Do I need an iMac when I have a MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by colickyboy, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. colickyboy macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008

    i'm a so-called switcher as of a week ago with a penryn mbp. things have been going quite well so now i'm thinking of getting a (refreshed) iMac to replace my old XP machine (7 y.o. i think) as the primary desktop.

    however, my wife is making me wonder if i need a desktop at all since she'd rather save the cash and said the mbp can do everything we need already. we do photo & video editing, web design and just seems like she's right...unless i'm overlooking something?

    i've seen the 24" iMac and it is drop dead gorgeous (although the glossy screen is a bit distracting) so it kinda gave me tech lust :D.

    but i guess i'm wondering is there really a compelling reason to get a refreshed iMac when i have a mbp? the only two reasons i can think of right now (without speculating on rumored new features):
    1) the obviously bigger screen real estate to do photo/video editing
    2) the speed bump from a faster processor

    are there other reasons to add an iMac when i already have a MBP?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Actually I think your wife is right. You can easily buy a 24" external monitor from for under $350, a keyboard and mouse and you have your so-called iMac. Yes, there's a slight speed bump, but not enough to really suggest that you wouldn't be wasting your money.

    My theory is this ... if your laptop does what you need it to do then just get the display/keyboard/mouse combo. If your laptop doesn't do enough heavy lifting, like mine for example, then get the desktop to supplement. It sounds like you're only wanting the iMac for the screen real estate. A problem solved for less than $400 shipped (keyboard and mouse included).

    Take the rest of the money you saved on buying something useless and buy your wife something pretty for that equally useless hallmark holiday coming up. ;)
  3. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    I plug my MBP into a 24" monitor, and don't feel the need for another full-time desktop computer. Save money, and the hassle of managing your info/files across two systems.

    For full disclosure, I use my MBP for my own business, so I do have a Mac Mini as a back-up/media center.
  4. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    If you take your old tired XP machine to the Apple store, they'll recycle it for you. Saving the environment is a win-win. ;)

    Do you really need a desktop computer? The iMac is brilliant, I was planning on getting one when they freshen the hardware like the buzz says they will soon, but I just got a new Macbook Pro and likely won't be getting the desktop for a while. But anyway...

    To address your editing and so on, the Macbook Pro you have is more than capable. To replace a behemoth XP tower from the dark ages :)p) the 24in iMac is very attractive, but your existing macbook pro can take on an external monitor up to 30in, and add a keyboard and mouse.

    To the social element of enjoying a computer together, moving a Mac Mini or (modifiable) Apple TV into the living room could be a good idea, and relatively cost friendly.
  5. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I think that your wife is probably right there isn't anything the the imac can do which the MBP can't.
    If you'd bought a macbook you might have been able to get away with it.
  6. dutchrazor macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2009
    Why not just buy the 24" LED Cinema display?

    Then you can plug in your MBP, no need to hassle adapter :apple:
  7. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    My Penryn MBP doesn't have a mini display port so that won't work.
  8. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
  9. johtaja macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2008
  10. jayselle macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2006
    I'm going to say yes. The 24" iMac is fast and beautiful.

    I own a 15" MBP and it has been great. I also had an older XP machine. I finally decided a couple months ago to ditch windows altogether and couldn't be happier. I bought the 24" iMac to replace my windows desktop and I find myself using the iMac much more than my MBP. That 24" screen is nice to have!

    I bet your wife will also be wanting to use the MBP quite a bit and you can direct her towards the iMac or vice versa.

    So if you have the money; by all means get, you won't be disappointed.
  11. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I have a MBP. My family has an iMac. I use the iMac when I my macbook pro is being repaired. I don't see the need for 2 machines that are basically the same specs.
  12. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    Your MBP can do everything that the iMac can do. If you need a bigger display - get one separately (eg from Dell for a lot cheaper....)
  13. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    $350 monitors are kinda crappy, generally. The Apple monitors are far better (you can get a refurb 20 inch for $499), though I'm not saying ONLY Apple sells great quality screens. I would just make sure you get a screen you've seen in person. I've paid $250 Dell screens that aren't half as good as my 20 inch iMac.
  14. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    Oh no.
    Not Dell!:D
  15. mrweems macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2009
    I have a MBP and i am wanting an Imac for my bedroom use rather than my MBP.

    I'm addicted to macs now. No more Windows ever.
  16. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    You don't need an extra computer; it just gives you more trouble to need to sync your work and media between devices. Keep your work on one system and just buy a beautiful external display for the money an iMac costs and you'll be happy.

    So I think you should save the money and make the wife happy :p.

    Why not? I personally have never used a Dell display before so I'm not sure firsthand how good they are, but reading about something like the 2408WFP looks really good for its price especially with the number of video inputs it offers (hook up any game console, computer, etc).
  17. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    What's the problem with Dell? I have a great monitor from them which is as good as any ACD and costs substantially less....
  18. iAthena macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    Depends on how neat you want your computer desk while you work. When I use my laptop as a desktop I have to make space for not only the laptop, but all the cables connecting the monitor, the extra power cable, the extra keyboard and the mouse cable. Granted you could do without the mouse and the extra keyboard, but I prefer a real keyboard when it's an option.
  19. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    thanks for all the replies. the suggestions to just get a big monitor were great and i even started looking around for one... but then it occurred to me last night why we would want a second mac: we're both using the mac apps that aren't available on the windows pc so we're both "fighting" for use of the MBP!
  20. dutchrazor macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2009
    Oh well, you could always get another 24" if the LED doesn't fit. You can get a great display if you're willing to spend half a 24" iMac's cost, then you can save the other half to upgrade your MBP early ;)

    The old monitors they had were very good, but the newer ones use a TN-panel.

    Apple uses the far superior S/H-IPS panels, so does Eizo and some expensive LG's and Samsungs.
  21. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    excellent advice Jessica:) You really are my wife right????
  22. MrJingles macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I'd have to agree. I compromised on a deal for an LG 24in PVA panel for $420 about a year ago online and it is night and day my old TN panel. You could ante up for a new LED Apple display but that's a personal choice. Just look for 178x178 viewing angle info in the screens specs, that usually means PVA or IPS display.

    On the iMac I say no. (Only because they are so similar in speed /performance it seems redundant to have both) I think it makes more sense to have a MacPro for home/Macbook Pro or iMac home/low end Macbook. But hey that is just me. Plus if you get a great LED/LCD 24in you can always keep it when you decide to upgrade to a new Macbook Pro and it's double bonus coupon day.
  23. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Sounds like you have a rubber arm...

    24" is sweet. ;)
  24. Nero9171 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I had the same desire to buy an iMac, bought it, and 3 weeks later regretted it. Here is what I did.

    Bought a 32" 1080P Vizio HDTV from Walmart for under $500, a keyboard and mouse for $20, and a Displayport to DVI adaptor for $30.

    Works and looks amazing :)
  25. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    With that kind of rationalizing, we'll fix this darn economy in no time. :)

    I jest: i convinced my wife last fall to buy her own MB (to get her off my MBP), and now she's loving her own Mac. But as much as you may want screen real estate, will the portable practicality of the MBP cause you to still fight over it? Maybe you could get an MB, and a second monitor. Not cheaper, but soo much more flexible.

Share This Page