iMac + iPad or 15" MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by The Tech Fish, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. The Tech Fish macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Firstly a little background info:

    I am currently at school in 6th form (L6) and will hopefully be embarking on an architecture degree at university in 2013.

    At present I am using a 2006 Black MacBook, which was purchased second hand in 2007. Since then it has has a few repairs and upgrades, but at 6 years old, it's starting to show it's age. Although it is still working ok for day to day tasks, I do a lot of Photoshop work (often with large files) and other processor intensive tasks.

    I've known for a while that it's nearing the end, and have been saving up so that when the time comes to replace it, I have the money to do so!

    The two options that I'm currently looking at are getting a 21.5" iMac (the basic one) and a 32GB iPad (3) or whatever is in that price range when the 3 is released. The other option is to get a 15" MacBook Pro (both options come to about the same price) and so the price of either option does not bother me too much, as there is pretty much nothing in it.

    The benefit of the first option is that i would have the power in the imac, whilst having the portability in the iPad, whereas with the MBP I have less power and a reasonable amount of portability in the one device.

    Does anyone know, or have any idea which option would be better for an architecture student? (ie do i need a powerful laptop to take to class, or will there be computers there that i can use?).

    Personally i would rather have the iPad and iMac, since I would have the larger screen and more power with the iMac, and for graphic work that is very useful.

    Thank you for your help.

    Joe
     
  2. doobs22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Redwood City, California
    #2
    Think Different!

    I'd recommend getting the Thunderbolt Display and a 13" Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air. :cool:

    You'd get awesome display performance through the Thunderbolt ( I got one not too long ago, and love it ) Knowing that now, I wish that I had gotten Macbook Air with the external DVD drive (Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive) Apple offers for $ 79.- instead of the Macbook Pro. It would be much easier to transport. You'll have to research for yourself whether the Macbook Air will give you enough CPU performance for what you need to do.
     
  3. stiligFox macrumors 6502a

    stiligFox

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    10.0.1.3
    #3
    I'd say get the iMac and iPad.

    Now, I'll admit. I have a MacBook Air, and that is about all that I use. (I'm planning on getting an iPad sooner or later.) I run Photoshop CS 5 all the time on it, and it handles it like a champ, so I imagine that a MBP will do just fine in that department.

    That being said, there are a lot of time when I wish I had just an iPad and an iMac. The big screen would be nice, and the super portability of the iPad is a big plus. (I should probably add that I never take my MBA to school, I don't want anything happening to it :p )

    Also, if you school is anything like mine, they should have a place where you can go and just use their computers. The only thing is they may be Windows machines, but that should be no problem.
     
  4. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    I agree with getting the MacBook Pro and an external display. These are very capable machines and will be able to manage your tasks and with an external display you can get the screen real estate you want. What you need to understand is that an iPad while it is a great toy, I have 2 it will not replace a notebook. You can do a lot with them but they are more for entertainment and perhaps some quick notes but not for serious school work. I think you will get better benefit out of getting the MacBook Pro and external displays can be gotten for as little as $99 for a decent one. Especially being a student, which I am (Medical School) your going to want the abilities and portability of a notebook over a desktop.
     
  5. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #5
    I say wait for the new releases then get a portable laptop. The iMac is a great desktop though...:D
     
  6. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    I'd say go iPad + 15" MacBook Pro. iMacs (at least in their current form) do provide the best bang-to-buck ratio out of all of Apple's branded machines, but in my professional and personal experience, they are the least reliable (due to housing so many heat-generating [desktop] components each generating so much heat for so thin an enclosure). It's also the worst to service, and even barring that, post-AppleCare, you are locked into buying an Apple branded hard drive to replace your internal if it ever dies due to heat-sensor tools build into the modified firmware of Apple's drives. This is not a problem on any and every other Mac out there. So yeah, more reliable machine, plus iPad seems like win to me. if you still want the mammoth display of the 27" iMac, do as someone else said and buy the Thunderbolt display (which, mind you, has none of the aforementioned problems of the iMac).
     
  7. The Tech Fish thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    The issue I have with the MacBook + Apple Cinema display is the cost. Since the cinema display alone is about £800, plus another £1500 for the Macbook (i would not want smaller than 15") it is significantly more expensive than a £1300 iMac and a £400 iPad (If I even got one!). Although this would be my ideal setup, it's a tad on the expensive side!

    Something that I am considering though is getting a Macbook with a Non-Apple display, since you can get a large screen for £2-300. However with the 27" iMac you get a very nice quality screen anyway.

    I don't know...! I think when I am actually buying it I will go to an apple store, talk to a lot of people, and see what deals there are to be done!

    Thanks again for all your help. I think i know the sort of thing that i'm looking for!
     
  8. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    Very few people actually need the higher resolution and IPS nature of the Apple Cinema display. Most can get by just fine with a standard non-Apple monitor with less resolution than their display. Really with a MacBook Pro, you get portability, the best engineered Mac in Apple's Mac portfolio, and speed rivaling that of the iMacs anyway. That and if you decide you want to upgrade your external display at a later time when you have the money to, there's no reason why you can't later get a Thunderbolt display with the same great screen as you'll find on a 27" iMac.
     
  9. chescourt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    I was in a position very similar to yours. I had the 2006 black MacBook as well and after the hard drive crashed for the second time, I upgraded. I already had an iPad 2, so instead of getting another laptop to replace my MacBook, I went with a 21.5" iMac. Couldn't be happier with my setup. The iPad does everything I need.
     

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