Can A Laptop Totally Replace...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacM4ODA, May 3, 2015.

  1. MacM4ODA macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    Can a Laptop or i-Phone Totally Replace An iMac desk top ?

    my son has an iPhone 5 or 6, he says he has completely ignored his desk top puter and a laptop will not fit his pocket.

    i want to be free of this desk and chair i am tied to for an hour or two or even 3 every day.

    suggestions and help from you who have far more experience than me.

  2. 0d085d macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
    Power-wise, almost all Apple laptops will be perfectly fine for anybody who isn't editing heavy video. The only issue I'd say is if you object to trackpads or get claustrophobic with smaller screens.

    I doubt you could live (happily) with only a smartphone if you're doing something intensive enough to take multiple hours a day on a computer.
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    It's definitely possible for a laptop to replace a desktop computer in most cases. I have co-workers who have MacBook Pros that they dock into an external monitor at work. Even I do it. The laptops are plenty powerful.

    That said, there are some things an iMac would be better suited for. Heavy video editing, running VMs, gaming, and pretty much any app that hits the CPU hard and can benefit from more threads/cores, a desktop will easily outperform a laptop. And frankly, I think the desktops are a lot more capable of handling the heat that comes from pegging the CPU constantly. I always get a little nervous when I encode something on my MBPr and I hear that fan kick up, knowing it's gonna be doing that for a good long while.

    But just about anything else: even light video editing, photos editing, sound, web, Office Document creation and editing, while be more than fine on a laptop.

    As for an iOS device: Sure, there's lots of things an iPhone or iPad can do that you no longer *need* a full-fledged computer for. If you're mostly on the web, or doing e-mail, or social media, or even light MS Office document editing, then it's definitely possible to go all iPhone/iPad. But, I wouldn't recommend it. I tend to view my iPad and iPhone as extensions of my laptop/iMac, but not as replacements. They're great for doing stuff while commuting on a train, or quickly reviewing/editing something in a meeting without having to lug a full laptop. But all the heavy lifting is still done on full computers.
  4. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    It really depends on what you use your Desktop for. So, help us out, what do you do for up to three hours a day on your desktop?
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    First, it's an iPhone, not i-Phone :D

    A lot of my colleagues (they're all software engineers like me) use a sole laptop for everything (mainly 15" rMBPs with discrete GPUs), from running VMs to software development and media production (a lot of them love photography and cinematography as well), so if it's a powerful laptop like the 15" rMBP, yes, it can replace your desktop. Just throw in an external display, keyboard and mouse, and there you go.
  6. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The iPhone is the main computer most people use. I have several different computers/MAC and the device I use most is my iPad mini with its broken screen.


    You standards are a bit high. For photoediting and 1080p video any 13" rmbp or mba will work just fine as long as you can handle the 13" screen.
  7. Genkakuzai macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2013
    I had a MacBook Pro as my main (and basically only) computer for almost 7 years. I just added an external monitor when I felt the need for it, as well as an external keyboard when I managed to break the built-in one. All in all it works just fine. But unless you're doing fairly basic stuff it needs to be a decent MacBook Pro, imho.
  8. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Since the subject came up, what external displays would be closest to the retina iMac screen in image quality (smaller ok) and also could be powered properly by the rMBP?

    The use would be photography.
  9. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    If you're looking at 5K resolution specifically, the Dell UP2715K is about the only option out there.

    If 4K resolution is OK, then your choices open up a lot more.
  10. AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    I sign nearly everything you said but you should not forget that an iMac is also laptop technology integrated in an big screen. E.g. they have a separated GPU, but a mobile GPU, mobile DIMMs and so on but there is also no precise distinction laptop and desktop technology...
  11. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    What can a desktop do that a laptop can't?

    I've used a laptop as my main computer since 2002. Done everything from video editing to word processing and a short stint of 3D modeling to music creation.

    Of course a laptop is fine as your sole computer.
  12. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    While they share come complements, there are significant differences. iMacs for instance, are quad-core processors, often a bit faster and draw more energy than the ones used in Mac laptops.
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    iMacs also use desktop CPUs :)
  14. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    Simple answers :

    desktop vs laptop : they are the same.

    iPhone as a computer replacement : No.


    Yes you can do a lot of stuff with an iPhone, stuff we used to do on computers. Any office work will suck. Even if there is good office apps on the iPhone, they are mainly used for light editing. The fact that you cannot easily read a webpage while typing is a real problem. Copy and paste is also suboptimal. Also, there is always a particular web form that wont work well on an iPhone, you cannot for example upload a particular file. There is no file system. etc.

    I mean, iPhone is a great device, but there will always be a moment where you will seriously feel like you need a computer, desktop or laptop.
  15. shaunp, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Anything that requires more than 16GB RAM. Or games that require more grunt than a mobile GPU can deliver.

    To answer the question in the post though, I've run my professional work on laptops since around 2003. So a laptop can replace a desktop for the majority of people. You also ask if you can replace the desktop with an iPhone. It depends what you are doing. I use mine for email a lot, but I prefer to use a laptop because of the screen size. My Mrs uses her iPad much more than a laptop, so that might a good way forward too. Go into an Apple store and have a play.
  16. MacM4ODA thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    so many questions and i don't know where to start, but, here goes.

    1. Heavy video editing, running VMs, gaming, and pretty much any app that hits the CPU hard. i do not use video, gaming or VM (do not even know what that is) any app that hits the CPU hard, again, what kind of app would that be ?

    If you're mostly on the web, or doing e-mail, or social media <----<<<<i do not do that, or even light MS Office document editing, <------<<<< don't do this. then it's definitely possible to go all iPhone/iPad.

    It really depends on what you use your Desktop for. So, help us out, what do you do for up to three hours a day on your desktop?
    (i participate on forums, Email, play solitaire, shop around and buy stuff.) i do not do banking, or keep any financial stuff on my D.T., don't do spread sheets, mostly web surf. i am an old retired sailor, just do basic stuff like we done 20+ years ago. my main thing is i do not want to be tied down to this chair for 3-4 hours a day, when i am in my shop working on a hobby project and need to look something up, some of my projects are in metric when working from a blueprint, i want something within reach, i do a lot of bird watching and want to look up what kind of bird that is and/or what it's specifics are, nesting, feeding egg incubation etc.

    well folks i have run out of time and need to take care of my dog and "stuff" i hope what i have input will help.

    see y'll later.
  17. bhayes444 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2013
    Honestly, it sounds like an iPad would be a pretty good companion for you to do those tasks on; so long as you don't mind touch screen typing or using a Bluetooth keyboard for long typing stints. I will always like to have a computer with a more traditional OS around because I feel more productive on it, even though I use my iPad and phone more than that computer. But, I know that is not for everybody. If you want to be more mobile and don't want to be tethered to a desk then go ahead and look into using an iPad for most of those activities. Get the opinion from your son on the matter: whether or not he thinks it would be a good fit for you.
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Even an iPad would do these fine.

    If you want something better, you could perhaps go for an 11" MacBook Air, or if you want something that has a really crisp display and is very light, you can go for the overpriced 12" retina MacBook.
  19. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    For me it's more a matter of ergonomics than technology. I worked solely on laptops for several extended periods over the years, desktops for others. I've worked the past five years with a combination of desktops, iPad, and iPhone and haven't missed having a laptop.

    I appreciate the desire of the desk-bound to abandon the desk, but using a laptop while actually balanced on a lap is only liberating for short periods, as far as I'm concerned. In the end, for extended work, it pays to have the computer on a stable surface, with display, keyboard, and mouse at appropriate heights. A 15" display is just too small for my aging eyes as a primary display. So, as long as I'm going to be sitting at a stable work surface, I may as well have a whopping big display. I get by just fine with the iPad and iPhone the rest of the time - much more comfy to use than a laptop while reclining in an armchair.
  20. Liffey macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2010
    I mainly do heavy Photoshop work. A Macbook Pro could probably handle it, but nothing beats the 27" screen of the iMac. Plus I just like to have the extra performance headroom a desktop offers, especially if I have extra programs like ZBrush, Maya and Ableton open.
  21. MacM4ODA thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    i got this in my Email and thinking of getting one just in case i want to do more as i slowly learn what you folks are talking about...., BUT! i also want the ability to take photos, where the heck is the compromise ??


  22. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Then a MacBook isn't what you're looking for.

    A Surface 3 (not Surface Pro 3) is what you need.
  23. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    iPad air

    I think that an iPad will be perfect for you. Keep the imac for photos (you may well take a few with the ipad) and things at home, it also makes good storage and a place to sync your pad to itunes for music and video etc.

    If you want continued internet connection out birdwatching get one with cellular connection and have your internet everywhere (but this will cost for a data allowance each month). If not there are many apps for birdwatching that will give you info on the go and everything else is fine on wifi at your shop.
  24. Liffey macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2010
    Agreed that an iPad sounds fine for you OP. If you plan to do lots of writing maybe get a keyboard attachment, but it doesn't sound like you are.
  25. Moakesy macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2013
    iPad all the way

    Based on your needs, I'd say iPad....but keep the desktop machine for a while just for the odd time you need to type a long email or something.

    A few things to consider
    - You'll need wi-fi coverage in your workshop etc unless you get an iPad with cellular coverage. You'd pay extra for this
    - It would either be iPad, or the smaller iPad mini. I'd guess that you'll find the bigger screen more useful than the more portable size, but have a look and take your pick. I use my iPad around the house mainly and wouldn't want the mini for that as i never travel anywhere with it.
    - As you mainly surf, then you wouldn't need masses of storage unless your have / will be keeping lots of photos / music etc. Only you know this.
    - As you will be taking it in a workshop, buy a decent case for it


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