iMac...anyone use as a "transportable"??

Tom R

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 13, 2009
43
0
Good afternoon. I currently have a mid-2010 17" MacBook Pro and it is time to make a change...Turbo Tax does not include the mid-2010 in their 2018 Tax Return software. Also probably other issues will begin to mont up moving forward.

We "relocate" between a couple of residences maybe 6-8+ per year..used to be more when my wife and I were both self-employed and both had clients at each location. Possible we may sell one location in the not too distant future.

My current set up has monitor/power cable/video cable/wireless mouse and keyboard at each location so I just kind of plug and play. Use now also not as complex as not much Excel or Word as when employed...still like to buy up so it may stay a bit fresher as the capabilities in the market grow.

Curious if any/many of you use an iMac as a portable...by probably using the custom packing foam and box as rec'd when new? I don't think I would mind the packing and unpacking assuming all components assemble pretty easily back into the original box and can then load into my SUV and travel.

What experience have any of you have...if any??? Actually, back in 2010 when I purchased the 17" MacBook Pro I first took delivery of an iMac. At that point, after I had unpacked I decided it would not work. Too many "relocations" back then and also pretty much needed a laptop to use in clients offices.

Revisiting now as I don't wish to buy a current MBP 15" for two reasons...one is the hinge wire issue and the other is it sound like a 16"+ MBP may be introduced yet this year.

Any comments? Tanks...Tom R
 

Don.Key

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2005
132
6
Me and my family relocate to Italian seacoast during summer for surfing and sun. We rent a small house on the beach and work on the porch, taking computers outside and bringing them back in 1-2 times a day. So they have to be kind of highly mobile but still be workstations with normal displays / keyboards and not notebooks. We have 21.5 iMac and MBP with external 25" display and docking station.

So far it worked like a charm. But it needs a small UPS because of flakey utility power there, especially during lightning storms.

Docking station setup is too messy though, I now bought a new 2019 27 Inch iMac to replace it. I will dump both iMacs into one box with custom self-forming foam inlays for transport in my SUV.
 

scubachap

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2016
152
195
UK
Yes, I've done (and still do) this with a 27". I've also found it a lot easier than trying to take both a laptop and a separate large monitor.

The key two questions - do I need a large monitor and how do I get to where I go? Probably the best portable solution is to have a decent monitor at both locations and buy the top of the line MacBook Pro. If that doesn't work for you (and it's damn expensive way to do it) then an iMac can work, particularly if you want the work station(ish) performance and you drive to where you're going.

The 27" is heavy to hoof around so I strongly suggest buying a proper case - it makes all the difference. I bought this one (link) from a company here in the UK.




It's brilliant and makes the whole job really easy. Packing it up is as easy as packing up a laptop. The case has got pockets for all the gubbins (keyboard etc) as well.

This plan will not really going to work if you get the train - it's a car job. If you have a small car measure the boot (trunk) - I find standing it up best but it up but it's quite tall so might not fit. If you have to lay it flat is there space for your other bags / cases etc? Piling them up on the computer lying flat might not be the best plan.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
33,289
22,898
Behind the Lens, UK
Good afternoon. I currently have a mid-2010 17" MacBook Pro and it is time to make a change...Turbo Tax does not include the mid-2010 in their 2018 Tax Return software. Also probably other issues will begin to mont up moving forward.

We "relocate" between a couple of residences maybe 6-8+ per year..used to be more when my wife and I were both self-employed and both had clients at each location. Possible we may sell one location in the not too distant future.

My current set up has monitor/power cable/video cable/wireless mouse and keyboard at each location so I just kind of plug and play. Use now also not as complex as not much Excel or Word as when employed...still like to buy up so it may stay a bit fresher as the capabilities in the market grow.

Curious if any/many of you use an iMac as a portable...by probably using the custom packing foam and box as rec'd when new? I don't think I would mind the packing and unpacking assuming all components assemble pretty easily back into the original box and can then load into my SUV and travel.

What experience have any of you have...if any??? Actually, back in 2010 when I purchased the 17" MacBook Pro I first took delivery of an iMac. At that point, after I had unpacked I decided it would not work. Too many "relocations" back then and also pretty much needed a laptop to use in clients offices.

Revisiting now as I don't wish to buy a current MBP 15" for two reasons...one is the hinge wire issue and the other is it sound like a 16"+ MBP may be introduced yet this year.

Any comments? Tanks...Tom R
Why not go with a Mac mini and a monitor at each location. Would be a lot easier solution.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,449
5,666
OP wrote:
"We "relocate" between a couple of residences maybe 6-8+ per year"

I think you'd do much better with a Mac Mini.

At each location, keep a
- display and connecting cable
- keyboard
- mouse
- hub, cables, etc.

Then, just carry the Mini along with you, along with at least one backup drive.
The Mini is near-perfect for such a mission...
 

Tom R

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 13, 2009
43
0
Great case...not sure if I would get the 21" or 27" but am guessing the case is available in either? I will have to spend a bit more time looking at iMacs...have used the 2010 MacBook Pro 17" for last 10 years w/monitors, etc at each location...worked well and also as a laptop when I needed for client visits. Now retired so the "pure" laptop use is probably travel and then mostly web surfing or e-mail...which phone and perhaps an IPad might assist. Between wife and I we have room for a couple of options. Thanks...Tom R

P.S. I have had MBP since 2010 (17") w/monitors, etc at each location...might still be the best choice...AFTER the current hinge wiring issue is clarified and also I would like to wait until "new" MBP in the 16"-16.5" projected size is released. Since I need to tax software (Turbo Tax no longer supports 2010 MBP) I may address my wife's longer term need (she has a 2009 17" MBP) and buy her a 13" or 15" and use it currently for the 2018 return but let her take it over when I buy new later. That would keep us both with laptops in the long run...and I would "dock" mine at each location for the longer term. Tom R



Yes, I've done (and still do) this with a 27". I've also found it a lot easier than trying to take both a laptop and a separate large monitor.

The key two questions - do I need a large monitor and how do I get to where I go? Probably the best portable solution is to have a decent monitor at both locations and buy the top of the line MacBook Pro. If that doesn't work for you (and it's damn expensive way to do it) then an iMac can work, particularly if you want the work station(ish) performance and you drive to where you're going.

The 27" is heavy to hoof around so I strongly suggest buying a proper case - it makes all the difference. I bought this one (link) from a company here in the UK.




It's brilliant and makes the whole job really easy. Packing it up is as easy as packing up a laptop. The case has got pockets for all the gubbins (keyboard etc) as well.

This plan will not really going to work if you get the train - it's a car job. If you have a small car measure the boot (trunk) - I find standing it up best but it up but it's quite tall so might not fit. If you have to lay it flat is there space for your other bags / cases etc? Piling them up on the computer lying flat might not be the best plan.
[doublepost=1553963089][/doublepost]That's two votes for a Mac Mini...that is an option. Actually, I currently have three locations we travel to...might be a bit more expensive gearing up with three of everything. We are looking at selling one location and beginning our "downsizing" soon :) Tom R

OP wrote:
"We "relocate" between a couple of residences maybe 6-8+ per year"

I think you'd do much better with a Mac Mini.

At each location, keep a
- display and connecting cable
- keyboard
- mouse
- hub, cables, etc.

Then, just carry the Mini along with you, along with at least one backup drive.
The Mini is near-perfect for such a mission...
 
Last edited:

Don.Key

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2005
132
6
The problem with those iMac cases as well as original box is that they are very unpractical due to trapezoid geometrical form. At least in my case, the car is tightly packed almost to the roof with standard square boxes that fit perfectly into the saloon. iMac box was a horrible fit, nothing could be stacked on top of it and it should not go on the top of the stack due to it's weight (in case of crash I would rather receive a light box with clothing then iMac in the back of my head).
 

scubachap

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2016
152
195
UK
The problem with those iMac cases as well as original box is that they are very unpractical due to trapezoid geometrical form. At least in my case, the car is tightly packed almost to the roof with standard square boxes that fit perfectly into the saloon. iMac box was a horrible fit, nothing could be stacked on top of it and it should not go on the top of the stack due to it's weight (in case of crash I would rather receive a light box with clothing then iMac in the back of my head).
Yes, agreed, you need to look at your car's boot first. I've tended to have estates (thanks to other hobbies etc) and I find the case has fitted well, first thing in - upright, pushed against the back seats and as such it doesn't seem to take up much space and no way could it torpedo in that sort of situation.

Also, if you already have monitors / keyboards etc where you're going to (sorry, I missed that bit in the OP) then a mac Mini is probably the best option. If though you're faced with carting a 28/30" monitor as well (and I've found that a particularly delicate pig of a thing to transport) along with say, the attendant mini or laptop then I've found the single iMac in a case to work well, particularly if you're doing demanding stuff when you get there. But as always YMMV.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,604
393
The Sillie Con Valley
Turbo Tax does not include the mid-2010 in their 2018 Tax Return software
What do you mean by that? A Mid 2010 17" meets the system requirements. In that regards, it should be no different than a 2010 iMac. The requirements do differ if using one of the CD products vs online.


Mac CD/Download Products: Below are the minimum requirements for TurboTax Basic 2018 software installed on a Mac computer.
Processor: Multi core Intel Processor with 64-bit required.
Monitor: 1024x768 screen resolution.
RAM: 2 GB or more recommended
Operating System: macOS Sierra 10.12 or later [64-bit required]. El Capitan not supported.
Hard Disk Space: 650 MB for TurboTax
Internet Connection: 56 Kbps modem (Broadband connection highly recommended). Required for product updates. Printer: Any Macintosh-compatible inkjet or laser printer.
Technical Support: www.turbotax.com/support
CD/DVD drive required.
Additional requirements: 1) Download Size and unit of measure = 200MB 2) Download Time (approx) = 2 mins on broadband; 8 hours 20 mins on dial up 3)
Mac = 64-bit processor


TurboTax Online System Requirements

Here are the minimum requirements for your computer or device.

Recommended Minimum Computer Hardware




    • Processor: Core Duo or higher
    • Tablets: iPad (33rd Gen) or Android equivalent
    • Mobile Phone: iPhone 5 or Android equivalent
    • RAM: 1 GB
    • Monitor: 1024x768 or higher screen resolution
    • Internet Connection Speed: High-Speed Connection

Minimum Operating Systems and Browsers - Mac
Mac OS X 10.14.x (Mojave)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 12.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.13.x (High Sierra)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 11.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.12.x (Sierra)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 10.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 9.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 9.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Safari 9.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.8.x (Mountain Lion)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.7.x (Lion)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard)




    • Firefox 40.x
    • Chrome 40.x
    • Opera 36.x
 

tyc0746

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2019
56
18
Before I started using an iMac, my ‘portable’ computer was a MacPro 1,1 with an Apple Cinema Display, which I used to take all over the world in a big, padded transportation box. Got some strange looks when I’d turn up at a client site and start unpacking. But it was the only way I could guarantee the hardware/software that I was expected to use was actually available...despite the client’s assurances. 95% of the time the machine I was expected to work on was a Wyse terminal or a ageing Dell/HP desktop and 13” VGA monitor.

I’ve been using an iMac as my ‘portable’ computer for over 10 years, and use an LTA iLugger to carry it around as a backpack.

The backpack straps used to come as standard, but when I needed a new one (when I went from a 20” white iMac to a 21.5” alu iMac), the new one didn’t have them - so I had to make a special order to have them fitted.

I’ve used it on planes, trains, buses, etc. and I’ve never had an issue with anything getting broken (including when I stupidly left my new iMac perched on top of my trolly bag and it fell stand first onto the floor - although it did bend the stand).

I use it in dual-boot mode as some clients work on Windows and some on Mac...and some apps work better on the 2 platforms...and 100% compatibility is important to some clients.

I’ve just received the 2019 replacement for my trusty 2010 iMac, but it’s not going to the scrap heap yet...it is going to be wiped/reformatted, freshly installed with MacOS and donated to a relative - following the same path as my previous core 2 duo iMac and 3,1 MacPro (both still working).