Decision agony over MBP or iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Skybar, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Skybar macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Hello there! I am sorry to make this thread (since I know similar ones have been up a lot..). But at this point I am having really really bad decision agony over what to do, in the past few days I've even had trouble sleeping..

    So, to the point. Currently I have an iMac 24" from 2007, it works great and suits my needs pretty good. A few weeks ago I decided to buy the new 27". I've been very eager to buy it, and have been waiting until I had enough money for it. The plan was to buy it sometime next week.

    However, about a week ago I came up with the idea that an MBP would be awesome aswell. Then I could bring it with me when I'm going somewhere, I could lay in the bed watching a movie, I could play games while on the toilet.. you get the idea. These are things (the portability) I've been bummed most about with my current iMac. Sure, it's just a screen and you could easily carry it with you.. but it isn't "real" portability so to speak and it's not like you bring an iMac inside an airplane, for example.

    So far, so good. The MBP will be awesome. But then I thought; "wait, the screensize?.." As said before, I have the 24" iMac now and was about to buy the big 27". If I get the MBP, it will be a lot smaller.. a lot. So the MBP of choice would be the 17", but that one is still 7" smaller than what I got! Thats a freaking 17.5 centimetres on the diagonal!

    Thats where my decision agony comes in. The specs of both the MBP and the 27" is better than what I have now, so it all comes down to the screensize. Before I got the 24" I had a 19", and I remember how lovely it was with a bigger screen.

    Has anyone of you "downgraded" in screensize, and what did you think of it? I like to have a large space to work with, but on the other hand the resolution of the 17" MBP is 1920x1200 - which is the same as this 24". And you generally sit a bit closer to a laptop than a desktop.

    If I decide to buy the MBP, I will most likely wait for the refresh next year (I am not in danger need of a new mac now). And I will put in an SSD, which I wouldn't do in the 27" because thats too much hassle.

    So in short what we (well, I) are looking at is:
    Next years MBP 17" with SSD
    This years top iMac 27".

    As I said, the hardware in both is more than enough of what I need. The screensize is the trouble. I could get a screen to plug the MBP into at home, but that raises the price a fair bit..

    I am not asking you to make the decision for me, I just want some input to help me decide! Its either a small screen with portability (but with the option to buy a larger external screen - more expensive), or a large screen you can't bring with you.

    Any help is very much appreciated!
  2. keantan macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2008
    Penang, Malaysia
    I'd wait for next year's MBP. Even the current MBP has enough power for most people. I love mine to bits.
  3. Skybar thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Yeah, but this isn't about that. It's the screensize I am concerned about, which you would have noticed if you read everything :p
  4. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    I'm not sure how you have your iMac placed, but usually we tend to place desktops further from our eyes than laptops.

    I go from a 24" iMac that I use everyday at the library to a 13.3" MBP everyday. It honestly doesn't not bother me at all. I also use dual 20" 4:3 screens, but they are placed much further than my laptop.

    My laptop is usually about 1.5' away from my face, but the monitors are usually around 3'.

    Anyways, my point is that it really doesn't matter to me when it comes to using a 13" laptop vs a 24" monitor due to the positioning of the screens.
  5. Bluezeno macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    Simple solution. Get a macbook pro with a 27" monitor. You get the best of both worlds.

  6. jvmxtra macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
    I agree with mbp + big screen. Everything is going towards floating office solution. Static setup is boring.
  7. Neolithium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    This would be my suggestion as well, portability but a nice big screen when you want/need one.
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Best of both worlds for a ton of money. Why not a 27" iMac plus MacBook or iPad? The iMac will torch the MBP.
  9. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Another +1 for this suggestion. Having a smaller screen is not too bad when you need portability (I usually use a 21" when I'm home but my MBP is a 13") but you can have the big screen where you use it the most :).

    And honestly, I don't really notice too much screen size difference when I'm using it in laptop mode. I have a little less real estate but it really doesn't bug me at all (what bugged me more was on my old Macbook with the older style trackpad not having mouse. My new MBP with the multi gesture no button trackpad's so nice that I don't miss my mouse even when I'm not in desktop mode).

    Also, extra bonus is if you have the desktop space (I don't), you can set your computer up so you have two monitors, your big monitor plus the one that came with your laptop ;).
  10. iperson21 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    or since you want a fully max 27" iMac 2000+
    possibly a refurb. 13" (wait for next year model) and a refurb low end.
    $$ of 27" iMac max almost equals price of two refurb mbp and low end iMac.
    or 27" low end iMac (i would still reccomend buying a refurb. model) and an iPad for any mobile needs.
  11. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    You can also get the iMac 27” with the 13” MBA or just get the MBP 17” with the Apple Cinema Display.

    The problem is the “single device” mindset. Some people prefer just having one single device to store everything for them and just hate the hassles of syncing the multiple computers. I had this mindset in college, I bought 15” MBP which I then upgraded to 17” MBP and it was my only machine for 3-5 years that I bought with me all the time. I did have back pains but other than that, it worked out well.

    Now that I work from home, my 17” MBP is just a desktop with a Dell UltraSharp 24” connected to it. I ordered MBA to see if I could use it as portable machine to bring with me, but still haven’t figured out how to sync both computers without any hassles. A lot of testing to do soon to see if Dropbox works well.
  12. Skybar thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Thanks a lot for your ideas guys, I really mean it!

    You all made some good points, so I've decided to go with the MBP 17". As Vant said, the positioning of the iMac and MBP is different and the difference in screensize might not be as noticable taking that into account. So I will start out there. If however it wouldn't be to my satisfaction, I will get an external screen (either 24" or 27", depends on the price when the time comes). This actually seems like the easiest and most suitable way for me to go. Big nice screen at home, and being able to take the Mac with me - all with the same machine.

    Now I just have to wait until next year, when the refresh of MBP comes :D

    Thanks again everyone for helping me decide! Finally I can put my mind to rest.
  13. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    The biggest difference is th dual core in the MBP vs quad core in the iMac. Then there's the hard drive performance, gpu, etc. You should real think carefully about the route you've chosen.
  15. MacsOnAnabolics macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2009
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    I recently (about a week ago) bought the new 2010 iMac 27" 2.93GHz with 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD @7200rpm. I sold my 15" MBP 5,9 because the price I was offered and was without a mac for a month. My plan was to hold out until the 2011 MBP refresh and buy a new one then. Before this I never considered owning an iMac. However, being without MAC OS X during the interim made me realize I couldn't live without it. Anyways, because I am impatient, decided to purchase the full spec iMac quad-core. Let me tell you, I have never been happier! I do miss the portability of the MBP, nevertheless the screen size of the iMac is incredible! My day-to-day workflow is highlighted by the fact that I have enough screen real-estate, clarity, and resolution. I am definitely happy with my choice to go with the iMac and I think you will be too...:)

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