iMac + MBA Combo or MBP?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hb13, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. hb13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #1
    iMac + MBA Combo or MBP?

    I know, another buying advice post...

    Currently have a mid-2011 MBA 240GB SSD, but I'm running out of HD space. I use it between work, home and school. Primarily it is used for writing, emails, photoshop, web and graphic design, and photography. We recently ditched cable and Netflix DVDs so it's also becoming more of a entertainment device. I have a 2TB Time Capsule and several other TB external drives; which is where all of my movies and some of my music is stored. I already have a 24" external monitor, Apple wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse and Touchpad that I use the MBA on in my home office. When I take it to my office for work, I usually just work on it by itself (I work more at home than at the office). Typically when I travel, I just take my iPad (unless I plan to do design work on the go).

    I know I could potentially just upgrade to 480GB SSD for $600, but with a 2011, I'd rather invest that $600 into a new computer with the space already.

    My question is should I get the new 21" iMac with fusion drive to combo with the MBA + iPad with the plan to get a rMBP in a few years? Or should I get a MBP (non-retina, I need the HD space) when they potentially refresh to Haswell here is a few weeks? I'm struggling to determine if it's a benefit to have the iMac to act as a desktop or the MBP as a desktop with an option to go mobile?

    posted this in both iMac & MBP forums to curtail bias.
     
  2. Aameiel macrumors regular

    Aameiel

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    Cape Coral, FL
    #2
    i would go with the iMac for work and keep your air for your basic needs.
     
  3. hb13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #3
    Thank you for your input!
     
  4. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #4

    Incidentally, I've just purchased an iMac, to supplement my 2011 13" MBP. Plan is to use the laptop for mobile/day-to-day tasks, the iMac for more involved stuff.
     
  5. hb13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #5
    How's it working out for you so far?
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Personally, I think the iMac + MBA is the perfect combination.

    The iMac is on 24/7, and is the home to 100% of my data. It is being dual backed up continuously (hourly by TM & every 15 minutes by Crashplan+). Hence... my data is always safe.

    Everything that I do on my MBA is auto synced back to my iMac using a variety of sync services (primarily Dropbox). Hence, I can be anywhere in the world, modify my data... and within moments it is replicated back to my iMac and within an hour... double backed up. Very powerful.

    I used to use a single MBP... and I still recommend that to people who only want a single machine. However, I think a MBP is a different compromise... it is neither a great laptop nor a great desktop. I think the iMac + MBA introduces a different set of minor challenges (managing two machines)... but I have found that trivial to accomplish... leaving me with two fantastic machines each task optimized.

    /Jim
     
  7. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
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    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #7
    Purchased a late 2007 iMac to use alongside my MBA. Good combo!
     
  8. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Literally ordered the iMac 3 hours ago! I'll let you know, however, without really knowing it, I've been suffering from the issues posted by flynz4 with my MBP. Not quite my perfect laptop, and not quite my perfect desktop.

    Really reminds me of #firstworldproblems :)
     
  9. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #9
    if you plan to go with the 21.5" imac you better get the MBP only if get haswell(the battery on haswell chips are out standings ).

    i went and ordered 3 days ago a 27" BTO 2013 and i im waiting for the 15"rMBP haswell as well
     
  10. macronerd, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013

    macronerd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    #10
    For the last few years, my setup has been a 15" MBP connected to 23" ACD for web development. This has worked great because I had both the dual monitor setup and bigger screen for work at home and the mobility of the MBP when necessary.

    However, I later realized that 75% of my work is at the desk at home. Sure, the MBP works great, but I always wanted more of a dedicated desktop powerhouse all in one with a larger screen like the iMac. If I'm roaming around the house, I usually use the iPad.

    For the other 25% on the road, the MBP can be cumbersome to lug around. When I am mobile, I am usually not doing any heavy work. Just the occasional photo uploads, code edits, and browsing. This is where the MBA would be perfect.

    So I just ordered the latest 27" iMac and will later get the MBA. I feel that these are the best of both worlds for what I do.
     
  11. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a

    Johnf1285

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    I've been running an iMac and Macbook Air for awhile now. It works nicely. It's a 2011 11" Macbook Air with 4gb of ram. Peppy little machine.

    iMac does the heavy lifting, the Air does the light stuff but can do more than an iPad.
     
  12. hb13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #12
    This is exactly what I hope it will be. Thanks for your insight!
     
  13. hb13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #13
    This is exactly how I saw it as well. It's funny because I was complaining to my wife about these issues and this is what she described it as well. It truly is #firstworldproblems. Thanks for your help. :)

    ----------

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to voice your insights. I just put in an order for a new 21.5" iMac with Fusion.
     
  14. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    [/COLOR]Thanks everyone for taking the time to voice your insights. I just put in an order for a new 21.5" iMac with Fusion.[/QUOTE]

    What's your delivery estimate? Mine's still "Processing Items", and due on Friday at the earliest.
     
  15. Adelphos33, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

    Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #15
    I am considering this. I have an old gen Macbook Pro 13 inch. I don't expect the retina 13 MPB to be a big step up when it is upgraded. The MBA is an impressive device at 13 inches. The iMac is awesome as well. I thought about a Mac Mini + Thunderbolt instead of the iMac, but the Thunderbolt is a bit big.

    Honestly a 21.5 inch iMac (with 16 G of RAM and a fusion drive) plus the base 13 inch MBA look pretty good as a combo
     
  16. hb13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #16
    What's your delivery estimate? Mine's still "Processing Items", and due on Friday at the earliest.[/QUOTE]

    Looks like it's still processing and estimated for next Wed-Friday (Oct 9-11). Prepping my MBA for the change. It will feel like going from an apartment to a 3,000sq ft home in terms of storage space!
     

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