iMac+ MBA vs rMBP

Discussion in 'iMac' started by scottsummer21, Mar 7, 2013.


What should I buy?

Poll closed Mar 27, 2013.
  1. iMac + MBA (21.5" 2.7ghz 1 tb fusion drive and 13" 128gb MBA)

    28 vote(s)
  2. rMBP (the best one I can buy)

    7 vote(s)
  1. scottsummer21 macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    Recently my mid 2010 Mbps had a CPU failure and I was wondering what people prefer or would recommend. I am a college student and as of right now I do not do a whole lot of heavy processing. I used my MBP for the basics, like Internet, mail, ect. I also use it for photoshop, I do a lot of heavy downloads and I plan to start using Xcode in the near future. I am constantly on my computer using it both in class and at home. I was wondering if you could possibly tell me what I should get and why that would be great.
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    You are asking in the iMac forum, which makes the poll somewhat non-objective.

    I personally think that an iMac + MBA is the ideal setup (along with an iPad Mini + iPhone). When people have an objective of a single machine... then I recommend a MBP.

    For me it is worth it to have both... two optimized platforms for different jobs. The MBA is unparalleled in portability... and iMac is ideal as a home workstation and central data storage.

  3. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Can you add a thunderbolt display to rMBP in your budget?
  4. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007
    I just bought a 27 inch iMac and am using it with a retina macbook pro and having owned tons of different apple computers these are by far my two favorite. I have a Macbook Air as well but that does not get used much
  5. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    I will sugest you get the iMAC and until they will release the next lineup macbook with haswell (save some money in this time) and get a 13" or 15" (based on what money you saved) and get a rMacbook
  6. scottsummer21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    Yes, I am awre that posting this in the imac forum makes this somewhat non-objective, but that is what I want. After having my MBP as my only computer, I am leaning towards the side of imac and MPA so I am looking for more information of that side of the argument, as I have already experienced on the other side. Just to clarify. And thank you for the information. I will definitely take that into account when making my purchase.


    Not as of now.
  7. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I couldn't be happier with my imac/mba combo. I feel like it os the best of both worlds. Sleek and light when I'm laying in bed or sitting outside, and big and powerfull when I sit down to do work.
  8. buysp macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    As others have stated. i'd go with the iMac/MBA.
    This gives you alot of options as compaired to rMBP+TBD.
  9. RebornTheGame macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2012
    Qld, Australia
    In 2012, when I decided to switch... spurred on by a horrible HP experience, my original plan was to get a iMac + MBA. As has already been stated this seemed to be the best option in terms of processing power and screen real estate in my home office, and portability when on the road.

    But, because I wanted a new iMac spec, I decided to buy a rMBP. It's an amazing and powerful machine, but (for me) there has always been too many trade offs when I am in the office. I don't work in multi-media, but I do need a few applications open, 27" of screen real estate is perfect, I am a casual (but graphic card intensive) gamer, and the extra grunt is handy.

    Given all of this, I have ordered a brand new iMac and it is traveling to me now. :D

    I will keep my rMBP. It's a bit heavier than I'd choose for 'on the road' and is a bit of overkill once I have the iMac, but hey, if something already 'just works' why change?

    You'll be happy with a rMBP and, depending on your needs, it might be sufficient, but if circumstances allowed, I'd been better served (and financially better off) with an iMac + MBA.
  10. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    If you have two computer what will you use to sync all of your data? Something like DropBox or Skydrive?

    If you have something like that to sync all of your files then I say get the iMac and MBA. If you don't have something to auto-manage the syncing of files then I would with the rMBP. I have a two computer set-up and It was pain keeping all my stuff in order so I started to use Skydrive and I love it. Now I can easily switch back and forth between devices (including two tablets).
  11. jonfarr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2012
    I originally upgraded from a MBP to the rMBP when they released. Had a 16GB/768SSD model. I realized after a few months that the screen wasn't worth the price and I really didn't need all that machine, so I sold it and got within a couple hundred what I paid for it.

    With the money I sold it for, I got a base MBA 256SSD/4GB and a base iMac with 16GB and 1TB Fusion. Couldn't be happier. Even coming from the 15" rMBP to the Air, I love the size and portability of the air so much more. It does everything I need and the screen is still great. I also love the iMac, too. A great trade off that i should have just done from the beginning anyways.
  12. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I went for option one based on what I would do...I currently have the new 27" iMac, and an MBA....MBA is up for sale as I have a new rMBP 13" delivering Monday.

    I need a desktop max spec. to cope with my work needs, and a capable laptop ( the MBA with only 256GB storage) isn't that, wilst my recently sold cMBP 17" was.

    I would buy the iMac, and then go for best spec. on a MBP...Maybe even consider a cMBP as you are going to get more bang for your buck that way.
  13. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    If you're options are choosing 2 poorly spec'd machine (iMac / MBA) vs 1 well spec'd machine (rMBP), go for the well spec'd machine (rMBP). It'll be like having a powerful portable desktop with you at all times.

    If money isn't an issue, get all three :p
  14. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Definitely get the iMac + MBA.

    You will have a very powerful machine as a desktop when you need performance.

    You will have a very lightweight, portable laptop for when you need portability.
  15. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
  16. jmgregory1 macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    I'm not sure why you'd go with the rMBP - when for close to the same investment, you could get an MBA and an iMac. I'm running a 2011 13" MBA and a 2013 iMac 21 (base with Fusion) and it's a fantastic setup. Small portable laptop when I travel (or I take the iPad) and fast, big-screened, desktop when working in the office. Both synced together, so I can, and do, seamlessly switch from one to the other.

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