Apple designer setup: iPad or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SaulDesign, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. SaulDesign macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    It's time for me to switch on apple products. I am Graphic Design student and freelance Web Designer. Currently I have weak ACER 5742Z laptop and 27" Dell U2711 Monitor at home. I want to lose my laptop and buy 2 apple products to get complete work station both for quality and portable. The main question is it enough to buy iPad for portability or do I need a MacBook Pro?

    This is few combinations I came up with (give your opinion which works the best):

    1. iMac + iPad.
    Pros: good quality at home with iMac, easy to take iPad with me everywhere, can use iPad as portfolio to show works for clients.
    Cons: I can work with design only at home. I need to sell my Dell monitor.

    2. MacBook Pro 15" + current Dell monitor
    Pros: Save money buying only 1 apple product, take advantage of Retina display performance, can work out in cafes with MBP.
    Cons: 15" MBP is too big and heavy for portability.

    3. MacMini + Dell monitor + iPad
    Pros: Use my monitor and save some money. Advantage of iPad portability.
    Cons: Not sure about Dell vs Mac screen quality, what is it worth, because I need good quality for design work.

    Please let me know your opinion on these choices and help me decide which one to choose.
  2. AppleGuesser macrumors regular


    May 1, 2012
    Macon, GA
    I'd personally go with the iMac and iPad. Laptops are OK for graphic design, but are no substitute (in my opinion, I know others might disagree) for a desktop. Plus the iPad is a great compliment to the iMac, even better than the Macbook.

    But obviously its your call :D
  3. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    All three setups would work for you. Personally I would go with the MacBookPro and your existing monitor. That is because I prefer one workplace. And if I can take that one workplace with me, even better. I live from my hobbies, video editing and the stock-market. I have just sold my 2010 Octo Pro and now only use a 2012 MBP. Mobility is important to me and syncing two devices was more of a hassle than I was prepared to endure and it was error-prone. The MBP is quite a bit bigger and somewhat heavier than the MacAir I used as a second machine but still very portable. I am more happy with just one machine. I am waiting for the next generation of Apple Displays and will get that. Just my take on it.
  4. svendobbelaere macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    I don't know how much you would get for your 27" Dell monitor, but you could keep it and run dual screens on the iMac (unless your reason for selling it is freeing up enough budget).
  5. iamsen47 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    Kobe, Japan
    Keep the Dell, get an 11" Air, upgrade it to 8Gb ram. It'll last you plenty, weighs about the same as the iPad and will handle all your work just fine.
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I would go with the first choice unless you need portable power as well. However, if you just need portability for things like checking e-mail, browsing and what not - choice number one looks to be the best. This way, maybe you can sell your monitor for a few extra bucks for an accessory or something as well.
  7. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Get a MBA 13 with 8GB ram. One apple product connected to the Dell monitor for portability and workstation for assignments. When this setup outgrows you pick up a newer model. It still be around the price of picking up a RMBP right now.
  8. SaulDesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    I decided to buy MacBook Pro at first. My budget is limited at the moment, so MBP would be perfect start on Mac OS platform.

    Unfortunately I can not afford new 15 RMBP right now, but I really love it, it's light, thin and looks good. Instead I will buy 13 MBP, or wait for Retina version of 13 MBP.

    Do you have any ideas when 13 RMBP is coming? Will it be thinner than current like is 15 RMBP?
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    No idea when the rMBP 13" will be released. I think the iMac is a better option for you. Just ask yourself where you do the bulk of your graphic design and web design work. Is it mostly at home or somewhere outside of home (i.e. coffee shop, library, etc.)? I'm guessing mostly at home. You get a better (IPS) and bigger screen and you can sell your current Dell monitor unless you want a dual monitor setup. An iMac also has more horsepower. For 98% of the time, laptops will do just fine but then comes the 2% when you need to work with a large Photoshop file or something of that nature. And you can always pick up an iPad later on.
  10. SaulDesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    SnowLeopard2008, last month I was working on iMac and love it. Currently I am traveling and have only my laptop with Windows OS - I just can't work with it, screen is too small, Win sucks..

    That's why I agree with you that iMac is better, but I already have big screen at home, and sometimes I need to work outside home (like this time), but its not very often.

    Going with iMac I need to sell my Dell monitor, save some extra bucks and then I can allow to buy iMac, but untill then I have to stay on Windows PC..

    I'm totally lost :D I know it's best to have both, iMac and 13 MBP, but my budget doesn't allow me this at the moment..

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