iMac+iPad or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by makismagoo99, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. makismagoo99 macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2006
    I'm looking to finally upgrade from my trusty 2006 MacBook. It really has served me well, but it's certainly showing its age. OK first things first; my usage:

    1. Web browsing/email
    2. Listening to music
    3. Watching video
    4. Some photo editing...starting to get into photography.
    5. Occasional games

    My original thought was for the low-end 15" MBP. It would suit my needs pretty well, but I feel like the 15" form factor cuts down on the portability of the machine. My next thought was that, for about the same price, I could get an iMac and add an iPad for the portable computing. I'm torn because I like being able to write emails wherever I happen to be sitting, whereas I'm sure typing many emails on the iPad is not so easy.

    I have not been impressed with how my current machine handles iPhoto; I don't dare install Aperture or Lightroom. Thus, I don't think the 13" MBP would be a good option due to the integrated graphics.

    If I was made of money, I'd probably get a new 13" MBA and an iMac for the more heavy-duty stuff, but I need to compromise somewhere.

    I'd love to get some opinions on each of these setups, as well as any other ideas you may have.
  2. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    ipad + bluetooth keyboard + incase origami workstation weighs about the same as an air, and takes up about the same amount of space, for much less money, and it also gives you the ipad as an e-reader. this is about 90% of my computing.

    typing emails on the ipad is actually not a big deal. i type about 80 wpm on a keyboard and maybe 40 on the ipad, but since my emails are only a few hundred words at most, the difference is pretty insignificant. when you get into editing or long documents, then i find the keyboard to be really necessary.

    you'll need a computer at some point, especially for the kind of stuff you are doing, and i would think the imac is perfect for that.
  3. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010

    Maybe the problem is with iPhoto. I use Photoshop on a MBP 13" for projects in the gigabytes realm and it works fine. I don't understand why you want an iPad. You seem like somebody that could create more content than you consume. I don't associate iPads with the creative type. Get an iMac or the Cinema Display and get an iPhone if you don't have one already. If you get the Cinema Display a 13" notebook would work well, MBA or MBP. The Cinema Display is gorgeous and if you are serious about photography it would be a treasure. The iMac wins on processing power. Anyways, I'd hate to see you stuck with an iPad. I don't know what good it would do you.

    FWIW I do a lot of photo editing and design with a 13" MBP. I'd love to have an external display, but I've done just fine with a 13" screen for years. It's not ideal, but it's certainly doable. I don't appreciate any of the performance advantages of the 15" or 17" but you've made a point about the integrated graphics on the 13's.
  4. makismagoo99 thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2006
    I agree completely with this, and I know the iMac would serve me very well for my use. However, it comes with some disadvantages in that I won't always have everything with me. I can never tell when I'll feel like goofing around online vs. working on the computer, and I feel like the limited mobility of the iMac would relegate it almost entirely to work.

    Really? Between what I have read and my experience with my current machine, the integrated graphics do not get much praise. Maybe I could get by with a 13" MBP for now and add an iMac in a couple years if I need more horsepower.

    I'd mainly use the iPad as a media device. Web browsing, games, video, photos and the like. I do think the iPad would be useful, but certainly not in any real productive sense.

    I know! I've seen them at the Apple Store. As much as I would love one, I don't have the budget to drop $1,000 on a display when I can get one from NewEgg for $200.
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    don't underestimate the power of the iPad. it can get stuff done. today it's all i have with me, and i plan to work on an essay for publication, organize my notes, and prepare handouts for a presentation. if you want some ideas, take a look at some of the threads i have started (in my profile).
  6. sumone macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    You sort of sound like me a few months ago.

    I have a late 2006 Macbook that I have been using since early 2007. Just like yours it has been an absolutely amazing machine and is what made me into a mac person (although I still like PC's) however it was certainly starting to show its age and I decided it was time to get a new Mac.

    I use my mac for almost all of the things you listed. In June I decided that the 13" MBP would be the best fit for me. I like the size and portability compared to the 15" so I can easily bring it around with me. As far performance is concerned so far it meets all of my needs. I haven't had any problems with the integrated graphics. I have started getting into photography as well and I primarily use Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Lightroom 3. Both work fantastically in fact I was just editing some photos I shot yesterday in Lightroom.

    I think for what you plan to use it for the 13" MBP would be a great fit.
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Get a baseline 13 inch MBP.

    People talk a lot about the integrated graphics chip. For my uses, it serves just fine. Portal 2 on med-high settings and oblivion on the same. Fluid, solid gameplay.

    For photo editing, I'll edit something right now so I an give you a direct response:
    I just did some touch up work on a picture of my GF in Aperture. I didn't have to wait on ANY edit, at all.

    Now of course this might be lighter than some serious work in photoshop, however this gives you an idea of the power of the CPU and GPU working together.

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