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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:33 AM   #1
ipodmac
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iMac and MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro

Hi guys I'm thinking of getting the new iMac when it comes out. At the moment I have a laptop and it never really moves from my desk, however I will be going to university next year and it would be nice to have a laptop to use if all the computers are taken. That is why I was thinking of getting the iMac and then the base air next year.
However a friend told me to get a MacBook pro and hook it up to an external display as it will be faster than an iMac as it has an ssd and I could take it with me to university next year.

What do you guys think?
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:40 AM   #2
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You can hook up an SSD to iMac via ThunderBolt.
The MBA is much more portable than the MBP.

I'd go with iMac + MBA. Wait... essentially, that's what I'm doing already.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:01 AM   #3
AppleDApp
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macbook pro's don't come standard with an SSD unless you buy the retina models. If you want a laptop get a macbook air. Then you can get a display if absolutely necessary.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:17 AM   #4
ipodmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfoot View Post
You can hook up an SSD to iMac via ThunderBolt.
The MBA is much more portable than the MBP.

I'd go with iMac + MBA. Wait... essentially, that's what I'm doing already.
That sounds like a pretty good idea. I guess if you have an external ssd then you could pretty much take your iMac around with you
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:35 AM   #5
torana355
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Both setups are good imo. I run an iMac and MBA personally. If you can handle owning two machines the MBA is more portable and an iMac is more powerful then a MBP.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:45 AM   #6
timcullis
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Another alternative is to get just the MacBook Air plus an external monitor. The MacBook Air with its build-in SSD is fast for most applications and is much lighter than the MacBook Pro.

The Intel HD Graphics 4000 in the MacBook Air will drive external monitors up to 2560x1600 pels, so you could buy the Apple Thunderbolt monitor, though I connect my MBA to a relatively inexpensive 1920x1200 resolution Samsung monitor.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:06 PM   #7
medi.freak
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I am a 2nd year med student and had to make a very similiar decision to make.

I had a macbook pro 15", that I got for graduating from my parents. I eventually bought a 27" thunderbolt display for it.

I never took it to class because it was way too heavy, and the risk of damaging my >2000$ device was too high when I was carrying it. So that kind of defeat the purpose of a portable laptop imo. I got an ipad the next christmas, and thought I would use that at least in class all the time. And even though I thought I'd use it a lot, I never really productively used it....

So here is what I did/doing right now:

Sold:

macbook pro

thunderbolt Display

ipad2


and got/will get:

macbook air 11" (SO portable and effective to use in class!)

iMac 2012 27" (powerhouse at home for working and watching movies)


It's just the better setup...maybe I will add an iPad mini at some point...

Hope I could help
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 02:40 PM   #8
ipodmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medi.freak View Post
I am a 2nd year med student and had to make a very similiar decision to make.

I had a macbook pro 15", that I got for graduating from my parents. I eventually bought a 27" thunderbolt display for it.

I never took it to class because it was way too heavy, and the risk of damaging my >2000$ device was too high when I was carrying it. So that kind of defeat the purpose of a portable laptop imo. I got an ipad the next christmas, and thought I would use that at least in class all the time. And even though I thought I'd use it a lot, I never really productively used it....

So here is what I did/doing right now:

Sold:

macbook pro

thunderbolt Display

ipad2


and got/will get:

macbook air 11" (SO portable and effective to use in class!)

iMac 2012 27" (powerhouse at home for working and watching movies)


It's just the better setup...maybe I will add an iPad mini at some point...

Hope I could help
Thank you very much for this. I think you have convinced me to get the 27inch imac and then next year get the updated 11inch MacBook Air.

I was thinking about it and the 15inch is too big for me to take around as I would be worried about someone knocking into me and breaking it.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodmac View Post
Thank you very much for this. I think you have convinced me to get the 27inch imac and then next year get the updated 11inch MacBook Air.

I was thinking about it and the 15inch is too big for me to take around as I would be worried about someone knocking into me and breaking it.
Yup, and like medi.freak points out, you're also lugging around 2K - 3K's worth. I was debating the same thing as you and I think I'm convinced too to stick with an iMac + Air combo, with my iPad mini rounding it out as well.

Now if Apple could sell a 13" rMBP with a discreet GPU as well as a 21.5" Thunderbolt Display to go along with it, I would go for that setup in a heartbeat.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Great thread, I would go for the iMac + Air or even second hand Air. I would hate the thought of breaking or losing an MBP. Taking it it around with you to uni all the time will just be a pain. At least with the iMac it is going to stay current for longer as the technology curve for desktops is much less than laptops right now.

If you need a MBP then you will probably need an additional display as well. This setup is going to cost a bomb. Keep all of the high performance parts at desktop chip size and have a light, lower power, cheaper portable secondary device. I am sure it will perform just as well for basic tasks.

On a side note has anybody bought or would recommend buying a second hand Macbook Air? I am thinking of doing this next year before I go to uni to use as a portable machine. I cant really justify paying for a full price iMac and later a Macbook Air as well. There are other things I can spend the money on, I don't want to be putting it all in to computers.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tri-stan View Post
Great thread, I would go for the iMac + Air or even second hand Air. I would hate the thought of breaking or losing an MBP. Taking it it around with you to uni all the time will just be a pain. At least with the iMac it is going to stay current for longer as the technology curve for desktops is much less than laptops right now.

If you need a MBP then you will probably need an additional display as well. This setup is going to cost a bomb. Keep all of the high performance parts at desktop chip size and have a light, lower power, cheaper portable secondary device. I am sure it will perform just as well for basic tasks.

On a side note has anybody bought or would recommend buying a second hand Macbook Air? I am thinking of doing this next year before I go to uni to use as a portable machine. I cant really justify paying for a full price iMac and later a Macbook Air as well. There are other things I can spend the money on, I don't want to be putting it all in to computers.
Yea I agree it is very hard to justify, also I don't really want to manage 2 personal computer things like software updates x 2, file problems (Dropbox is not large enough and I don't want to pay for it. )

Therefore, I reckon iPad will be good for class
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:33 PM   #12
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I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest a 13" Retina MacBook Pro and a Thunderbolt Display. Unless you have a specific need for something the iMac provides (playing games, editing video), I don't see any reason to have two computers and deal with the potential headache of keeping things in sync. For general use, the 13" rMBP is a great combination of portability and speed (much faster than any MacBook Air) - a number of reviews have said that it's basically the perfect general-use laptop.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 05:05 AM   #13
Icaras
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Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post
I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest a 13" Retina MacBook Pro and a Thunderbolt Display. Unless you have a specific need for something the iMac provides (playing games, editing video), I don't see any reason to have two computers and deal with the potential headache of keeping things in sync. For general use, the 13" rMBP is a great combination of portability and speed (much faster than any MacBook Air) - a number of reviews have said that it's basically the perfect general-use laptop.
Definitely agree. Those two points are exactly what needs to be addressed for anyone wanting to go for a single computer solution.

And if a discreet GPU isn't critical, then all that needs to be decided is whether more power/less portability (MacBook Pro w/ retina 13") is desired, or less power/more portability (MacBook Air).
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Icaras View Post
medi.freak
I actually feel sorry for you. You clearly don't understand that knowledge is power and these days the most expensive and the best asset your money can buy.Wait couple more years and people won't even talk with self thought (YouTube etc) so called 'specialists'. You won't be able to make 'normal' money out of what you've learn on your own. It will be too shallow. But you don't even see it yet its coming...
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 11:11 AM   #15
dryror
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medi.freak View Post
I am a 2nd year med student and had to make a very similiar decision to make.

I had a macbook pro 15", that I got for graduating from my parents. I eventually bought a 27" thunderbolt display for it.

I never took it to class because it was way too heavy, and the risk of damaging my >2000$ device was too high when I was carrying it. So that kind of defeat the purpose of a portable laptop imo. I got an ipad the next christmas, and thought I would use that at least in class all the time. And even though I thought I'd use it a lot, I never really productively used it....

So here is what I did/doing right now:

Sold:

macbook pro

thunderbolt Display

ipad2


and got/will get:

macbook air 11" (SO portable and effective to use in class!)

iMac 2012 27" (powerhouse at home for working and watching movies)


It's just the better setup...maybe I will add an iPad mini at some point...

Hope I could help
I use an 11" air at school and the 27" iMac at home. The air is amazing for school (Computer Engineering student). Does everything I need it to with ease and you barely notice it in your bag. My girlfriend has the regular 13" pro, and it feels like a tank in comparison. When I was getting the air I kept going back and forth between the 11 and 13 inch model. I was worried that the 11 would be too small to work on, but I've never had an issue with this.

If I ever need more real estate for school work its easy to switch over to the iMac. I could see using a thunderbolt display at home as well if you aren't doing anything that requires more hardware then the air has. I play games a bit and my air doesn't run them nearly as well as the iMac (which is to be expected).

I've also had a couple tablets (7 and 10 inch) and found myself grabbing my air over them and ended up selling the tablets.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 02:14 PM   #16
Icaras
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Originally Posted by hulk2012 View Post
I actually feel sorry for you. You clearly don't understand that knowledge is power and these days the most expensive and the best asset your money can buy.Wait couple more years and people won't even talk with self thought (YouTube etc) so called 'specialists'. You won't be able to make 'normal' money out of what you've learn on your own. It will be too shallow. But you don't even see it yet its coming...
What?

I'd love to respond but unfortunately I have no idea what you're talking about.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by AppleDApp View Post
macbook pro's don't come standard with an SSD unless you buy the retina models. If you want a laptop get a macbook air. Then you can get a display if absolutely necessary.
I agree - unless you've got money to burn, or make make a living from your computer. Put the money you save into a nestegg for when you leave Uni.

If your money is burning a hole in your pocket, buy a Dell 24" IPS screen for a fraction of the cost with change for one of those new thunderbolt docks.

Just my 2p - though it was 25 years since I was last a student, and spent most of my grant on tech stuff haha. Ahh, the benefit of hindsight ;-)
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 04:14 PM   #18
AppleDApp
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Keep the laptop you currently have for school and get the iMac if you need something with more power.
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