn't a "power user"--she mainly uses iPhoto to manage and alter her photos.

I thought a larger screen would be nice for her to work on her photos with, but don't know if it's worth getting an iMac since her MacBook Pro has pretty good specs (not sure she'd get a huge bump in performance).

Any thoughts??
Personally... I think it is extremely useful to have at least one high performance computer in the house... even if it is shared. It is a place to keep all of the digital assets that a family accumulates... Pictures, Videos, Music, etc.

For the longest time, we had a single iMac in the house that we both shared... and we each had our own laptops (originally MBPs, then MBAs). Just 2 weeks ago, I bought a 2nd iMac (mine) and we no longer share.

/Jim
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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It's her 30th birthday. Get her the iMac and take her out to dinner.

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Old Mar 14, 2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
So my wife's 30th birthday is next week, and I'm debating whether I should buy her an iMac for her birthday or just buy an Apple monitor to connect to her MacBook Pro. Any suggestions?

Her MacBook Pro is a 13" early 2011 model, with the 2.7 GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 750 GB hard drive. She uses it primarily for general web browsing, but also manages a bunch of photos on it. She has Photoshop but isn't a "power user"--she mainly uses iPhoto to manage and alter her photos.

I thought a larger screen would be nice for her to work on her photos with, but don't know if it's worth getting an iMac since her MacBook Pro has pretty good specs (not sure she'd get a huge bump in performance).

Any thoughts??
iMac all the way !
dont forget you can get a education discount if you have a student in your household who will be using it from time to time .
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 03:27 PM   #7
tom vilsack
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30...might be time for you to upgrade to a younger model!

all kidding aside...does she like to be portable or would she be ok with a desktop? answer that and you will know what to buy her.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 04:10 PM   #8
Kutuzov
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30...might be time for you to upgrade to a younger model!

all kidding aside...does she like to be portable or would she be ok with a desktop? answer that and you will know what to buy her.
iCloud and Dropbox can be used to sync the iMac and the MBP. So it doesn't have to be either mobile or not, if you have both you can be both.

If you get the display you should probably get a keyboard and a mouse also btw, which by themselves cost $140. This makes up for even more of the difference between a display and iMac.

And also, check the buyer's guide: http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Displays

As you can see, the display is long overdue for an upgrade. You will be buying her old tech. And the design looks very old compared to the new design. This is not a good time at all to be buying a display.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Imac for you

Definitely buy her the iMac (it's the perfect excuse for getting yourself this new machine)
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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For her uses she honestly is not going to see a huge performance improvement between her laptop and a new iMac. I would get her the screen, keyboard and trackpad.

Is it the same cost as a low end iMac? Yes, but the question is, does she need and want to computers? If that answer is NO, then a screen is the right choice, especially if she intends to keep wanting a laptop for portable use in the future.

I would go refurb on the screen which cuts the cost down to $829 and the over all cost under $1000.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
(not sure she'd get a huge bump in performance).
She'll notice it if you fusion drive it
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 09:09 PM   #12
truebluecoug
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Thanks for all of the thoughts. Frankly I was thinking that if I did get an iMac, I'd get a pretty solid version that would last for ~5 years or so, so the price difference between the iMac and the monitor is actually pretty big.

For specs, I was thinking the 27" with the 3.2GHz i5, upgrading RAM myself to 24 GB, and getting the 3 TB Fusion drive (might be fine with 1 TB, but we'll probably add more movies etc. to use with our apple TV).

I guess I'm trying to decide whether she would benefit much from the spec upgrade going to the iMac right now or worth it to just wait for the next update. It seems that the MBP is pretty good with specs anyway. We do have a 23" Samsung monitor already that she uses once in a while, but it's in my office so I'm on it mostly during the day.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 09:24 PM   #13
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I guess I'm trying to decide whether she would benefit much from the spec upgrade going to the iMac right now or worth it to just wait for the next update.
What are you going to get her for her birthday if you don't get an iMac?
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 09:44 PM   #14
marc11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
Thanks for all of the thoughts. Frankly I was thinking that if I did get an iMac, I'd get a pretty solid version that would last for ~5 years or so, so the price difference between the iMac and the monitor is actually pretty big.

For specs, I was thinking the 27" with the 3.2GHz i5, upgrading RAM myself to 24 GB, and getting the 3 TB Fusion drive (might be fine with 1 TB, but we'll probably add more movies etc. to use with our apple TV).

I guess I'm trying to decide whether she would benefit much from the spec upgrade going to the iMac right now or worth it to just wait for the next update. It seems that the MBP is pretty good with specs anyway. We do have a 23" Samsung monitor already that she uses once in a while, but it's in my office so I'm on it mostly during the day.
That is a lot of machine for her uses today; great machine, but still a lot of what she will be using it for.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 01:00 PM   #15
Silvereel
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Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
Thanks for all of the thoughts. Frankly I was thinking that if I did get an iMac, I'd get a pretty solid version that would last for ~5 years or so, so the price difference between the iMac and the monitor is actually pretty big.

For specs, I was thinking the 27" with the 3.2GHz i5, upgrading RAM myself to 24 GB, and getting the 3 TB Fusion drive (might be fine with 1 TB, but we'll probably add more movies etc. to use with our apple TV).

I guess I'm trying to decide whether she would benefit much from the spec upgrade going to the iMac right now or worth it to just wait for the next update. It seems that the MBP is pretty good with specs anyway. We do have a 23" Samsung monitor already that she uses once in a while, but it's in my office so I'm on it mostly during the day.
The 27 inch iMac is amazing. I'm not so sure that you'll need to worry about the RAM - if you're going to do it, though, by all means install it yourself. If I were you I would just get the base 8 GB RAM, and upgrade it later if it's needed. I get a lot of good usage out of my 27 incher with just the baseline RAM, and I do a fair amount of gaming, too. Not a huge deal either way, but it'll save you a few bucks.

The iMac is a great family ocmputer, too. So as an added bonus, you'll have a great machine for the whole family (cough mainly you cough) when she's not using it!

As others have said, with her usage she may not see a whole lot of improvement with the specs. The Fusion Drive, however, will make a huge difference for certain tasks. It still amazes me how fast this thing boots up, shuts down, and opens my favorite apps.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 02:37 PM   #16
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I'm surprised so many are saying iMac. For what she does, she won't notice any difference in speed plus you can't (easily) upgrade the HD on an iMac whereas you can easily put an SSD in her MBP if she ever wants it for a big performance boost. You're essentially paying $1200+ for a machine that will perform just like her current one but will have a bigger screen and look nicer while sitting on a desk.

I don't know anything about your wife but I would never buy my wife electronics for a birthday/christmas/anniversary/etc. If that was my budget, I'd probably take her on a trip somewhere.

If you're really set on getting your computer stuff, then I'd get her a non-Apple monitor 1920x1080/1200 monitor and then use the rest for jewelry or maybe a really nice evening out somewhere.

Last edited by mslide; Mar 15, 2013 at 02:43 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 03:48 PM   #17
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My wife has both an iMac and a MacBook Air (received as gifts from me). She uses them for completely different things so having two computers isn't any bother. What few items are synchronized is done via our server and with DropBox.

If she wanted to use the computers interchangeably then an Apple display instead of the iMac would have been better. It's much easier to manage and the 27" display is fantastic.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 04:27 PM   #18
adit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebluecoug View Post
Thanks for all of the thoughts. Frankly I was thinking that if I did get an iMac, I'd get a pretty solid version that would last for ~5 years or so, so the price difference between the iMac and the monitor is actually pretty big.

For specs, I was thinking the 27" with the 3.2GHz i5, upgrading RAM myself to 24 GB, and getting the 3 TB Fusion drive (might be fine with 1 TB, but we'll probably add more movies etc. to use with our apple TV).

I guess I'm trying to decide whether she would benefit much from the spec upgrade going to the iMac right now or worth it to just wait for the next update. It seems that the MBP is pretty good with specs anyway. We do have a 23" Samsung monitor already that she uses once in a while, but it's in my office so I'm on it mostly during the day.

I would go for the iMac.

I currently use an iMac and a MBA and couldn't be happier with my setup. Both used for different things. I also have all the important contents on both synced together through dropbox and iCloud which works really well.

You can always also use the iMac as an external display every now and then if required.

And later is she decides she doesn't use the MBP as much anymore you can sell it.

Don't get the RAM on the iMac from apple but install it yourself at later date if required.

Just by 2pence.
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