Laptop or desktop? Short term to long term needs.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by snowydog, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. snowydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011

    Apologies if there Is a thread already....if so can someone redirect me? I had a look, but maybe I'm not searching right.

    I'm wondering whether to get the 21" iMac or the MBP 13" ...

    They are around similar prices with student discount, but I'm not entirely sure I'll need the laptop as I have my iPad 2 that I use and I will be getting a windows laptop from work in the next few weeks.

    Basically I want to be able to utilise the iCloud between my iPad, rip my DVDs to computer for playing on my iPad over wifi. I'll also be doing some video and photo editing and then the usual uni work and studies. Obviously I'll do more , but at the minute I have no laptop or desktop as my near 3 yr old windows laptop has died and I'm going to get an apple computer this time.

    I have my own personal video and photo projects on hold until I get a desktop/laptop and the iPad is doing ok for reviewing/editing lecture slides for uni, looking up journals, books, research etc but I will be doing some lab reports soon and will have to use my dads windows desktop in the mean time.

    I feel a bit in limbo without a desktop/laptop. My iPad is great for a lot of the things I do, but I've always had a computer and I have all my files/folders from last laptop on a USB In The meantime.

    In the long term, I will be moving in with the fiancé In the next year or two and will have quite a bit more disposable income and so will be looking to develop one room for office and entertainment (home cinema with projector etc).... He doesn't use a laptop and has an old windows desktop as he rarely uses the computer though he studied photography, media and design and may decide to get back into that in the future. (doesn't do it at the minute).

    Im trying to buy sensible now to suit me both short term and long term.

    What's others opinions? I'm not sure whether to get the laptop now and the iMac when I move in with the man. But at same time, do I need a laptop now, really? As I have my iPad.

    I'm also pretty new to apple, having just got my first apple product (iPad 2) since the first ever iPods came out ... So again, I'm learning a lot about the software, hardware and trying to decide what best suits me.

    I keep thinking of questions to ask on here and then forgetting them so I wasbhoping I could maybe get some opinions, youre experiences, advice from you knowledgable people :D I'll prob come back with a lot of questions and don't want to keep starting new threads.

    Few questions I can think of now though:

    Is it possible to hook a laptop up to two monitors? MBP in particular.

    Whether I get a laptop or a desktop, I'm planning on setting up a desk area with my monitors, docks, stereos etc..the usual in an office set up.

    Sorry for the overload of info , my head is just constantly thinking of it all and it's easier to get it wrote down and ask people who know, rather than my windows lover dad and my non computer user fiancé lol

    Thanks :)
  2. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    That's a lot of thought you put into things. For me, the days of desktops are over. I don't really see the point anymore.

    But, I guess you have to ask yourself what you plan to do with it. If it isn't serious photo editing (just cropping pictures to send to relatives and that sort of thing), you'll be fine with a Macbook Air and an external drive.

    Why tie yourself to a desk if you don't have to? As for the displays, the Thunderbolt connectors ought to help out there, but maybe others on the forum can give more detailed advice about these. I'm done with external monitors :)
  3. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    iMac would be better since you already have the iPad. It has bigger screen and more power which makes editing easier. It doesn't make sense to get MBP if you're getting a windows laptop from work. Thats a total of 3 portable computers serving the same purpose. Instead you can get the iMac and use iPad as a portable computer.
  4. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    I agree As for using external monitors, be careful because I don't think you can use 2 external monitors on the 13 mbp or mab's because the thunderbolt port isn't as powerful. Just get an iMac seems convenient. If you're going to setup a home theater in your office either get a 21" hooked to a TV or get the 27" and use that.
  5. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
  6. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for the responses.

    In terms of hardware specs, I'm assuming the iMac 21" is better than MBP 13"

    I'm still reading around it all and trying to understand.
  7. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    Yes and for the money your getting alot more
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
  9. Rhodan macrumors member

    May 9, 2007
    From what you explained above, it sounds like the iMac will suit you fine, as you already have the iPad for mobility.

    Unless of course you need more power when on the move? Or would you not be carrying a laptop around with you?
  10. tipman2000 macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2009
    no use getting the imac unless you need the extra horsepower for video editing or gaming. you can do what i do with the macbook and just buy a huge display and plug it in when you put your laptop down, thus basically eliminating the advantage of the imac's screen size. keep in mind the imac will have maybe 2-4x the processor and graphics power of the macbook 13


    just a note, while the laptop looks nice on paper, the desktop graphics in the imac are at least 4 times faster. this wont matter for basic things like web surfing, watching video, or writing docs, but if you are editing HD video or playing any modern 3D games then the imac IS the computer for you. i got the macbook thinking it would be fine for basic gaming(it barely cuts it), here we are 3 year later and the same model is only a tiny bit faster graphics-wise.
  11. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    She has an iPad and is getting a laptop in a few weeks, she's asking herself if she really needs a laptop and she's setting up a fixed home office. She's a student that clearly has a limited budget and is thinking long term.

    So yeah, get the weaker machine that won't last you as long but costs as much, then get an additional screen which doubles the price. Good advice...
  12. inkooo macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    i support you

    "Whether I get a laptop or a desktop, I'm planning on setting up a desk area with my monitors, docks, stereos etc..the usual in an office set up. :
    I believe you can come your dream ture.
    Just fighting!!
  13. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011

    I graduate this year - so I'll be looking for a good graduate job. (fingers crossed). If I can get a good graduate job then I can move in with the man and get my office set up! :D

    If I get the iMac - I won't be able to take it to my fiances house to work on uni stuff.. that's the only thing holding me back.

    Bt then I have my ipad and can do uni work from it (just studying - no document writing)... which is ok I guess...

    Then again - If I get an iMac I will need to buy a computer desk and chair for my bedroom - which will cost more.

    If I get a macbook pro - I can then set up a space in my fiances living room with an external monitor to connect to. Then I'd get the iMac when I move in with him.

    Arhg confusing - the right choice is probably the iMac - better specs for same sort of cost. but then there's the desk and chair i'd have to buy.
  14. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    There is less of a need for an external with a 15" MBP. I had a iMac + 13" MBP and sold them both a year ago for a 15" and external (which I use only for photo editing). 95% of the time my 15" is simply perfect whereas my 13" was a bit cramped.
  15. kayty macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    Rent Office Space Makati
    i think you should get the iMac its more powerful and more useful in the future.
  16. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Sounds good. Think I'll Place my order on Monday while at uni. Get my discount.
  17. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
  18. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Did you read her initial post? She has an iPad, she's getting a laptop and she's going to have a fixed office at home. There is no point what so ever for her to spend as much (or more) money on a weaker machine since she doesn't need the mobility it'll give her.
  19. miamijim macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2010
    I have a 20" iMac from 2007/8.

    I also have a 1st Gen iPad 32gb Wi Fi...

    This and an iphone 4 suit me just great.

    I have the power of the iMac at home, I have upgraded the ram and run 2TB of extra storage. On this I run Plex as my media server.

    The iPad is the best all round device I could ever imagine...

    I say go for the iMac.
  20. cypriot macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011

    I bought a macbook as my only computer. However if I had ever knew I would prefer to buy an iMac. Macbook is way more heavy than an iPad and you can't really carry it with you. It is not also as powerful as a standalone iMac. It has a huge screen for entertainment and movies. It is way faster for workload. Also big screen allows you to open several windows during work and other stuff. Macbook is just in between. Its neither a work device nor a mobile device. Its funny because iPad is supposed to be an 'in-between' gadget.

    So I would prefer iMac. Just imagine yourself buying each one and you would see what suits your needs best.
  21. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Tell us which one you purchase and we will support you and your decision.
  22. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    I think I'll go with the iMac ....

    Im Going to be uploading a lot of my DVDs on to whichever computer I get so I think the iMac would definitely do a better job.

    The only downsides is having t buy a suitable computer desk and then buying office suite (which I'd buy on any one either way - need the compatibility for work just incase).

    I can't wait.

    Dad thinks I'm being frugal with my money but I see it as a long term investment which I CAN afford now anyway.

Share This Page