iMac and Macbook Air, or just a Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by A_worker, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. A_worker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    #1
    Hello All,

    I'm currently in the market for a new computer for school this September. I currently only have a 2011 iMac 27-inch, and it has recently been feeling very dated and slow. I need a Macbook for school, and am torn what I should do. I was going to get an upgraded 13-inch or 15-inch Macbook Pro to be both my school laptop, but also replace my main computer, the iMac. Or do you think I should upgrade to a new iMac and get a lower end Macbook Air just for school? All I really need the Macbook for in school is taking notes, e-textbooks and such, so it doesn't need to be over powerful.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Since you're not looking to push the computer computationally, i.e., just business type apps for school, any of what you listed will be more then enough.

    So it boils down to needing a mobile device or not, and screen size.
    Do you want a 13", or 15" laptop, or do you not need a laptop and work off a desktop? Sounds like you do have mobility needs, so that should cross off a new iMac.

    I'd avoid the MBA at this point, the screen is just so inferior compared to the other models. I'd look towards a 12" MB, 13" MBP or a 15" MBP.

    Going from a 27" iMac to a 12' screen may be a bit jarring, so I think a 15" model may offer the best user experience and being quad core, it will give you the best long term performance.

    The 13" model is great and is a bit more portable, so if portability is a major factor, i.e., carrying lots of crap for school and don't want to lug a big computer.
     
  3. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a

    bodonnell202

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #3
    I'd go for the Pro. You can always get a large monitor if you miss the big screen at home.
     
  4. A_worker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    #4
    Thanks for the insight! My current set up is the 27-inch iMac and a 27-inch secondary display, so I've been accustomed to the extra space, thats for sure haha. After doing some research, I'm looking at the 15-inch MBP 2.5GHz. Do you guys think I should wait a little while to see if Apple releases the update for the MBP or go ahead with it now?
     
  5. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a

    bodonnell202

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #5
    If your need isn't urgent I would recommend waiting for Apple to release the new models if you are looking at a MBP, as rumours suggest a major overhaul soon. That said, a release date is still completely unknown and it could still be months away so it's up to you as to how long you can hold out with your current setup.
     
  6. A_worker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    #6
    Thanks! As of right now, I've got no issue waiting with my current setup, I just don't want to leave getting a new computer until the very last moment. Hopefully they decide to announce the new ones earlier than Q4.
     
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Just get the rMBP and use the iMac for home use.
    Real shame you can't just plug in a HDMI cable into the iMac without the messing.
     
  8. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a

    bodonnell202

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #8
    Just another thought on your iMac. The specs on the 2011 iMac 27 aren't that bad and some extra ram and upgrading the hard drive to an SSD might be enough to make it feel nice and snappy again.
     
  9. A_worker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    #9
    I was also tossing around that idea. It would be about $400-500 to install a SSD in the iMac. That being said, if I were to sell the iMac, I'd probably be getting $400-500 after eBay takes their cut. If I were to upgrade and keep the iMac and get a MBP, I'd probably go for the 2.2GHz instead, which would be about $500 less than the 2.5.

    Decisions decisions!
     
  10. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #10
    Keep the iMac, macOS Sierra is supported on it, use an ifixit guide and or youtube and install a new SSD in it yourself for $200. Hold off on a new laptop purchase, this has been one of the longest periods without refreshed hardware in apple's history.
     
  11. alrut235 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    #11
    If it were me in this situation I would keep the 27" iMac and use it as an external display on a 15" MacBook Pro using Target Display mode. You could also use the 2nd 27" if you so choose with the 15" MacBook pro. This way you do not lose screen space at home but you still have a computer on the go.

    Here is the article that talks about Target Display Mode
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204592
     

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