iMac/Macbook Pro/ Macbook Air. Cant choose.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AJ.G, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. AJ.G macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Im looking to buy a mac for school and personal use.
    School work would simply be document editing (iwork/microsoft office, havnt really decided yet), along with the odd imovie and photoshop.
    at home personal use would be photoshop, nothing to intense, but on a daily basis.
    along with photoshop id have google chrome with a couple tabs running, along with itunes in the background.

    i dont need the portability from the macbook pro/ air, though it would be nice.
    the iMac looks really nice, with a rather cheap (by apple standards) baseline model.

    my options are iMac, Macbook Air, or Macbook Pro.
    im waiting on the iMac upgrade, because for now, in a portable package, you get more bang for your buck from the MBP than the iMac.

    for my uses, would a base 11 inch macbook air be suitable? as in is the Core 2 Duo capable of photoshop and itunes and google chrome running?

    also, if i opt for the iMac, would the base models 256 MB graphics card be alright for photoshop?

    which would you buy? the MBA is sweet, and slightly more affordable, since i dont need all that much space, but then for not so much more money i get SOOO much more from the MBP/iMac, so im not sure which to go for...

    any advice appreciated..:p

  2. vettefanZR1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    While it's not for everyone, I found that the notebook was incredibly useful in school. I couldn't do a desktop. That being said, if $$ is an issue, i would steer clear of the MBP. I've heard a lot of really good things about the MacBook Air, but in general it feels like, despite the low price, the MBA is just not as good of value as the MBP. Additionally, i'm weary of the idea of having a MBA as my primary computer. I bought a MacBook Pro a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I hope you find what you like!
  3. sull8000 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have an MBP from my work and an MBA of my own (Ultimate 13). They're both great machines, but my MBA is my favorite hands-down. You won't need any more power than an MBA, and the light weight just never gets old. I smile every time I pick it up :)
  4. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010

    i was already pretty set on the macbook pro though i see how the MBP seems like such a smarter option. the macbook air really is a luxury item.
    i think the deciding factor is going to be based on the imac update, depending on how "radical" the update is. im pretty sure im gonna end up going with the macbook pro. it really fits my needs well, and the 13" looks pretty portable too. if i were to get the mbp, and run parralels with windows 7, or boot straight from windows 7, do any of you guys have any rough numbers for how long the battery there any battery life difference between booting from OSX or WIN7?
  5. masterjames macrumors newbie


    Mar 26, 2011
    Dawsonville, GA
    I purchased the MBP 13" a little over a week ago. I have a 27" iMac also and I have had other MBP models in the past few years. To run Windows in Parallels, you really need to upgrade the RAM to 8GB. It is easy to do as I just upgraded mine last night in a few minutes. Crucial has the exact RAM needed for the new MBP 2011 models (the faster 1333 RAM). Without the extra RAM, Windows in Parallels will drag everything to a very slow response. It even did this on my iMac with a quad-core i7 until I upgraded it to 8GB RAM. For me, setting the VM in Parallels to 3GB RAM for Windows and the rest for the Mac works very well and everything is quite responsive.

    Running Photoshop is no problem as I am using the CS4 Adobe Design Premium suite. Running Chrome and iTunes at the same time is no big deal and will be handled easily.

    I have not run anything in Bootcamp because I don't want to have to reboot, so I can't give you any information about running Windows this way.

    I also run Ubuntu Linux in Parallels with no problem at all and it doesn't need all the RAM that Windows does.

    I happen to have both iWork and Office for Mac 2011. I use Office for Mac because I need really good compatibility with documents from my work. I am a software developer and our Word and Excel documents get fairly complex for specifications, tracking, etc. In my case, the free Open Office and iWork do not translate all of the features in the documents correctly, if at all for some things.

    Enjoy whatever you decide to get. Any of the three will work.
  6. pkshiu macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    If you don't really need the mobility. The iMac is a great value. Don't forget AppleCare for the iMacs are much less than for the laptops too. And you get a keyboard and mouse to go with it. That alone is $140.

  7. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    i would avoid the imac since it is due to be updated. heck even the air may update in a couple of months. i would get the mac pro since its not something that will be out of date 4 months down the road since it was just updated.
  8. AJ.G, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    After a lot of contemplating i think im set on the base 11 air with an upgrade in RAM. That should do it, as i have an external for my photos/videos/utorrent donwloads.

    Does anybody know an estimate for the SIZE of Lion? as in GB?

    also, the core 2 duo at 1.4 Ghz should be okay for light photoshop with itunes playing in the background right? im upgrading from an intel atom with 2gb of RAM so i really dont want to come across any bottlenecks.

    im choosing the MBA cuz i love small ultraportables, and it seems pretty fast with the SSD.
    im going to be buying this summer when i go down to HK as its ridiculously cheap down there for the base model.

    and btw, do all macs come with the free ipod touch before school starts again, or is that only for macbook pros?

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