Let's create a Mac Setup!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Doju, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    So, I'm going to create a Mac Setup in my room, where I can have my laptop but a nice setup for when I may need a larger screen, or just want to sit down for some school work.

    What do you recommend I have for this setup? What are the ESSENTIALS?

    I'm thinking:

    - MacBook (obviously)
    - 24" external (obviously)
    - Griffin Elevator (can anyone recommend it?)
    - Speakers
    - 500GB Time Capsule
    - Printer
    - Chair (recommendations?)
    - Keyboard
    - Mouse + pad
    - iPhone Dock

    Anything else?

    Thanks for the help, guys. :)
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    A Butler, A bowling alley ...maybe a mini movie theatre?
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    For the mouse, make sure you buy the Logitech MX Revolution - possibly the best mouse ever produced.

    As for speakers, depends on your budget. If you can afford it, a decent pair of bookshelf monitors would go good. If you are based in the UK, check out www.richersounds.co.uk - decent and cheap bookshelf speakers and amplifiers.

    Course, you'd want to connect from your Mac to the amplifier via optical.
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    How about keep the Macbook idea

    Get rid of all that other pointless new stuff and live with what you have

    and with your saved money get a new 17" Macbook Pro

  5. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    I like the way you think! Alas, I don't think my room is large enough. Maybe if I swapped out the bed ...

    Dear God, nice mouse. :eek:

    It's not Bluetooth, though? Ah well, no big deal, but what a beaut. You'd recommend that over the Apple Mighty Mouse?

    Where could I buy a decent sized mouse pad? :eek:

    Thanks for all the help guys, greatly appreciated!!
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Hell yeah. The Mighty Mouse is dreadful - I own the wireless one and it is just useless. Not very nice to hold, and irritating. Logitech MX Revolution is heaven compared to it.
  7. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Thanks for the MBP 17" suggestion, but carrying around an aircraft carrier defeats the purpose of a notebook. Thanks, though. :)
  8. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Before you jump, the actual foot print of the 15" MBP is around 17" and the 17" MBP is more around 18.5", so it isn't really that much bigger.

    The bezel around the 17" is much thinner, where as the 15" it is quite big. The 15" MBP (Unibody) is a wee bit bigger than the previous gen.
  9. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm looking for a 13" Alu MacBook. MBPs are just too heavy (imo) for daily travel. I'll have an external display anyway, so screen size doesn't matter.
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    13" Alu MB doesn't have FireWire 800 - but if that isn't much of a big deal for you, then by all means go for it. The screen isn't as good as the MBP (viewing angle etc) but if you are using an external monitor then no real loss.
  11. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Since when is a backup solution, printer, and chair defined as "useless". :confused:I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed to be productive without the last two. And without the first, the OP will just be back complaining that his HDD died and he didn't have a backup. ;)

    I also wouldn't suggest a 17" notebook... I run a MacBook + external keyboard/mouse/display, and it's the perfect setup imo. Entirely portable when I need to be, but very comfortable to work at when I'm at my desk. :)

    As to what to buy:
    -Logitech MX Revolution
    -Apple aluminum keyboard (I bought the wired one, since it has a numberpad)
    -USB hub with iPod/iPhone dock (Belkin makes one, I'm sure others do too), mine was dirt cheap, too.
    -I would skip the mousepad... laser mice don't need them.
    -Make sure you get a good chair. I got a nice leather office chair from Staples for about $100 delivered, and love it.
  12. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Gosh you guys are awesome. :D

    Kilamite, thanks. I think I should be able to survive without Firewire, as the things I use mostly use USB, and I can survive a slower connection.

    Neat thing about the mousepad. I only was thinking one for an easier gliding surface. Tables seem too ... slippery, 'ya know?

    I'll check out the chair, I'm using a rather poorly manufactured one right now. :(

    Edit: Can't seem to find that Belkin USB Hub. Have a link? :(
  13. Gioman macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    It all depends on how much you are willing to spend...

    - Macbook: $1500
    - 24" Apple LED Cinema Display: $900
    - Griffin Elevator: $45 … I am not sure it is really necessary :confused:
    - Speakers: $50-2000… All depends on whether you are an audiophile or not.:D
    - 500GB Time Capsule: $299
    - Printer: $100-250
    - Chair: .... check out IKEA.
    - Keyboard: $79 ... Apple's keyboard ought to be the way to go.
    - Mouse: $99 … Logitech MX Revolution, as others have recommended. Avoid a mouse pad with a lot of contrast in colors, it will just make your cursor move around.
    - iPhone Dock: $49

    ~ $3000 ... without chair and speakers.
  14. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Instead of the griffin elevator, look at the mstand by rain. It matches the macbooks and macbook pros.

    For the 24, are you considering apples monitor? If not take a look at dells. The 2408 has a multitude of inputs so that it can be used as a TV or can hook a game console to it.

    For speakers try to find the older altec lansing fx6021. They look great. I also like bookshelf speakers as computer speakers. M-Audio makes some great ones.

    For a mouse, I bought the mx5500 from amazon for 80 bucks. It has the mx revolution mouse and a keyboard. Its the only way to get the mx revolution bluetooth mouse. Definitely worth it.

    Only other items would maybe be a USB hub, so you can just connect one usb to your laptop and keep everything plugged in.

    Good luck with your purchases
  15. Sigur macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2008
    You definitely need some Apple 'Think Different' posters. Purchased in California. Otherwise its not really a Mac Setup!
  16. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
  17. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    I must say, the Logitech MX1100 is a much nicer mouse than the MX Revolution to me simply because of that other scroll wheel on the revolution and the small thumb rest on it.
  18. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i would look for cheaper monitors than apples (but keep in mind that you have no DVI connector on the MB. but then you need an adaptor to DVI or VGA anyway). I liked the old dell 24" because is can swivel in portrait mode and it has a card reader and a 4 USB hub built in.

    this way you can save a few hundred dollar right away.

    i hate leather chais. i prefer the mesh type ones from staples for $100.

    i use only dell or microsoft basic scroll wheel mice. get them for free at work or from a trash bin. saves you $99.

    i use a USB keyboard. the bluetotth takes to long to be recognized by the mac after waking up. i use an old keyboard or a basic one for $20. i rather replace them frequently than spending a lot of money for an apple one.

    mousepad not necessary or get a free one.

    notebook stands are a wast if you work from a keyboard/external monitor.

    i prefer a airport express for $99 + an external 1TB HD for $150 (i like WD) over a time capsule.

    printer should be a cheap laser run wireless via airport usb.

    iphone dock only if you really need it. i have about three docks by now and don't ever use them.

    speakers depends if your an audiophile. get some good speakers for $100.

    with the money you can save this way on small stuff you can by a refurb mini. it's always good to have a secondary computer in case your MB dies. you also get FW this way.

    my 2 cents (i guess ~$500 in savings)
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If you don't give us a budget, then I don't know how helpful our recommendations would be. ;)

    The more we know about you, the better.
  20. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    I was going to say the same thing, like earlier when you knocked my Macbook Pro idea, well I suggested it because I guessed you were a student, but I could have been wrong. And I suggested it since most students want to play games and if you want to play COD 4 etc its better to have a Macbook Pro with a dedicated graphics card. Then again you could be a Warcraft binger and not play anything else and the Macbook would do fine, or an office worker who commutes daily and only needs ms office / iWork and therefore Macbook Air would be ideal.
  21. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Looks like it's not on Belkin's site any longer, but Amazon still has it. Pricier than when I bought mine - I think I paid $22 locally, but imo it's worth it even at $50. Keep in mind it doesn't officially support anything more recent than the fifth-gen iPod, but it works fine with my iPhone. It's just the little plastic adapters that don't fit - charging and syncing work flawlessly for any iPod/iPhone (it's the same dock connecter, after all).
  22. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Thanks everyone, I'll answer some questions. :p

    MacBook Air isn't ideal for me, even though it sorta would suffice, as I'd like a faster computer, and I need it to be able to support an external display. MBAs don't appeal to me greatly.

    Not looking for an Apple Display. Sorta leaning towards Dell S2409W. Excellent reviews, with a rebate about $300. 24" :D

    Speakers, looking for about $80. What about Logitech Z-4s? Any opinions?

    What's the main difference before the Airport Express and Airport Extreme? Thing is, Airport Extreme is like $200, and I can get a refurb $500GB Time Capsule for $250. I can't get a 500GB external for $50, so wouldn't it make sense to just go with that?

    For the Griffin Elevator, would you recommend it? I like it better than the Mstand because it allows the fans more access. Which would you recommend?

    Other than that, sorta set on the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, have my printer pretty much, undecided for a mouse, definitely Logitech though. (Or maybe the Microsoft Arc. Opinions?)
  23. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    :confused: The MacBook Air will support a 30" external display, exactly the same as the regular MB or the MBP.

    Although I agree with you, it doesn't appeal much to me as a primary machine. I'd love one as a secondary computer, though!

    As for speakers... in that price range, nothing is going to be spectacularly, so I would just go with whatever you think looks good. Try and get something with good cord management, though... I bought a cheap Logitech 2.1 system, and they sound fine, but the cord design is appallingly silly and makes it really difficult to get the speakers set up the way I'd really like. :/
  24. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Hmm, okay.

    Can I ask you a question? I think with the MacBook Air, it would overheat a bit connected to an external display. Not to mention being slow, no upgradeable RAM, optical drive, etc. Right? Plus, due to the price, I'd likely get a MBA Rev A, as the MB 2.4 Alu can be had for $400 cheaper at top of the line specs (refurb vs. 1.6GHz 120GB HDD MBA).

    I really don't think it's worth it. Paying more for slower set up, when the MacBook is already thin and light. I can see why people want it, but it's a bit of a luxury item. Money's sort of an issue with me. :$ (No, DON'T recommend that ugly whitebook. :p)
  25. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Ah, I got ya. I wouldn't go near a Rev. A MBA either, except maybe as a secondary machine just for taking notes on or that sort of thing... I thought you were talking about the Rev. B Air, which is a very capable machine. Not what I would need as a primary machine, but a very capable machine nonetheless.

    If price is a major concern, I wouldn't rule out the white MacBook... especially if your primary concern is the look of it. It's actually a more capable computer IMO than the unibody Macbook (since it has Firewire). Speed wise, it's nearly identical: same processor, same GPU, DDR2 RAM instead of DDR3, but the difference isn't very significant in real life...


    OTOH, a refurb Unibody is within $100 of a new white MacBook, and you get that sexy body, better screen, better trackpad, etc. So it's up to you. :)

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