(iPad + iMac) Vs. MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Clete2, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Clete2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    OK. I have an iPhone. I will be in college (undergrad -> grad school) for around 4 more years. I currently have a Dell laptop that I lug around to classes to take notes and to work on homework.

    I am a Computer Science major; so I understand that the iPad will not allow me to use Visual Studio (via Parallels) or any other utilities I need for classes.

    Here is what I am considering:
    I can buy one MacBook Pro -- nearly maxed out. (17", upgraded processor.. etc.. wait for Arrandale)
    $2,614 estimated USD


    I can buy an iPad and a top-of-the-line iMac.
    iMac 27": $2079
    iPad: $629 (16GB 3G)
    Total: $2,708

    Is it worth it? Losing the mobility of being able to do projects right after class for the portability of an iPad and the better hardware of an iMac?

    Also, I have an iPhone 3GS 32GB.

    Any input is appreciated.
  2. Rob587 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    How about the 17" macbook pro, and a net book?

    ***Rob awaits bashing for the netbook comment****
  3. Clete2 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    If I buy a 17" MBP, that's all I need. I don't need any other peripherals; since it will act as the laptop I take to class (I currently carry a 17" Dell and I do not mind the bulk) and the desktop I use in my room.

    I can get more bang for the buck with an iMac + iPad. MBPs are EXPENSIVE.
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    It depends on your usage model, on what apps become available for the iPad, and how typing on the iPad's keyboard will be.

    If you think you can type 'well enough' on the iPad to take in-class notes, and will be doing movie editing or other apps where the quad-core on the iMac will make a big difference, then I'd say iMac+iPad.

    If you will mostly be doing lower-end stuff, where the quad-core on the iMac won't be that big a deal over the dual-core in the MBP, and can't stand virtual keyboards, then the MBP would probably be your better option.
  5. ruku macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    get your imac and a 2nd hand macbook with the nvidia 9400 chipset. if your into programming youre needlessly complicating your life by getting an ipad. but you know that already.
  6. furqan8421 macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    I'm considering the same thing and thinking of the imac + ipad being a better option

    I'd be more likely to consider the 15" mbp vs the 21" imac, but either way you'd have a larger screen + better or equivalent power for home use in an imac, and more portability with the ipad. Only thing to consider is if you'd be comfortable using an onscreen keyboard for your use away from home.
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    For me:

    Money not an issue:
    27" iMac and MacBook Air

    Money IS an issue:
    21" iMac and laptop of some sort (MacBook, PC laptop, whatever). <-- That's what I have (basically - replace 22" with 20" and that'd be more accurate :))

    Netbooks are useless for typing for me. I have a used Dell 1545 (currently with Ubuntu, soon will be Windows 7) that's awesome for my needs as a law student. At home, I use my iMac for everything, both work and play.

    The iPad does look very nice, but I'm not sure how typing on it will be like. I'm not buying one though, until the next revision or two. I'm hoping they'll add a front-facing camera! :(
  8. Clete2 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    I'm fine with typing notes on the iPhone even (if there was a note taking app). I'm sure the iPad will get such an app.

    I do like the added power. I don't always need it but I do sometimes do heavy tasks such as compiling large suites and working with things that need a lot of screen resolution. The size and resolution of the iMac would be very welcome.

    I still don't know if I want to use a 'gimped' device, if you will, on the go.
  9. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Don't forget that you can take your BT Keyboard included in the iMac and use it with your iPad on the go.

    I have a feeling iPad+iMac combos will be popular.
  10. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    17" MBP isn't mobile. Have you been to a store and lifted that thing? It is solidly constructed -- and has the weight to go with it. It is a big aluminum slab, it truly is a desktop replacement.

    You will hate lugging it around, I promise you.

    Get an iMac and a 13" Macbook Pro. iPad 1.0 looks pretty questionable at this point.
  11. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    Why not get a 15" MBP and an Apple display? In fact, this makes the iPad look even more foolish to me. When the new displays came out, Apple really wanted people to look at how well they connected to the new MacBooks. Or just roll with the 17" MBP.

    Since you already have an iPhone I don't see the iPad being of any added benefit.
  12. andylyon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    I'd go for a non-maxed out MacBook Pro, probs 15", but wait fot the new ones, and a large monitor to compliment it.

  13. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    I think the iPad + the iMac is the best solution.

    Why? Because most students don't take their laptops to class (too heavy, and bulky — yes even for a MacBook Pro). The iPad is the perfect solution. And the iMac gets you a lot more bang for your buck.

    Make the iMac your primary computer and use the iPad for when you're out and about.
  14. mac1984user macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    The iPad is an excessory. It's a decent one, but it really doesn't stand in place of anything practical. If you need something practical for taking notes in class (you may find pen and paper is preferable - I did), then look no further than a MacBook(Pro). When doing my undergraduate degree, I had a TiBook I never took to class, because it was a pain to lug around at 5.5 pounds and a 15.2" screen (though it was thin and sexy). That said, it was nice having all that mobile power. And no iPad keyboard will ever replace the one you'll find on the MacBooks (are you honestly going to drag around the keyboard accessory with you?). The iPad is a living room device meant for casual messing around. You need something that works both in and outside the classroom. You may even want to take the MacBook out to a friend's and still have the power to do a bit of video editing or something like that. The iMac is a GREAT machine, but unless you are wanting to play games on it (which is a fair enough reason to go the iMac route), then go MacBook Pro (if you get the high-end one, you can game anyway!). The beauty is...for $2500, you could have a MacBook Pro AND an iPad! =)
  15. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    The iPad will never allow you to run hardware intensive apps. Its built for the masses. It will fit in perfectly if you just like to read, surf, watch - but not if you want to do work! The iWork suite is a nice tool which comes in handy for a lot of people like to do some minor office tasks (on the go or) in the living room.

    For you and most students it is underpowered. Maybe ther will be a touch device with more horsepower in 2 years to replace the macbook - but i doubt there will ever be a touch device that will kill the MBP no matter what size.

    If you do not want to spend that much money on a 17" try the 15". And you do not have it maxed out too i think - but you know the systems requirements of your tools better than I do.
  16. PeckhamBog macrumors 6502


    Nov 28, 2007
    Initially sounds like a good idea, until I wonder how you are going to look at the ipad display. Are you going to carry a cushion or custom stand around with your ipad [in a protective case] and your BT keyboard?

    I can see Apple or someone else scooping the market in a few years time bringing out an all in one [keyboard and display] portable unit. They'll probably use a catchy name like 'MacBook' or 'MacBookPro'!
  17. chameleon81 macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006
  18. Dont42Panic macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2008
    Jeffersonville, IN
    I would probably go with iPad with the hope that the majority of your future text books will be available in the iBook store.
  19. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    Depending on what the next MBP is like spec wise, you should just go with this. Then you don't have to worry about transferring data between devices.

    Alternatively, if you're convinced you need more power (which I'm sure you won't) you can get the iMac and a cheap Macbook.

    @PeckhamBog: Clever. Very funny :D
  20. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    the apple protective case doubles as a stand.
  21. Clete2 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008

    Sorry, but you're wrong. I'm not basing a decision off of your opinion of portability. To me, the 17" is portable and I currently lug a heavier and thicker 17" Dell.

    Also, i like the iMac for the added value of a better processor. I like the MBP because I'm a student and I also travel a lot.

    I see myself still waiting for the MBPs just for portability. An iPad can replace a MBP for class notes, but not for when I go home over break or go to the library to study or tutor programming courses.

    As much as I WANT an iMac and an iPad, I probably need a 17" MBP instead.

    Such a hard choice.
  22. DYER macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2008
    London, UK
    to be honest I think you will find the 17inch annoyingly large and heavy to lug around. Also even a 17 inch screen can be limiting when working on the move.
    Personally I went down the MBP route but I may get an ipad to supplement it when i don't need to do graphics heavy work.
    For notes if the touch screen is half decent I may well buy an iPad as it is going to be less annoying in lectures - I think.

    I don't think I can do anything till I have played with one in person.
    But if I were you I would lean towards 15 inch MBP and external display rather than 17 inch MBP
    just my opinion ;)
  23. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
  24. HerbyGunther macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2007
    I'm also considering the same combo. I have a MacBook Pro now, but I'm considering the iMac 27" quad. I don't like to lose the portability, but I need the power for my design/3D work. A lot of Photoshop and some Maya and modo.
    On the go, I don't really need to do heavy work. I would rather work in my studio with my own desk and everything setup, than on a laptop. Most of the time when I return to my parents' place in the weekends and bring my laptop I hardly ever do any serious work (I'm a freelancer). On the go, I want to check my email, check my calender, maybe take some notes, show people my work, surf the web, write some proposals, etc. Perhaps the iPad is a good companion for me. I'm not saying an iPad can replace a MacBook Pro.
  25. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    I think the iMac+iPad a great option if you're okay not doing any actual work away from your desk. My current set up is a MBP + external display, so I can carry the MBP around the house for casual surfing/emailing, and use the external screen when I want to sit down and actually work.

    The iMac+iPad does both of those without the hassle of 2 computer like other posters suggested, and like you said, with more power and bigger screen in the iMac than you'd get in the MBP. Just depends on if you're going to do any work away from your desk I would think.

Share This Page