Geez, I can't decide between a MBP, MBA, Mini, and iMac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Star Nuts, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Star Nuts macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    Each one has so many pros and cons. I mainly use my computer for web browsing, amateur editing photos with Aperture, and managing my 1.5 TB iTunes library. I'm also in the military, so it's nice to have something that's portable for when I move to a new base. I have an iMac right now and it sucked not being able to take it with me. Had to wait around a month to get it. I'm also stationed in Germany, so we go on a lot of little trips and around once a year, we go back to the States for a few weeks.

    iMac (what I have right now and love it)
    Pros: I love that it's really fast and that it will last the longest without needing to be upgraded. I have a 21'' screen and can only imagine how beautiful it would be to have a 27''.

    Cons: It is very expensive. It would also take a huge hit in value when I sell to upgrade. I want to keep it for a long time, but I'm sure I'll end up upgrading again in around 4 years. By the time I sell, I'd probably end up "losing" over $1,000 from what I paid. It's also has a lot more power than I need, so I'm pretty much paying a lot of money for the screen. And finally, it's not portable. But not that big of a deal seeing as I will only move once every 4-6 years.

    Pros: It's very small and portable. I also love that it's very simple in design and the price is great. Assuming I purchased it for around $800, I'd feel less guilty upgrading again in a few years since I'll only be losing less that $500 probably.

    Cons: It'll probably start to show it's age after 2-3 years. I'd also have to buy a monitor for it and I'd have to purchase a super drive.

    MBP (non-retina)
    Pros: It's portable and I can use it all around the house but I'm not sure how much I'll do that since I also have an iPad that'll probably be more convenient. But it would be nice when I move. It's also very powerful and will be somewhat "future proof" for me.

    Cons: It's so dam expensive. Again, I'd lose over $1,000 when I do decide to upgrade. I also like having a nice big screen to look at and a permanent 15'' screen would definitely take some getting use to. After spending that much money, I wouldn't want to buy another monitor.

    Pros: It's very light and portable and I may be more willing to take it with me on trips and vacations. Would be very nice when I change bases. I also love the price range for a laptop. I think it has all the power that I need.

    Cons: It's not upgradable. I think it would probably show it's age after 2-3 years. It also has a very small screen.
  2. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    If you've got an iMac already, perhaps a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro would be better? I'm not sure though. It's a tough choice. I own a Mac Mini, Powermac G5 and a Macbook Pro. The Macbook Pro is good for portability, the Mini is tiny, and well.. the G5 is a tower. :p

    I'd deffo go with a Macbook Pro or Air if I was in your shoes. :D
  3. Star Nuts thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    I guess I should have mentioned that I'm going to sell my iMac. I don't want to have to deal with two separate computers with different files and stuff. I want my main computer and my iPad, that's all.
  4. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    Yeah I know what you mean to be honest, do you require the portability? D:
  5. Star Nuts thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    It could come in handy every once in a while, but I don't require it. The only time it would come in handy is if I'm traveling to the States for a few weeks, which happens around once a year, or when I change bases, which happens every 4-6 years.
  6. RossBlake macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2012
    After a long hard thought, I've decided to go with the iMac; and considering you already have an iPad I would say that almost removes the need for a Macbook. In your situation, I would go for the iMac.
  7. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    You want the macbook air

    Friend, I will list below the reasons why the macbook air is the best choice.

    Firstly, screen size is the same among all the devices. Sounds weird right? Let me explain. The distance to wich a external monitor is set, is your arm. This is for both the MacMini and iMac. Regarding notebooks, the disctance to wich you set its screen is aprox your forearm. When you are looking into 15" you instinctivelly set the notebook a little bit farther. When looking at a 13", you instinctivelly set it a little bit closer. This happens automatically in oder to create a good visual experience, in wich the text isnt too big or too small. To conclude, you will get the SAME VISUAL EXPERIENCE, no matter wich Mac you are using. So screen size is defenetly not what you should be worried. (this only doenst apply if you get a 27"or a 11")

    You want to have a portable computer. Even inside your home, its wonderful to have your macbook in your lap while you are in bed, or in a couch, or at the kitchen. And you have to option of taking it to the streets.

    The Mac Mini is NOT PORTABLE. Will you take the monitor + keyboard + mouse + Mini with you on the bus to a friends house?

    And for what you do, the macbook pro is a waste of money.

    The iPad is more to have a quick acess to the internet and using some specific apps, wich usually are work/professional orientated, not consumer
  8. Murgatroyd macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2010
    Staten Island, New Yawk
    With at least an 128 SSD, and 8GB RAM, the 11" screen says, 'Powerful. Compact. Almost but not quite military-grade." :apple:†:cool:
  9. roto1231 macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2009
    Keep the iMac

    My best advice would be to keep the iMac for the simple reason you will lose money on the sale of it. Use it as the "server" for all of your music, movies, files etc. I do this with my MacPro and it serves as my media server and repository for everything I have. I also have a MacBook Pro which I keep all the apps I know I would need when I am away from home. You can then use the "Back to My Mac" service that is included on every Mac to get back to the iMac from either the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. It's came in handy for me when I have been TDY and need a file that is not on my MacBook Pro.Also to get a portable with the storage capacity you are looking for on your iMac it'll cost a lot more than the base price, especially if you go with the Air. And, External drives are not that expensive but the last thing you are going to want is take an external with you everywhere.

    You stated that the Mac is "more power than you need", I thought the same thing when I first bought my MacPro but I am glad I got it because it has lasted almost 6 years. Also I'd stick with it because moving from the imac to a Mini or the Air is a noticeable drop in power and the things you are used to doing quickly take longer.

    So If you are looking for ultimate portability but still want the storage keep the iMac and get an Air or 13" MacBook Pro. Then get iTunes match for 20 bucks a year and that way you'll have access to the music you upload. If you want access to all of it for free on your iMac do a google for "access iTunes library, LogMeIn Hamachi", you should get a tutorial how to share your iTunes library from your iMac to your remote computer.

    I for got to add, check out AAFES, there is anywhere from 10-20% off and tax free. Even at 10% off it comes out to almost 20% with the tax free prices.
  10. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    MBP is a general purpose do everything Mac. I recommend that one if you had to only have one.
  11. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    There's no point to getting a Mac mini unless you want to have two 2.5" hard drives instead of only having one in the non-retina MacBook Pro (though you could rectify that too in the MBP, you'd just be temporarily voiding AppleCare). It's really just a stationary 13" MacBook Pro. Plus, until it's updated, it's running with outdated internals that are your worst bang for buck until they're refreshed.

    You already have an iMac. If it is a 21.5", then, even at the low-end, you do not need to replace it; it's a perfectly capable machine; you can run Mountain Lion both comfortably and fast and you can max that thing out at 8GB at the very least.

    That leaves the MacBook Air vs. the non-retina MacBook Pro. If your needs aren't that substantial, a low-end non-retina 15" MacBook Pro is a pretty good deal; if you want bigger storage and maxed out RAM, that's not a whole lot of extra money if you do it aftermarket (which is the best solution out there). Similarly either 13" MacBook Pro will be plenty capable. External displays are $130, which isn't all THAT much more than the cost of either machine. Personally, unless you have zero need for what the non-retina MacBook Pros offer over the MacBook Air, then go with the MacBook Air. Otherwise, forget the MacBook Air.
  12. Blackberryroid macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    For me, that isn't an easy question. It isn't something that you would come up with just a few seconds. Sometimes, it takes up to 30 minutes to think about that. But I always choose laptops because it's always better to be safe than sorry.
  13. Star Nuts thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    I was playing around with a MBA last night and it wasn't as fast as I was hoping it would be. There was was still some decent lag when opening apps and switching between them. I also noticed the same thing with the MBP retina. Even though it only has one bounce when opening, it could have easily fit a few more bounces in before the application launched. All I would do is quit and app and re-open it and it took about 2 seconds to open. Maybe it's because it's a floor demo and it's always on.

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