iMac + MBA or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mariahlullaby, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. mariahlullaby, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010

    mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I want to take advantage of the Black Friday deals going on today. I'm pretty set on getting a 27inch iMac & 13 inch MBA to replace my current MBP, but would love some insight/perspective before I pull the trigger. Thanks! :)

    I currently have a 15 inch 2.5 ghz C2D MBP with 3GB RAM (non-Unibody). I hook it up to a 23 inch Cinema display (old model w/o iSight). My other option would be continue to hook up to the Cinema & get an updated MBP.

    Currently, I take my MBP to work with me every day because I hate using the PC, but I am starting a new job that won't require me to do that. I may bring it with me every now and then, but mostly I'll use it for traveling, out of the office work, and consulting work on the side. I need something light but speedy and more than a netbook.

    Uses: Photoshop CS3 (probably will upgrade to CS5 soon), Dreamweaver, multi-tasking (usually multiple apps/multiple tabs open), Keynote, light iMovie & FNC Express use. I work with a lot of media but nothing too high in size or resolution -- I shoot & edit a lot of content for the web on my Canon (webisodes, etc), web graphics, and design.

    I need the iMac to be a powerhorse, and the MBA to be nimble enough to handle some light Photoshop & web design on the fly when I'm away from home.

    OPTION 1:

    27-inch iMac 2.5ghz i5 quad-core w/ 8GB RAM
    13-inch 128GB MBA w/ 4GB RAM
    TOTAL w/ taxes: Approx $3700

    OPTION 2:

    15-inch MBP w/ i7 2.6 ghz
    8 GB RAM (possibly just upgrade myself)
    16GB WiFi iPad
    TOTAL w/ taxes: Approx $3000

    Option 2 leaves some room in my budget for an iPad, too, but it's not a must for any reason. I love it but it's really just a cool toy for me :) I already own an iPod Touch.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, a part of me really wants to save the $$ and order on Amazon. For $3150, I can get the stock iMac quad-core i5 and the stock 13-inch MBA. Will I just end up being disappointed?
  2. applepearpp macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2010
    If i were you i'll get an iMac and a MBA. i7 is not as advantageous as iMac when it comes to CPU and ram and screen size. if you no longer need to bring your computer to work, definitely get an iMac. you can also hold and get a later version of MBA if your job demands it, i.e. spreading the cost out. Ipad can potentially substitute the MBA, but it's a personal preference.

    another option is you get an external monitor for your MBP. but when i look around i think iMac has oen of the best screens in the market.
  3. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Thanks! I have a Cinema for my current MBP but I'd also like some real processing power at home. I found a great refurbished i7 iMac as well, so that along with the upgraded MBA, it brings the total to $3K. I think that's what I am going to go with! I can always upgrade the iMac RAM later on.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    That's what I will have on Monday albeit I have a 24" iMac. Having a single computer (15" MBP) has its pros but since you seem to want the extra portability offered by 13" MBA and extra horsepower offered by 27" iMac, I think that's a better setup. Lugging 15" around isn't that nice and iMac runs circles around it.

    I would get the MBA from Apple as 4GB of RAM really helps and is worth the extra
  5. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    That's exactly what I ended up doing (upgrading the RAM). While I've lugged a 15-inch MBP pro around for 5+ years and hooked it up to a Cinema, I've wanted a more mobile setup. It's not impossible, but I think something lighter will be much better.

    Thanks everyone!

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