Anyone using an iMac (17" or 20") as a portable computer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by skippy64, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. skippy64 macrumors member

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    #1
    OK the title of the thread may generate the responses to buy a MacBook Pro but I just going through this train of thought at the moment as a way of working on location at the photo shoots that I do, location portraits indoors at schools & nursery schools, and also that it will cost me less than buying a laptop.
    I'm currently on a G5 1.8 Dual (which is effectively my base staion) and my idea is to get a Intel iMac and to install Aperture on it when the universal app version comes out.
    I have Aperture on my G5 at the moment so I'm getting used to the application and it got me thinking that if I got an iMac and one of the iLugger or similar holdalls what the portability would be like. The idea at the moment would be to download as I progress through the shoot, downloading from the card at convenient intervals. The thought behind this is the saving of time element at present when I come back from a shoot and sit there patiently whilst waiting for downloads (anything from 1gB- 4gb, depending on the numbers of kids shot) and then going through the edit selection process. If I could do this whilst still on location then I'll have saved time/resources that I would have been doing later on that day.(Most likely in the evening).
    So my question is this and I listen to any ideas/thoughts/experiences you guys have is this an idea worth considering or am I creating more work/hassle for myself in the longrun?
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    The one thing that you will want to think carefully about is the power. Are you sure that you won't regret having a computer that needs to be plugged in?

    I lug around an iMac on occasion for presentations and it works out fine, but conference rooms always have power :)
     
  3. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

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    Dec 5, 2005
    #3
    Wont work to good imo. Just get a macbook pro or a PB 17", and for home use get an external monitor.
     
  4. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Yes I'll always have power, using studio flash on my shoots so not a real concern.
     
  5. technicolor macrumors 68000

    technicolor

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    #5
    What about weight?

    How often do you shoot? What about the fragility of the computer, particularly the screen? Will you be taking it out everyday or once a month?
     
  6. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I have photo shoots on 3-5 times a week for approx 30 weeks of the year. The fragility of the computer is a question at the back of my mind but there could be people who have recomendations over what style of holdall/containers to use. To me it would only be the same as having another camera case/bag to take out on a shoot with me. Like I said I understand it seems unusual to thinking about this but I reckon it would be a price difference of approx £400 - £500 going for a 17" iMac compared to the MacBook Pro. ( I could be way off on those amounts so I won't take offense if someone says a different amount !!)
     
  7. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Thanks Technicolor I had seen those already. What would be of interest is anyone who has an iLugger or something similar and could pass on their thoughts over how safe/strong/durable they are for their iMac
     
  8. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

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    Location:
    IN
    #9
    good idea

    i think it is a great idea
    the ilugger bag looks good as well--
    search a bit more & see if there are other options-
    but

    yea- i'd do it-
    if you are sure you
    a) need the computer on the road
    b) have a way to transport it (not on your bike....etc)
    c) feel comfortbale knowing your big screen & computer are in the back of the car....etc
    d) GET INSURANCE

    then i think it's a totally great idea-


    i do a similar type of thing- not photography at all- but i lug around large amounts of equiptment for work-
    and i've noticed as long as things are protected - they end up fine!
    also- if you arrive to a venue early- you have plenty of time to setup w/o dings & take your time...etc

    ----
    similar but seperate note-
    phillip glass - a composer- who travels w/ his 'orchestra'- uses (or did when i worked as a stage hand for his show) several mac's on their road shows - w/ various sounds uploaded into them-
    true...when they tour they have a touring truck w/ all the equiptment and big 'road cases' w/ the mac's- but i noticed they had machines, and backup machines-
    all in pretty decent shape-

    --
    so yea- as long as you don't mind the potential of a few dings
    why not USE the machine & push it to it's max in a traveling sense-
     
  9. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Thanks gallagb for your own experiences & ideas. The things that now come to mind is how to integrate the workflow when I do get back to base. Do I take the days shoot & back it up onto my G5 into my Aperture library on that so that I can effectively take it off the iMac, taking away any worries over carrying around all my images all the time. Will it work between the two machines ? I only ask coz one will be Aperture (Universal, when its released of course!) and the other Aperture for the G5.
     
  10. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

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    #11
    external hard drive?

    (note: you will want to back up all of your 'portable imac' stuff on an external reguardless...)


    as for the will it work on both versions of apature...
    let me just spin over here to my 8.4gHz top secret intel core-quad powermac w/ the 99" screen and test both products....

    um-

    i'd go into an apple store- and ask them to pop it on an intel machine and a non intel machine- then play w/ it-
    or (if no apple store near by) -- see if you can find a photographer who does it- or maybe a photographer's related forum to ask?
    maybe even ask on the apple forums?-

    i have a hunch that the files will work- as most mac files seem to be able to transend versions...etc- but who knows-

    def - though- get a backup harddrive for the stuff on the road-
     
  11. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    UK
    #12
    The convenience of the Laptop option will pay for itself. I really cannot grasp the idea of carrying round an iMac 3-5 times a week!

    I would put money on you regretting it after the first couple of shoots. The weight will take it's toll and you'll end up destroying the screen or the stand etc.

    You might save a wee bit, but i really believe it to be a big mistake.

    The MacBook Pro will be unnoticable to your baggage, and much more practical.

    I really think you should just spend the £400 pound more for the utmost convienience.

    In my humble opinion of course.

    Rich.
     
  12. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #13
    I agree that lugging around an iMac all the time just isn't a good idea. Its just too heavy and bulky. Costs aside I'd go for an MBP. If I were you I'd wait for the 1st April events on the off chance that a reasonably priced 17" MBP gets released. Also if you're really serious I'd recommend you to go into an Apple store or a reseller store, go to one of the imacs in there and pick it up to see how heavy it is (you might want to warn the sales staff first though). They may be compact but they're certainly not light!!
     
  13. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I'm sure when there's a 20" Macbook Pro (Special Anniversary Edition & wishful thinking !)out I'll curse this mad idea I've just had. It all started this morning by just comparing the specs between the 17" iMac & the MacBook Pro and as you do my mind started to wander with what was possible/feasible/affordable. I'm grateful for the comments and suggestions so far and I'm nowhere near to commiting myself at this stage (or should that be that I do need committing?:p )
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #15
    Lol, posted at the same time. I really think whatever you do you should make sure that you wait until after the 1st April. Like you said, maybe they'll release a 20" laptop!! I doubt they will and I doubt they'll release a 17" MBP but its worth the wait in my opinion, just to see. I never think its a good idea to buy a product two weeks before an Apple Event.
     
  15. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Thanks Spanky, yes I know its always worth waiting when there's hopefully a product launch imminent. I'm close in location to my nearest Apple Store at the Trafford Centre and I know a couple of the guys in there well enough to arrange to do a bit of iMac weightlifting :) .
    Seriously though the weight of the machine doesn't bother me but the obvious concerns over the fragility does. I think what I had at the back of my mind was to be work flow productive whilst out on a shoot but with the luxury of a bigger screen.
     
  16. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #17
    When it comes to fragility you have to consider that the iMac's screen is always open and vulnerable while the MBP's is closed and protected whilst in transit.
     
  17. allegrocm macrumors member

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    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ames, IA
    #18
    Hey,

    I have an iLugger, and it works pretty nicely. The compartments are big enough to hold pretty much everything i need. My 17" iMac is still rather bulky to haul around, however, certainly more difficult than a laptop. While it's not much trouble to pick up the computer and move it to another part of the house (especially with bluetooth mouse/kb) it is rather a hassle to put it in the bag and take it out. As a general rule, if I'm driving somewhere, I'll take my iMac, but if I'm flying, I stick to my PC laptop which I'm actually typing on now from a very nice hotel in San Jose California.

    Basically, if you don't mind hauling one more heavy bag, go for the iMac/iLugger. The company that makes them has excellent service, and I highly recommend them. One the other hand, Intel iBooks are probably coming out pretty soon....

    Ken
     
  18. skippy64 thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Thanks for that Ken. Yes as final the cost of the idea/project was something I was considering as part of the decision process there is I suppose the possibilty of the Intel iBook that may come in at a price point making the laptop route the best one to go down. This all depends on what the bods in Cupertino have been cooking up behind the scenes!
     
  19. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #20
    Get the laptop

    :rolleyes:

    Sometimes it worth the extra cash
     

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