Advice needed -- thinking of consolidating computers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bluespark, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm a long-time lurker (and a Mac user ever since 1984!), but this is my first post. I'm hoping you can apply your collective wisdom to my situation.

    I currently have a 1st gen. white Intel iMac (20" display) and a 1st gen. MacBook Air. The iMac sits in my home office and I use it almost daily for work I bring home. I use the MBA all over our condo (we live in a Chicago mid-rise) and for travel. I *love* the size of the MBA, but confess that it sometimes would be nice to have more battery life (on business flights, especially) or a bit more performance. The same is true of the iMac -- I still like it, but want something faster.

    For various reasons, my home office has begun to double as our guest room, a situation that's likely to continue for 2-3 more years. That means that I get shut out from my iMac every time we have overnight guests. I've therefore been thinking of replacing both my iMac and my MBA with a 13" MacBook Pro and the 24" LED display. This would allow me to pick up and move my main computer whenever we have company, and I would only be cut off from the large display. My question is: Is that a good idea? Or would it be better to keep my MBA and just upgrade my iMac to a current model?

    It seems like most people here think that the 2.26GHz MBP is just fine with a third-party RAM and hard drive upgrade. Would that model still feel snappier than my existing iMac? I definitely want this purchase to feel like a performance upgrade. However, my usage isn't horribly severe -- I'm a lawyer, so I use the computer for standard business programs (mostly our firm's Citrix environment or Microsoft Office, both of which I normally run through VMWare Fusion), as well as Handbrake, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and web browsing (including video). I do have Photoshop and Lightroom, and would want those to feel fairly snappy, but I don't use those programs for anything approaching professional work.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts. If anyone has moved from a MBA to a 13" MBP, I'd especially like to hear whether the added weight and size bothered you. (I know this is a complete non-issue to many, but there's something awfully nice about having a svelte laptop in the side pocket of my briefcase.)

    --bluespark
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    13" MBP + 24" LED display is amazing setup! It's definitely worth it and if you find 24" Apple display too expensive, there are great 3rd party ones as well. Also, think about new high-end MBA + external display, because you loved its size and weight.
     
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #3
    ...I have an eeePC1000H and at 3 lbs it is "MUCH" lighter feeling than my new Nvidia whitebook... I make that comparison as you have a MBA and are considering the 13" MBP and there's only about a .5 lb difference between the whitebook and the MBP...
     
  4. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    I have made the same change you are contemplating, going from a MacBook air to a unibody 13" and I can say that it is a difference. It is not enitrely bad or anything but it does feel heavier (you will feel it's presence unlike the air which you forget you have in your bag cause it is so light).

    Overall it's not that bad though because it is the same footprint and a great machine, and now it's even better given the longer battery.

    On the bright side you will feel the extra power and it will be refeshing to have a more responsive machine that can handle some heavy lifting with you. It also won't choke should you visit a flash intense website.

    I think you will be happy with what you propose.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #5
    I agree with this, a 13" MBP and external monitor is an excellent combination. Moreover, I would also suggest that you consider a refurb if finance is a consideration; refurbs come with Apple's warranty, are as new, have been individually tested and come with a considerable discount.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Agreed, this is definitely the way to go.
     
  7. bluespark thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    Very glad to hear the support for my single MBP + LED display plan. For those of you who think it's the way to go, do you think the MBP will feel faster than my 1st gen. Intel iMac?

    Gregintosh, it's good to hear from someone who has made this switch. I'm sure I'll miss the Air's form factor (which I still truly love), but if the MBP will do everything I need it to, then I think it makes the most sense right now.

    Scepticalscribe, I've thought about refurbs. My wife got a refurbished Studio Display last year and it was perfect. I've been thinking that I would consider that route for the display, but I'm a bit more nervous doing it for the MacBook Pro itself. You think it would be okay?
     
  8. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I think the MBP will feel faster because of the faster processor, ability to have up to 8GB of RAM, and Snow Leopard will certainly make it faster.
     
  9. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    I also think this is a great idea moving to the 13" MBP + 24" display.

    For day-to-day tasks like using Safari, Mail, or iCal, you won't really notice a difference. At least I can't between my first-gen MBP (probably similar specs to your iMac) and my sister's new 13" MBP. if you're doing more intensive stuff, then you definitely will.
     
  10. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #11
    Yes, I do. Refurbs have been individually tested (usually to deal with why they may have been sent back initially; this would have been addressed and anything that had gone wrong, repaired), which is more than can be said for the brand new models, a percentage of which would have been checked, rather than all of them, and they come as new but with a considerable price discount.

    Moreover, they come with all of Apple's warranties/guarantees, which Apple honours (that is one of the reasons I switched over a year ago). If anything goes wrong, - or comes wrong - that warranty means that it must be replaced/repaired so you are fully protected. Most people have had very good experiences of refurbs; however, if anything goes wrong, chase Apple, that is what warranties are for.

    I'd also recommend that you get Applecare, for peace of mind, and also for the fact that it is a lot cheaper than having to pay for repairs to a computer that is out of warranty. Most likely, you will not need it, but it is something that I like to have. Agree with you re the form factor of the MBA, it is really beautiful, and I'm still dreaming of one to complement my MBP.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  12. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #12
    Whether refurbs have more errors then ones purchased retail new. If there were rampant problems, we would definitely see rampant threads about it.
     
  13. bluespark thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    Good points re: refurbs. I'll look for those and definitely will get AppleCare either way.

    I think I'm almost sold on the MBP. Thanks for some good advice, everyone.
     
  14. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #14
    I moved from a C2Q (windows) desktop and Windows 17" laptop to a 15" MBP and 24" LED ACD and never touched either machine since. The ACD is gorgeous to work with at my desk, and the convenience of just having 1 computer with all your files and data is just great.
     

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