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Old Oct 20, 2009, 05:56 PM   #1
Reiger
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24" LED Cinema Display or 21,5" or 27" iMac?

Guys, I'm having trouble deciding what to buy. I hope you can help me

First, I currently have a MBP 13". I love it. I use it on the couch to visit MacRumors I also connect it to my LCD TV to watch movies and television series. And I also use it for more serious work: Pages, Numbers, music and a lot of Safari. However, using a laptop most of the day is an ergonomic disaster, so I need at least an external keyboard + mouse and screen.

The new mouse and keyboard add up to 140 euro. The LED Cinema Display adds another 849 euro. Together that would make almost 1000 euro.

A 21,5" iMac is only 100 euro more. So what to do? I think the syncing is annoying. I do have MobileMe, but still... But it is also annoying to switch the cables all the time.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:04 PM   #2
Demosthenes X
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In that scenario, I'd go with the iMac for sure. The extra horsepower would be worth it - and as you say, unplugging/plugging in all the time sucks. And depending on the layout of your home, you could leave the iMac plugged into your TV full time, and use the MBP while watching TV/use the iMac as a DVR.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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In that scenario, I'd go with the iMac for sure. The extra horsepower would be worth it - and as you say, unplugging/plugging in all the time sucks. And depending on the layout of your home, you could leave the iMac plugged into your TV full time, and use the MBP while watching TV/use the iMac as a DVR.
I'd love to use the iMac for that. But unfortunately, I don't think I could do that. They would both be in the living room. But I would need a 15+ meter HDMI cable and 15+ meter digital audio cable.

I forgot to mention that the iMac does have a significantly smaller screen. I already have all the horsepower I need.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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It is smaller, but it has the same resolution. If you're not using the iMac connected to the TV, then the ACD is more tempting, since it saves you having to keep two systems in sync.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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The 27inch imac can also be a display for your mbp.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:36 PM   #6
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It is a dilemma, and one I might end up facing very soon.

Firstly, you're talking about the 21.5" iMac right. Hence the price comparison and tradeoff with screen size (resolution is another argument) compared to the 24" ACD.

It's weird because you initially think 'wow, for 100 euros more I get a completely new machine not just a monitor'. But it's not so simple.

The idea of keeping two Macs sync'd just makes me cringe, so my first thought would be to buy the ACD as a 'home' monitor and hook an MBP/MBA up as and when. I still think that's the way to go.

However, also depends if it's just you at home. I also have to factor in that my other half may like having a separate iMac there for her use (give her old G4 PB a rest) when I'm at work or away. An ACD in that case is of no use so not so great value. The ideal I suppose is the 27" iMac which can be dual-use, but that's a lot of cash to drop.

Ultimately I think the iMac is now almost perfect (almost = no BluRay) and there is a lot of value in having that to fall back on if something happens to your primary Mac, the 13" MBP. I think that probably outweighs the hassle of having to sync the two over time. Not to mention if you decide to change your mind, the iMac will hold its value much better and be easier to sell than the ACD.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:38 PM   #7
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The 27inch imac can also be a display for your mbp.
As I said above, the 27 is obviously the best of both worlds. But it is considerably more expensive (even more if you go for the quad-core), so although the OP mentions the 27 as an option in the thread title, I think he's clearly talking about the 21.5" hence the price dilemma at around the 1000-1100 euro mark.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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I also have a MBP 13 and a 20inch imac. I got the imac for christmas last year and the mbp this summer. Since getting my mbp I dont really use the imac much because the mbp is my main machine. Even though the imac is in my room my whole family likes to use it so I tend to stick with my mbp. If I could connect my mbp to my imac I think I would use it alot more. So when the time comes to replace my imac Ill be going with the 27inch model since it can be a display. I know its more money so if you cant afford it right away I would save because it really is a better deal.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 02:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for your replies!

The 27" iMac is an option. I totally forgot to mention it. The point is, it adds another 400 euro, which is quite a lot. But it does have an advantage, of being able to use it as an external display for my Macbook, if syncing is really troublesome.

It just seems so weird as Veinticinco mentioned, that I could get a whole computer for just 100 or even a larger screen and computer for 400 euro's more. The resolution, of course, is the most important aspect. However, you do lose some pixels going from 24" to 21,5". Furthermore, I believe the DPI would be a bit low...If there was an easy way to connect it to my TV, the iMac would be a no-brainer though.

[wish]But now, I'd rather buy a simple nettop (based on nVidea ion) to connect to the TV, as an HTPC. Have a cheap Macbook Air and an iMac. However, that's even more expensive. Since cheap Macbook Air is an oxymoron and I could never sell my MBP for a fair price. [/wish]
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 03:13 AM   #10
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I would go the 27" iMac route if I was in your position.

I'm not, I already have a 24" iMac and ordered a 27" yesterday because I couldn't resist that beauty with Quad Cores.

From a cabling point of view, I'm not sure if it will answer your needs, or is cost permitting, but I have previously looked into those HDMI to CAT5 devices.

They are capable of supporting 1080p over far greater distances than your lounge size!
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 04:21 AM   #11
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I'm in the almost same dilemma except I already have the ACD and bluetooth keyboard/MM, which I will give my mighty mouse to my sister and buy the magic mouse. I was thinking about the 27" iMac at my home machine and my MBP as school and work and mobility. I'll have the best of both worlds although I sort of do now. I was considering the mac mini too for my ACD but it seems the iMac would be better.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 07:21 AM   #12
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I have it on good authority that other people besides Apple make good lcd monitors. Matter of fact, macworld did a review of lcd's after the new 24" ACD came out, and there was another monitor that they preferred over the Apple.

If you can find a reasonably priced lcd that suits your tastes, buy it. You won't sully or tarnish your baby pro if you do. I promise.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 07:32 AM   #13
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Hey, there is always going to be someone that has an opinion on quality and will make comparisons.

I am immensely pleased with the 24" panel I have on my 2 year old iMac. Its the best screen I ever had. I expect the 27" LED to be even better although I find it hard to believe how it could be.

Whilst I don't doubt on papaer there may be some better screens, but one thing I know for certain (based on my current experiences), is in the real world, its not going to be significant enough for me to worry about or significant enough for me to compromise on style.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 08:11 AM   #14
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Get the cinema display...trust me

Reiger...I have the cinema display and the 15" macbook pro. There is no problem unplugging the power, usb cable, and video out. The option to be able to go anywhere with your macbook pro, and at the same time have a desktop by utilizing the keyboard and mouse with the display is the best. I simply put the macbook pro on, shut the cover, it sleeps...and then plug in the usb and video out, tap a key on the external keyboard or mouse and you have the best of both worlds. That process takes ten seconds. All things considered, that gives you more options.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 11:22 AM   #15
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imac if your not looking for portablity, imac ftw
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 01:19 PM   #16
Reiger
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imac if your not looking for portablity, imac ftw
Well, I'm not going to ditch the Macbook altogether. I need some portability, plus I connect it to my TV and I like to just use it around the house.

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Reiger...I have the cinema display and the 15" macbook pro. There is no problem unplugging the power, usb cable, and video out. The option to be able to go anywhere with your macbook pro, and at the same time have a desktop by utilizing the keyboard and mouse with the display is the best. I simply put the macbook pro on, shut the cover, it sleeps...and then plug in the usb and video out, tap a key on the external keyboard or mouse and you have the best of both worlds. That process takes ten seconds. All things considered, that gives you more options.
I know, kinda... I currently use my MBP with a LCD TV. I only have to connect the mini-displayport, audio and network cables. However, sometimes I dislike connecting and disconnecting. I'm so spoiled

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Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
I have it on good authority that other people besides Apple make good lcd monitors. Matter of fact, macworld did a review of lcd's after the new 24" ACD came out, and there was another monitor that they preferred over the Apple.

If you can find a reasonably priced lcd that suits your tastes, buy it. You won't sully or tarnish your baby pro if you do. I promise.
Yes, there are plenty of other fine LCD displays. However, they lack style. I'm going to have the display in my living room. If I buy a third party display, I get a lot more cables: power cable to laptop, power cable to screen (adaptor), minidisplayport converter to DVI, DVI cable etc. It doesn't look very clean.

The ACD and the iMac are both beautiful solutions.

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Originally Posted by healeydave View Post
Hey, there is always going to be someone that has an opinion on quality and will make comparisons.

I am immensely pleased with the 24" panel I have on my 2 year old iMac. Its the best screen I ever had. I expect the 27" LED to be even better although I find it hard to believe how it could be.

Whilst I don't doubt on papaer there may be some better screens, but one thing I know for certain (based on my current experiences), is in the real world, its not going to be significant enough for me to worry about or significant enough for me to compromise on style.
Indeed
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 01:21 PM   #17
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I'm in the almost same dilemma except I already have the ACD and bluetooth keyboard/MM, which I will give my mighty mouse to my sister and buy the magic mouse. I was thinking about the 27" iMac at my home machine and my MBP as school and work and mobility. I'll have the best of both worlds although I sort of do now. I was considering the mac mini too for my ACD but it seems the iMac would be better.
If I'd already have a 24" CD, I would just buy the new mouse. And forget about the rest...

Quote:
Originally Posted by healeydave View Post
I would go the 27" iMac route if I was in your position.

I'm not, I already have a 24" iMac and ordered a 27" yesterday because I couldn't resist that beauty with Quad Cores.

From a cabling point of view, I'm not sure if it will answer your needs, or is cost permitting, but I have previously looked into those HDMI to CAT5 devices.

They are capable of supporting 1080p over far greater distances than your lounge size!
I will look into them. But I don't think it's very cost efficient. It's probably easier to buy a cheap ion-based HTPC.
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 03:31 AM   #18
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I'm probably going for the 24" Cinema Display. I think the 21,5" iMac is quite small compared. One weekend and then I'll decide, what it's going to be...
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 03:40 AM   #19
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In addition to the 24 ACD, get a high end mac mini with magic mouse. Should last a long time!
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 04:49 AM   #20
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In addition to the 24 ACD, get a high end mac mini with magic mouse. Should last a long time!
But I already have a Macbook? Why would I need a Mini?

I'm going to get the new keyboard and Magic mouse
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 04:54 AM   #21
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But I already have a Macbook? Why would I need a Mini?

I'm going to get the new keyboard and Magic mouse
You'll have the best of both worlds. literally. Get mobile me and keep your files in idisk. Its secure and pretty reliable! Keep backing up your stuff on an external HD also. My friend's old MB's HD somehow went out and lost all his data. Luckily, he had mobile me. Apple replaced his MB with a brand new one, and his Mobileme had his files. Then he said, "Just in case case (intended), I'll buy a desktop mac to supplement". He bought a previous version mac mini with his MB and he's LOVING the experience. Also he said it was inconvenient on trying to sync both his computers but with an external HD and mobileme, he was able to do it seamlessly. Thats why I bought a new 2.53Ghz mac mini ordered online yesterday. I believe I will enjoy having a mac desktop and let my MBP rest sometime as I use my MBP nearly more than 6 hours a day. Less physical wear and tear as well.
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 06:39 AM   #22
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Or...you could just get a LCD from another vendor and a logitech, etc keyboard and mouse for half that price..
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 07:43 AM   #23
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Or...you could just get a LCD from another vendor and a logitech, etc keyboard and mouse for half that price..
I could

An LCD is an option. But I want to avoid clutter, because the LCD will be placed in my living room. Other 24" monitor's would be cheaper, probably about half. But I would have to buy another power supply for my Macbook and a mini displayport adapter.

The Logitech keyboard and mouse are not an option. Their bluetooth options are very limited and not very well supported under Mac OS X. Their high-end peripherals are often more expensive than Apple stuff.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 08:15 AM   #24
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How about the 27" 1080p HP full HD monitor (it looks so much alike the ACD) + the Apple keyboard and mouse? I'm just as confused as you are, by the way.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 08:15 AM   #25
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Get the refurb 24" ACD @ $599
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