iMac or Macbook Air+external display

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Brandon123, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Brandon123 macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2016
    Hi all!

    I'm in the market for a new mac, but have some problems choosing between a baseline iMac or a Macbook Air + external display. I seldom need the portability of a Macbook, and the few times I do I often manage with an iPad. BUT the baseline iMac (the only I can afford) is basically a Macbook Air with a nice screen but without SSD (5400 rpm HDD feels crazy to get).

    The cost for the two alternatives is basically the same, the Macbook Air + external display desktop/laptop 2-in-1 solution is attractive as I get SSD + portability if my circumstances/job would change, but I'm afraid of overheating problems and other hassles with running an Air as desktop (often in clamshell mode). The simplicity of just buying an iMac is also attractive, but I cannot afford to upgrade to SSD (suspicious toward fusion) and cannot buy a 2016 computer for that price with an old HDD.

    Moreover, neither the iMac (maybe soon?) nor Macbook Air (soon dropped?) got updates in the October event, which only further complicates the issue!

    Opinions, experiences, suggestions, advice are all highly appreciated!


  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Save a bit more money and buy what you actually need would be my advice.
  3. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    No sane person should buy a machine with a spinning drive in 2016. All you will do is cripple your machine's capability. If you can't get the iMac with an SSD or a Fusion Drive don't get it.

    Fusion is great. I have one iMac with an SSD and one with a Fusion. I don't see any difference in performance other than my Fusion is 2TB and my SSD is 256GB. If I had it to do over, I would have got the Fusion in both.
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Can't say this often enough, no doubt due to my own excellent experiences with it, but why not check out the Refurb Store where good-as-new, and rigorously refurbished units can be had for significant savings.

    Other than a fancy box, you'll be hard-pressed to tell the iMacs or MacBooks apart from new merchandise. The refurbs come with full warranty, the usual return privileges, and the option to purchase AppleCare.

    There perhaps you'll be able to get lower-tier SSD storage for the same price as a new unit with an HDD spinner, or at the very least a Fusion Drive. You'd be foolish not to check it out, nothing to lose really.
  5. Brandon123 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2016
    Thanks guys! I think I will then save up some more money and get a SSD or Fusion drive iMac as soon as I can afford it. I will also check the Refurb Store, thanks for that advice as well!
  6. Kudos6612 Suspended

    Aug 10, 2016
    iMac refurb. Screen alone is worth it. Get a portable computer at a later date.

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