13" MBP+iPad vs. iMac+MBA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by travlr, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. travlr macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2012
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Hi there,

    First, I just want to say that I have read through a similar thread that was posted recently, but I'm wondering if anyone has any further advice for my situation.

    I'm planning to change from Windows to Mac. I'm currently using a 3+-yr old Dell XPS M1330 (13" screen, 2.4 GHz Core2Duo, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive, Nvidia 8400M graphics card) with an external 22" monitor, wireless keyboard/mouse, and speakers at home. However, the laptop has been back to the depot for repairs 3 times now under warranty for overheating (automatic shutdown due to overheating with GPU temperatures around 100C and core temperatures around 90C), and they always replaced the motherboard, fan, and heat sink. Well, it is now out of warranty and starting to do the same thing, especially with more graphic intensive programs.

    I'm a professional, and a graduate student, so I need a portable device for occassional MS Office work, giving powerpoint presentations, and recreational travel. I'm also a hobby photographer with an SLR, and I do some photo editing.

    I was initially wanting to replace my current notebook with a 13" MBP, and then get an iPad for greater portability (for recreational use and possibly powerpoint presentations). However, after looking at all the mac systems, I've thought about getting an iMac and MBA set-up instead. Any thoughts on which set-up would be better? Also, since I will be needing a replacement system fairly soon, if you suggest an iMac, should I wait for the new iMac to be released (from other posts, I've seen that these may be expected in April/May), or would the current model be sufficient? (i.e. will the new processors add noticeable performance for my purposes?)

    Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions! :)
    PS. I currently have an iPhone4 + iPod Nano
  2. BreakGuy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2009
    NZ, South Pacific
    Go with the iMac + MBA combo. That way you have a nice screen on the iMac to edit your photos with, and you still have the portability and power of a laptop with the MBA.
  3. bri1212 macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    Don't know why you think you need to have two computers, but I would go for MBP and Ipad. MBA will work with Photoshop, the MBP will make photoshop fly.
  4. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    I went for iMac and a MBA 11 and love it, i have all the portability and all the power i could ever need.
  5. Kungshi macrumors member

    May 11, 2011
    I have a MBA and iMac. It's perfect. The air takes care of any tasks I have while I'm away at school and when I need the raw power my iMac always does the trick.

    And where we are in January, you're looking at over a quarter of the year until new machines MIGHT come out. With that said, if your current laptop is still working enough, then why not buy the iMac now and the air when the refresh comes out. Besides the new ivy bridge processors will be a more significant boost on laptops than desktops.
  6. travlr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2012
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses.

    To bri1212: You're right, I probably don't "need" two devices, as I have been using a 13" laptop for the past several years. However, I need a desktop conversion (monitor, keyboard, mouse) for most of my work at home for ergonomics due to a prior neck injury.

    I've also found it somewhat cumbersome to disconnect/reconnect all my peripherals each time I want to take my laptop with me, so I've found that I don't use my laptop outside of the home as much as I'd like to. Also, the MBP is heavier than my current laptop. That's why I would want an iPad along with the MBP (increased portability).

    However, given my uses, I thought a quad-core processor and graphics card would be useful, neither of which are available on a 13" MBP (I don't want a 15"/17" laptop because of size/weight). This is the reason I was considering an iMac, but then my portable device would need greater functionality than an iPad, and that's why I was considering a MBA.

    As suggested by the majority, I think I will opt for the iMac and MBA....thanks again!

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