Another iMac vs. MBP thread, but this is different

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pierrel, May 24, 2011.

  1. Pierrel macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys and gals!

    My first post here at Macrumors, and its one that might make me settle to what i want to buy.

    So here is the deal, my girlfriend and I are moving from Sweden to San Diego, CA in August to become Flight instructors.
    It is also time for me to let go of my 4 year old 17" laptop, and this time I am going Mac, im just not sure whether it's a MBP i want or an iMac...


    iMac + iPad 2 - Buying this in the United States
    iMac 21.5 1199 $
    Swedish Keyboard 100 $
    iPad 2 16gb 499 $
    = 1800 $

    1) Run it as a TV / Expensive TV-cards?
    3) Sell the iMac after 2-3 years? Price / value?
    4) Taxes in the United States, or California more exactly?


    Macbook Pro 13" - Buying this in Sweden
    i5 - 1400 $
    i7 - 1800 $
    These prices are with Student discount of 10%
    1) Want to upgrade to 8 gbs of ram if useful.
    2) SSD, that will up the prices but might be a possible update in the future.

    I will mostly use my computer to:
    Send emails, play music, play some minor games (not required at highest graphics), photo editing. I know that both of these computers will most likely satisfy my needs, its more a choice whether to go mobile (with a risk of sticking to a desk anyway) or go stationary (with the risk of missing the mobile part).

    These two options are what i am currently looking at. But im very much uncertain about which choice to make.
    I really like the iMac, and the bang for the buck is much better compared to the MBP's. Together with an iPad i could get mobile whenever i want to, to do easier tasks.
    As of right now im using an 17" laptop as a desktop computer, and due to the size i haven't really tried out being mobile with it. Using my 10" Asus EEE is not an option for longer periods, but that is no were near close to a MBP.

    My Girlfriend is getting her MBP 13" base model at the end of this week, so maybe i should try to get some quality time with that one and see whether i can see myself with one or not.

    I would appriciate any guidelines or thought that this community has to offer, and i know that there are much knowledge gathered here at Macrumors!

    Thanks in advance,

    Pierre
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    Why not buy the MBP in US? I guess you want the swedish keyboard?

    MBP 17" is lighter than many 15" pc laptops. I travel with it just about every day.
     
  3. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #3
    I'd go with the iMac. I've had MBs and MBPs in the past and I'm much happier with an iMac. More power for your money, more screen real estate, etc. Plus, an iPad will take care of all the mobile computing you need, since you'll have a real computer at home.

    To answer your specific questions:
    1) I would just get a real TV, you'll be happier than trying to use your iMac as a TV. A good HD tuner card (external) will probably run you over $100 anyway, when for $200-300 you can get a 26-32" LCD.

    2) An iMac should retain most of it's value over 2 years, a bit less over 3. I'd ESTIMATE you lose about 25-40% of value over 2 years (depending on what the updates that come out over that period), and like 35-50% over 3 years. That might not sound great but it's FAR better than you'll do with any Windows PC.

    3) California taxes are outrageous (at least compared to many areas of the US, not so much to the EU). I'm pretty sure sales taxes in CA run almost 10%. If you'll be in Northern California though you can always cross the border to Oregon where they have 0 sales tax (if I remember correctly).
     
  4. Pierrel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    #4
    Indeed the reason for buying the MBP in Sweden is to get the Swedish keyboard. I really don't want to go 17" again because it felt like a mistake last time, and i don't really want a 15" either nor have the required funds for it :(

    Okey, so a separate TV is on the list then :)
    I understand that there is a certain loss of value during the years of usage, and indeed the Macs tend to have better second hand value than a normal windows based computer.

    About the iPad though, I currently use a Android smart phone (don't judge me to hard ;) ) and i cant say that i use it for more than checking emails and such minor things. These are things that i most likely could do on a future iPhone. So in the end the iPad might just be a expensive "cool gadget". I'm not sure what an iPad would do better than the average smart phone, be it having a larger screen which will most likely make it way more useful/enjoyable.
    Will have to think about it and lay hands on an iPad to settle my mind on it.

    About the tax rates, is there anyway else that you can "avoid" them? I guess Apple Store is not the way, and I will be living in San Diego, and don't really plan on going up state just to buy a computer.

    Thanks for your help guys! Keep it coming :)
     
  5. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #5
    You can get the swedish keyboard as well in the US on the laptops. Just go in an Store and ask for it. They will order just the keyboard and exchange it in the store and as I recall even free of charge.

    How about 13" MBP + nice external screen e.g. from Samsung.

    If I would have to choose I would go with an iPad + cheap something phone or an iPod touch + cheap phone over the iPhone anytime. Pricing on the iPhone is just too ridiculous.
     
  6. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #6
    I tend to like the bang for the buck of the iMac better but I must admit a 13 in MBP with an external monitor - that also happens to be a TV - might be a good bet for you. Most LCD tv's have VGA inputs and Apple sells a mini display port to VGA adapter. We are doing this with one of our Mac Minis except it is an older G4 model so the adapter is mini DVI to VGA. It works great. It's a monitor when we want it to be a monitor and it's a TV when we want TV.
     
  7. Krovem macrumors 6502

    Krovem

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    #7
    I would go with the iMac if you dont plan to travel. Im currently trying to get the iMac & MBA. SO I have the power and MBA for portability/travel. I would get the iMac.
     
  8. Pierrel, May 24, 2011
    Last edited: May 24, 2011

    Pierrel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    #8
    Are you sure that i can get a Swedish keyboard from an American store? Free of charge? That would be amazing! Just for the record, the base 15" MBP cost about 400 dollars more in Sweden with today's exchange rates!

    Indeed the pricing is high, and i kinda like the android thing... I haven't really got the numbers for a iPhone, but maybe that fits into another thread...

    Oh and your suggestion sounds like something. And if I don't feel the need for a external larger monitor, i don't have to get one :)

    Today i use my 32" TV to watch movies via a DVI - HMDI connection. Its much nicer than having to sit at a desk watching movies, especially if there are 3-4 people who want to watch :)
    Indeed the bang for the buck is great for the iMac, but the high end 13" will most likely do the job for me for at least a couple of years (3 years are to be spent in the States). And maybe next gen MBP's wont allow the users to upgrade with MCE or put 3rd party SSD's in them like the new iMacs :eek:

    Thanks guys!
     
  9. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #9
    I'm not really sure about that. You might be able to order from MacMall or Amazon but California might force them to add tax, you'd have to talk to someone from CA to find out for sure.

    If you're in San Diego you definitely don't want to make the trip to Oregon (I think it would be like 8-10 hours); from there it might make more sense to go buy one in Mexico.
     
  10. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #10
    We can flip our monitor around to watch from a more comfortable couch in our office than in an office chair. Much of what we watch is Hulu so it's nice to be able to surf to the content and flip the monitor around to watch it.

    In another room we have a Mini about 6 feet away from a 40 in TV and I plan to hook it up in parallel with the monitor so we can watch Hulu in there more conveniently.
     
  11. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #11
    I am pretty sure that they will exchange your keyboard. It just takes a while until they get it. To be completely sure just call the Apple Store you want to buy it from and asked them how long it will take. Maybe they can even order the keyboard upfront so that when you are there you can get it more or less immediately.

    The Apple Store phone numbers are all somewhere at Apple.com
     
  12. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #12
    If your girlfriend is buying a 13" MBP in Sweden, then you should buy the iMac + iPad in the U.S. If you need to be mobile, then use the iPad. Furthermore, if you need more power than the iPad, then you can borrow the MBP and leave her the iPad. Both of you can utilize the iMac while at home and each person has a mobile device to do as one pleases. I think by having an iPad, MBP, and iMac makes for well rounded persons. :)
     
  13. Pierrel, May 25, 2011
    Last edited: May 26, 2011

    Pierrel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    #13
    Okey, crossing my fingers that anyone from California reads this thread :)
    In my current apartment the TV is facing the bed, so i just hook it up to the computer that are only like 8 feet away :) Works flawlessly just as it would with an Mac.
    Well then i might just send some of the stores near San Diego a mail asking them if they do exchange keyboards and if they charge anything. Maybe they can order a Swedish keyboard for the iMac as well :rolleyes:
    Well that is what we both have been thinking of lately. We have her computer as a mobile powerhouse, my iMac as a stationary powerhouse when at home and the iPad for lighter use on the couch or when traveling. Im just afraid that the iPad will just be something that is fun the first week or two, and then just lay around on the couch table :/ To be honest i haven't really found any really good reasons to have the iPad, but that's just me :eek:

    Awesome to see so many replies and thoughts on the subject! Thank you guys!

    Edit: Is there no e-mail address for customer services on Apple? I cant seem to find any e-mail address for either the online-store nor any other store. I don't really want to make a call from Sweden since it will cost me a lot! Thanks!
     

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