Buying advice needed - details inside!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Epsilon67, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Epsilon67 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster here. Anyways - down to business.

    Earlier this week I was burglarized (on my birthday too...) and got my iPod, MacBook Pro and 5 yr old dell laptop taken from me. Very annoying! Especially that they took my reserve computer that's crappy and will last all of 30 minutes without the charger they didn't steal... but I digress. So now I find myself computerless, and am seeking advice on what I should do - I want to purchase a 24" iMac.

    First, a little about myself and what my computing needs will be. I am currently a 5th year senior in Engineering, graduating this upcoming May. Upon graduation I'm moving in with my wonderful girlfriend who will be purchasing a MacBook Air (We are both fortunate enough and thankful to have jobs out of college in this economy :/ ). Additionally, both of us will have laptops assigned for work and to be used primarily for that - perhaps some internet browsing at home. Anyways, I think it would be nice to have a primary computer for our heavy duty needs, and an air for just browsing on the couch. For this reason the iMac would be great to have for the wireless drive it would provide.

    The main reason I'd like to get the 24" is for the bigger screen, though I'm also impressed by the specs. I would use it mainly for music, internet and office work, with a little light gaming mixed in (WoW). I feel like the iMac can easily handle this and more. Also, I would maybe like to get the 24" monitor from apple for more workspace if I find it's needed.

    Okay, with that covered, here are my questions:
    a) What computer should I get? MBP with external display, or iMac?
    Cost is a factor, which is why I'm leaning towards the iMac. Also, with 1 more semester left I am less worried about portability. With a MBA in the future I believe I'll be covered for any work portability. Also, with a job in the future the LCD display will be easily achievable - though that goes for the MBP too.

    b) When should I get said computer?
    I would really like one ASAP. It is a little frustrating to not have a computer right now. I know the MBPs were just updated, so it would be nice to be ahead of the curve on that. The iMacs are in for a redesign, but I'm not sure how long I'd like to wait around. It isn't imperative to get one, I can always use the library- it's just more of a convenience thing. Also, with what I do would it be better to wait for the new specs? How great of an increase will it be?

    Thank you so much in advance for your help. Also - if you'd like any more information let me know and I'll try to be timely about it.

  2. és: macrumors 6502a



    First and foremost; welcome to the forum! I hope you stick around.

    I think you would have got more responses if you were more clear about the products you're deciding upon. Am I right when you say that your choices are between A. 2 Laptops + iMac and 2. 2 Laptops and a Apple LED LCD?

    I'd say a good solution would be number 2, although expensive it is still cheaper than option 1 and you've got a big screen sat at home waiting for either you or your partner to use it when you want. The screen will do everything the iMac does when you have it plugged into the MacBook.
  3. Epsilon67 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Thanks for the response and welcome!

    Allow me to clarify a bit - Right now I'm computerless. I also want to be at the "top" of the curve when I buy mine. My options :

    A) Get a laptop now (MBP) and when I start work get a 24" ACD when price is less of a factor. If this happens my girlfriend and I will have the MBP as the main computing station, hooked up to the ACD. The MBA will be our floater, but I could still take the MBP around

    B) Get an iMac now. With this no ACD would be needed, and we would just get the MBA when we start working together.

    I've come up with some pro's and con's of each.

    +Get a computer now, as was recently redesigned. Get almost the most for my money.
    +Have portability when needed
    +Will have more screen space than the iMac when the ACD is purchased
    +Addl - Have a 32" LCD I can hook it up to now for watching LOST :)
    -More expensive! Cash is sort of a limiting factor right now. However, with financing I can pay it off very quickly when I start work in July - that would leave me with only 2 months of interest with the apple financing.

    +Better stats? I would like some clarification on this. Will the base 24" iMac outperform the base MBP?
    -Would wait to get one, and remain computerless for now.
    -Not as portable... but that may not be needed.

    Those being laid out - how would a MBP perform attached to the ACD? Would it be a good setup? Also, is there a side by side compare of the iMac vs MBP? Which would game better?

    Thanks so much for your help!
  4. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    the imac is basically the macbook pro but without an attached keyboard and lower specs. (ie: the imac uses notebook processors) so the base mbp will be better than the base imac but the 24" imac will most likely be more powerful than the mbp.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I'd say, get the iMac. Save some money, you never know when you'll need it.
  6. és: macrumors 6502a


    Well, if you're sold on getting a MacBook Air in the future then there is no real point in having two laptops. I'd say the iMac for home and if you want a laptop later then you can do that.

    However, I don't think you need two machines. What I would do is buy a MacBook Pro now, then the ACD later. You then have what is basically an iMac when plugged into the ACD and a laptop when you unplug it. That saves you a fair amount of money without really losing out on much.
  7. Epsilon67 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Thank you for the advice, much appreciated! Both of us will be traveling a bit through work though, so having 1 laptop would be great. MBA and iMac then. I just need to hold out for a little bit longer :)
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Welcome to the forum and commiserations on the multiple thefts (especially nasty and unwelcome oin your birthday).

    I have a MBP and love it, above all the combination of power, portability and excellent screen, so that (along with the ACD) would be my call, - and, perhaps, a MBA for extreme portability as there will be two of you sharing the computing; you can add the other stuff/choices later as your specific needs become clearer.

    Cheers and good luck
  9. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    I would say that the iMac is probably a good choice considering you are getting laptops at work. The iMac would be cheaper and well less hassle than that MBP ACD combo. Though that is the method I prefer considering the MBP are just as powerful and well they are portable power.
  10. bobriot macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2007
    My vote is for the iMac as well, get the 24" and you won't regret it. Remember to check that Refurb store.

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