MacRazySwe

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 7, 2007
1,046
819
As the title suggests, if you could only have three types of personal devices, which products would you choose? I'm interested in your personal use case and reasoning.

Personally contemplating going iMac, iPad and iPhone, although I'm not sure the iPad can really replace a laptop for me. Whenever I'm doing extensive typing I find myself reaching for the rMBP.

Thanks! :)
 

ElCani

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2012
80
10
I have a 27 iMac (2011), 13 MacBook Air (2010) and an iPhone 6+. I had an iPad Air but sold it as soon as I upgraded from an iPhone 4 to the 6+. The iPad was nice for browsing at home or watching stuff when travelling, but nowhere near as useful/flexible as a laptop and obviously nothing like as portable as a phone.

A 27 5k iMac, a Retina MacBook and iPhone 6s+ would be a sweet, but pricy, combination. :)
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,478
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Desktop, Laptop, cell phone.

The iPad is fun but for my needs, its more a lightweight toy than something useful in a serious way.
 
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Windowsrefugee

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2011
161
7
Microsoft Land
MacBook Air (13" 2013) with Thunderbolt display is my desktop replacement that I can un-dock and carry around with me for all my work needs (MS Office, Adobe, etc). MBA + iPad mini4 and iPhone 6S. This combo gives me all the portability, versatility and power that I need. I have been using a similar combo for the past several years with no problem.
 
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Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
665
459
I have all four and use my iPad a lot, but if pressed I would consider a large iPhone, iMac and a light Mac laptop. The laptop gives both portability and redundancy if the iMac goes down. I have a heavy little 13" white MacBook that isn't comfortable like the iPad, but the new laptops are so compact and responsive.
 
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firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
6,198
1,071
Somewhere!
Desktop, laptop & phone. Desktop is my work horse. Laptop is my work horse for on the road. Phone for work & communication. iPad is only a toy for sitting around with.
 
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maxsix

Suspended
Jun 28, 2015
3,100
3,730
Western Hemisphere
My current setup:
Mac Pro
MacBook Pro
iPhone
Professional, using industrial design applications, modeling, rendering and more. My iPads are coffee table devices anyway.
Just pure leisure.
 
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entropyfl

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2009
331
162
I have a iMac, Laptop and iPhone.

I use to have a iPad but found these newer SSD laptops nice and fast and was hardly using the iPad. I must admit, I bought the iMac for housing all my larger files i..e photos and iTunes but I've started using this less now that most content lives in the cloud etc.
 
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MacRazySwe

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 7, 2007
1,046
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For what uses? that's like asking pick three: hammer, chisel, forceps, tire iron.

As I said in my first post, I'm interested in your personal use-case. I'm interested in hearing whatever works for you. Only you can answer how you use your devices and which are the right tools.

The reason I ask is simple. My needs are beginning to change and I'm thinking I don't really need both an iMac and a 13" rMBP as one of them is gathering dust. It is a luxury. Previously the iMac was my personal computer for media, movie-watching, SketchUp, personal files and data, whereas the rMBP was used only for school, brought to uni everyday. Now, my studies are coming to an end and I will hopefully start my career soon.

The reason I consider going iMac, iPad and iPhone is that I suspect a future employer would most likely supply a laptop. (Probably Windows, yuck). This would then be used only for work, while the iMac would remain my personal computer, like previously. Moreover it seems more fitting to keep personal files and information in a desktop at home, rather than in a laptop which is brought around. However the more I think of it, the less I find myself willing to give up the rMBP. I don't think the iPad can replace it, much like this thread suggests.

To all of you who have taken the time to respond, thank you. Keep it up, I find the replies very interesting.
 
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tibas92013

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2013
470
83
Costa Rica
I have two(2) Mac Minis, Late 2012 and Late 2014, IPad Mini3 and Ipad2, and iPod Touch(5th Gen.) and I enjoy them all!

Use the iPad Mini 3 and Ipad2 around the house and the IPod Touch while I am in Bed.
 
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Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
1,811
1,866
Mac mini for home photos/org, email etc.

Powerful MacBook Pro for work.

iPhone 6s for comms and travel.

iPad I can do without.
 
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Strider64

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2015
869
3,979
Suburb of Detroit
iMac, MacBook Pro (Don't have yet) and iPhone

When I can justify the purchase of a MacBook Pro then I will have all three. Till then I am completely satisfied with what I have.
 
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robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,406
293
As I said in my first post, I'm interested in your personal use-case. I'm interested in hearing whatever works for you. Only you can answer how you use your devices and which are the right tools.

The reason I ask is simple. My needs are beginning to change and I'm thinking I don't really need both an iMac and a 13" rMBP as one of them is gathering dust. It is a luxury. Previously the iMac was my personal computer for media, movie-watching, SketchUp, personal files and data, whereas the rMBP was used only for school, brought to uni everyday. Now, my studies are coming to an end and I will hopefully start my career soon.

The reason I consider going iMac, iPad and iPhone is that I suspect a future employer would most likely supply a laptop. (Probably Windows, yuck). This would then be used only for work, while the iMac would remain my personal computer, like previously. Moreover it seems more fitting to keep personal files and information in a desktop at home, rather than in a laptop which is brought around. However the more I think of it, the less I find myself willing to give up the rMBP. I don't think the iPad can replace it, much like this thread suggests.

To all of you who have taken the time to respond, thank you. Keep it up, I find the replies very interesting.
Ah, got it.

In that scenario, I'd try to be diverse. So you've got Mac OS and iOS covered. And I'd say an iPhone (or it could be Android) is a no brainer.

For computer, I favor what has the best display. I do a lot of photos, and I also look at my screen a lot. Duh. So having a sweet retina screen is critical. Life's too short to be staring at some old 2.5 low res display. So that means 5k iMac over MBP, unless it's a 15" retina MBP. In that case, since it's easier to use a laptop as a desktop than vice verse, I'd go laptop. Yes, more burglable. But the laptop has built in power protection, and can be grabbed during the earthquake. And you're gonna have to do offsite backup of data anyway. And once a laptop is old, it's more useful than an old iMac (media player, travel, etc).

And tablets? meh. For photography the iPad stinks, a laptop is far preferable. I'd rather have a 12" retina Macbook, or a Surface Pro, or even an Android tablet. Or wait for your employer to give it to you. The only thing an iPad really has going for it is a bigger screen than your iPhone. Not that useful.
 
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Beerstalker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2011
530
204
Peoria, IL
I got rid of two laptops once my wife and I got our iPads. We just didn't use them anymore. We use the desktop if we need to do serious work/research, the iPads for sitting on the couch surfing the net/Facebook/playing games. The phones are used when we are away from our iPads.

When I'm at home my phone sits on the nightstand by the bed. I rely on iMessages sending texts to my iPad, and phone calls coming over my Panasonic Link2Cell home phone system. Occasionally I will miss out on text messages from friends without iPhones until I walk back to the bedroom and check my phone.
 
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glenthompson

Contributor
Apr 27, 2011
2,711
651
Virginia
iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro that is used as a desktop except when traveling. I like a full sized keyboard and large screen but want to be able to take my computer with me. The iPad is fine for many things but sometimes you just need a more capable computer. Trying to sync a desktop with a laptop is just too much of a problem.
 
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riviera74

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2015
79
16
Fort Myers FL
I have just acquired an iPhone 6s Plus 64GB Space Gray from AT&T yesterday. I just got a 64GB Gold iPad Air 2 back in November. I still have the old desktop (windows xp) from 2005 and a laptop (windows 8) from 2013. I hope to replace both with an iMac 27" Retina soon and let the iPad effectively replace the laptop.
 
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thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
476
729
(PC gaming) Desktop, MacBook, iPhone. I bought an iPad Mini a few years ago and it was a waste of money for me. I'm just not into tablets since, for me, my phone is good enough for everything I'd use a tablet for and a tablet is not powerful enough to replace my laptop.
 
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Heisenberg888

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2014
50
28
Notebook, iPad and iPhone. MBP for work, especially connecting to my 25 inch external display so it acts as a secondary display, iPad mini for coach surfing; I also use it in conjunction with my iPhone when commuting on the train.
 
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robabroad

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2008
14
0
As I said in my first post, I'm interested in your personal use-case. I'm interested in hearing whatever works for you. Only you can answer how you use your devices and which are the right tools.

The reason I ask is simple. My needs are beginning to change and I'm thinking I don't really need both an iMac and a 13" rMBP as one of them is gathering dust. It is a luxury. Previously the iMac was my personal computer for media, movie-watching, SketchUp, personal files and data, whereas the rMBP was used only for school, brought to uni everyday. Now, my studies are coming to an end and I will hopefully start my career soon.

The reason I consider going iMac, iPad and iPhone is that I suspect a future employer would most likely supply a laptop. (Probably Windows, yuck). This would then be used only for work, while the iMac would remain my personal computer, like previously. Moreover it seems more fitting to keep personal files and information in a desktop at home, rather than in a laptop which is brought around. However the more I think of it, the less I find myself willing to give up the rMBP. I don't think the iPad can replace it, much like this thread suggests.

To all of you who have taken the time to respond, thank you. Keep it up, I find the replies very interesting.

I was in a similar situation to you -- I transitioned from school to work. Since my employer supplies a laptop, I find that my iMac is all I need from a computing perspective.

  • Work laptop -- it's Windows, but I actually prefer Office in that environment (ALT-key shortcuts are important to my style of work)
  1. Home iMac -- for longer, more intensive computing needs, photo editing, a little light gaming
  2. iPad Air -- really, this is what I pick up at home to do quite a lot. It's also my travel computer, effectively.
  3. iPhone 6 -- I can access my corporate email here, so it often substitutes for a computer on personal trips
  4. Kindle Paperwhite -- (sorry, I know I'm way over 3) my #1 preference for long-form reading
Now, I could see swapping out the iMac for a MacBook (Pro, Air or "") if you want portability and the power of a computer. Here's why -- even though your employer may supply you with a laptop, it's likely to be locked down in terms of apps (and even many settings, e.g., my instantiation of Firefox always defaults to our intranet for searches, argh). Plus, do you really want your employer to have access to your personal data stream.

Cheers
 
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talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,721
277
Oregon
I basically have everything. Just retired so no work (or school) needs but have major interests in photography and intend to write some technical books.

Of the four, the iPad would be the first to go. Useless to me.
 
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nufanec

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2005
185
5
Don't need 3. MacBook Pro and phone. For my uses, when I need more power I can use a cloud based rendering service.
 
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Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,159
1,359
Always a day away
I have no need for both a desktop and a laptop - I have a station in my home office where I connect a monitor, speakers, and keyboard to my laptop if I want the feel of a "desktop." I use an iPad for several tasks that I almost never use a computer for, and I use my phone as a phone (95% or more of the time using it for phone calls or texting). Almost all the rest of its use is as a camera.
 
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