Help choosing new Apple device (iPad or Mac)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ranny2, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. ranny2 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I am faced with a slight dilemma as to which Apple device to buy. Before we get to the options and my uses, here is a bit of background information.

    I currently own an Acer Aspire 5551, with an AMD Athlon X2, 3GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD. I have owned it for about a year now and have enjoyed it. The reason I didn't go for more power at the time was simply a lack of funds.

    I also own a 2nd generation iPod Touch 8GB, which I still use regularly, but I think it is starting to age, as it often lags and the battery has decreased dramatically.

    I also have a BlackBerry Curve 9300, which I love.

    OK, now here are the options:

    1. An iPad 2 WiFi only 16GB/32GB with a smart cover and an Apple wireless keyboard.
    I would keep my laptop (which I use primarily on my desk anyway) but sell my iPod Touch (I rarely listen to music on the go only rarely take it out the house) if I go for this option. With my current funds, I would be able to purchase this option NOW.

    2. An iMac 21.5 base model.
    For this option, I would sell my laptop and keep my iPod Touch. However, I would not be able to afford this until early August I reckon.

    Here are my uses:
    Web browsing (probably my biggest use)
    YouTube (another big use)
    Light gaming (only on iPod Touch, so not on Mac, but on iPad)
    Simple word processing (With the iPad, I would still have my laptop)
    Photo editing (Aperture on Mac OR Filterstorm Pro on iPad, and Lightroom on PC)
    PDF viewing

    Thank you so much for your help. Please keep in mind my funds, and I wouldn't just own the iPad, but a Windows laptop as well.
    I am looking forward to reading your thoughts! :)
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I can't say which you should get but I can tell you that my 16GB wifi iPad completely replaced my Acer Aspire One which hasn't been powered on since April 3, 2010.

    But here's the rub.

    An iPad is not a substitute for a desktop computer. It is a wonderful portable computer but when it comes to things like handling files, printing, detaching-modifying-and-reattaching files to an email iPad falls short.

    I have a 2008 Macbook, an iPhone 4 and an iPad 1. I use the Macbook a lot. I use my iPad to remotely use my Macbook. I use my iPad for some things, bypassing my Macbook. I use my iPhone for a lot of things, bypassing both my iPad and my Macbook. If I did not have a Mac, I would find it difficult to "get by" with an iPad alone. (Check out to read about a guy who tried, and I haven't checked back lately to see if he succeeded.)

    So the bottom line is if your next device is going to be your main computer, go for either an iMac or a Macbook Pro. If your next device is going to be your portable computer, an iPad handily replaces any netbook. (BTW, shhhhh, if you want an Apple netbook, it's called an 11.6 inch Macbook Air and it's a heck of a lot nicer than any traditional "netbook"). As far as adding a keyboard to an iPad, it gets a bit clunky to use a keyboard to type then reach up and click the screen. I wish the ipad supported a bluetooth mouse alongside a bluetooth keyboard but there is no cursor support in iOS without jailbreaking.

    hope this helps...
  3. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Thank you both. I was not planning on replacing a 'proper' computer with an iPad. As I said, it would run alongside my Acer 15.6" laptop.
    The thing that is putting me off the Mac, is unfortunately the price. Here in the UK, Apple products are a lot more expensive than in the US.
    I saw on MacRumors a while back that there were rumours that the next iMac would be cheaper - if that is the case I may reconsider. Does anyone know an expected release date?
    One slight concern with the iMac and iPod Touch option is portability. I really like my iPod, but I'm not sure it would be good enough as my only portable machine. Currently I do have the option to take out my laptop (not that I do very often...)
    One other use I would have of an iPad would be audio recording with GarageBand. I would be recording musical instruments. Is it good for this task?
    I understand it will not be as good as GarageBand on the Mac, but this doesn't really affect me. Are there any good external mics available for the iPad 2?
    Thank you very much!

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