Looking to buy first Mac. Need some advice please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cwigington, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. cwigington macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    Currently using my iphone 4s.

    I need a computer and my usage will be predominately email, internet, twitter.

    I do have one project that I want to do that involves some light photo/video editing. But it's very hobby-esque. I'm gonna run some pictures in a slideshow, attach a video at the end with some music running in the background.

    I'm a beginner at editing and this very well could be the only editing i do, it could also lead to others as well. I cannot give a definite answer here.

    I like the design of the macbook air a lot, very ideal.

    I'm looking to buy 1 computer and hoping to get a good 5 years out of it so this will be a long term purchase.

    Speed is an issue, I want it to fly. I don't have a ton of music or photos so it seems that all of the stock hard drives will be more than enough.

    Just been looking at the imac, macbook pro and the air and I really do not know which computer would be more ideal.

    If anyone could give some opinions I would appreciate it. I like to hear from owners of the actual products vs a sales pitch.

    Thanks in Advance,

  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    The iMac if you don't need portability. The MacBook pro if you need power and portability. If you want it to be light and can live with the reduced power then the air. If it really is just one project could you use a friends or work machine? This might help you decide on which model is best for you. Hope that helps.
  3. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Any of those options would meet your needs, and so would a Mac Mini. Are portability requirements an issue? Probably not if you are considering an iMac. The Air has caught your eye, perhaps have a bit of a play with one in a shop if you can. I personally found the 11" too small, but it is good for others. Personal preference has as much to do with it in your case.
  4. cwigington thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    Portability isnt so much an issue. I could go either way really.

    I just don't have the budget right now to get an imac and a macbook, so this purchase will be my main computer.

    I do like the design of the macbook air and of how fast it is due to the solid state drive.

    Like I stated, not sure if I will even really get into editing, other than just dabbling in it, just wanted a computer that would be able to do what I need it to. For now my intention would be to use ilife for all the editing.

    As for the Macbook air, I was only looking at the 13", because the 11" is just too small.

    Also from a consumer point of view, is apple care worth it?
  5. TheAppleSource macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2012
    United Kingdom

    Wanting the machine to last 5 years and still be running fast may well prove to be a challenge, especially if you start doing more editing. In terms of upgrading parts: you can change the HDD (or SSD for the matter) of the MBP very easily, as well as the RAM, whereas changing the SSD in the Air is quite a bit harder. Changing the RAM in the iMac is a piece of cake, but changing anything else requires a bit more bravery.

    If portability isn't an issue, then the iMac is going to give you the most power (depending on which model you get). However, both the MBA and MBP are perfectly capable devices and it basically comes down to what you value the most. Design, functionality, price etc.

    Definitely try them in an Apple store if you can. And potentially wait for a while, if you don't need the machine right now (and you want it to last as long as possible) because both the iMac and the MBP are probably getting refreshed relatively soon. However, if you need a machine now, don't feel bad about getting one now. It'll be great whenever you get it.
  6. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    If you change the HDD to an SSD in the 13" MBP, the only real difference between the 13" MBA and the 13" MBP is that the MBA has a cooler form factor, but you can upgrade the RAM in the MBP should you feel it's necessary later on, plus you have the ODD (optical disc drive). Ask yourself which is more important, base your decision on that.

    Since you want a good five years out of it, I would go for the MBP. Otherwise you could buy the MBA and upgrade every two years for a smaller sum, just look at what even the first generations MBA are going for on eBay...
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you absolutely, positively don't require portability, dollar-for-dollar, the iMac will probably give you "more speed". And the 27" display is an experience in itself to sit down in front of....

    If you decide on laptop, again, for money spent the MacBook Pro offers more than the MacBook Air models.

    I actually have an old (EIGHT years old!) PowerMac g4 that I'll probably retire this summer, replacing it with a Mac Mini Server model (after the new models are introduced).

    IN ANY CASE ...
    Be aware that new versions of all three of these product lines are not far off. We'll probably see new iMacs and MacBook Pro's by late spring/early summer (the bottleneck right now seems to be the release of the "Ivy Bridge" CPU chip). New Mac Minis should come along a little after that. If you can hold out just a while longer, the wait may become worth it.
  8. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    If you want/need portability even sometimes, then a laptop is a better choice. I need portability about 5% of the time so my MBP is perfect for my needs.

    If money is tight then consider a refurb - they come with same as new warranty and most look and perform perfectly.

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