MacBook Pro as desktop replacement?

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2009
332
43
London
What would be the practicalities of buying one of the new Pros to replace my ageing Mac Mini. I have two decent monitors with DVI or HDMI connectors and an Apple USB keyboard - what am I looking at to use the Pro with these (as well as a portable of course).
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,481
896
It's not so much a matter of practicality, If you don't want an all-in-one there is no other option from Apple besides the Mac Pro which should be ruled out for obvious reasons(unless you got a used one at a bargain).

It will work fine. I use my Macbook Air as a desktop many times. My only gripe with Apple is I am not aware of a really good docking solution that is equivalent to what HP has for their business laptops.
 

burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,066
1,547
What would be the practicalities of buying one of the new Pros to replace my ageing Mac Mini. I have two decent monitors with DVI or HDMI connectors and an Apple USB keyboard - what am I looking at to use the Pro with these (as well as a portable of course).
Since a current IPad will outperform your mini, a MBP will work well. The monitors, depending on your expectations, might be a disappointment. Deciding on which hub or dongles to use to obtain the best viewing experience isn’t easy or cheap. It’s not a plug and play experience in the beginning. Clamshell mode works well with your keyboard.
 

Dr.Duct_Mossburg

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2016
7
2
Any compromises made?

My current setup is a Late 2014 MBP with a late 2015 27" iMac. I've been thinking about swapping both for a dedicated new 2018 MBP and a large monitor (potentially the 38" LG).

My biggest thought behind this is having all of my programs and files on one computer vs. having to move files around and having to buy multiple subscriptions.

For those that have done it, what am i (if anything) giving up?

I work from home about 50% of the time... the other 25% im flying somewhere and the other 25% its just typical local travel for 8-10 hour days.

TIA
 

Trey M

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2011
945
312
USA
Definitely think there are benefits for having one machine vs. two. Having to always keep 2 devices in sync can be a major pain, especially when it comes to your typical stuff (software updates, app updates, multiple backups, etc).

Performance wise I’m fairly certain the latest MBPs will blow your iMac away. You really won’t be giving up much. Even if you hate the new keyboards, you’ll used it docked with a different keyboard anyways.

I personally use my MBP to drive dual displays (one is 4K) and I love it. I have absolutely no complaints and if you have a Thunderbolt 3 dock, it basically makes it a desktop-like experience.
 

Dr.Duct_Mossburg

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2016
7
2
Definitely think there are benefits for having one machine vs. two. Having to always keep 2 devices in sync can be a major pain, especially when it comes to your typical stuff (software updates, app updates, multiple backups, etc).

Performance wise I’m fairly certain the latest MBPs will blow your iMac away. You really won’t be giving up much. Even if you hate the new keyboards, you’ll used it docked with a different keyboard anyways.

I personally use my MBP to drive dual displays (one is 4K) and I love it. I have absolutely no complaints and if you have a Thunderbolt 3 dock, it basically makes it a desktop-like experience.
Thanks for the reply. My iMac isn’t that great. I got it originally to just do light work at home and mostly for memory to back up our devices (I’ve got over 300gb on my phone). It was a stupid purchase, honestly. Since then, I’ve gotten more into media which has me wanting a better laptop.
 

IdentityCrisis

Suspended
Sep 9, 2018
684
345
I just did this switch. I wanted all my stuff on one machine instead of a desktop and laptop. Plus I got better specs on my laptop since I only need to buy one machine. You can get the monitor you want (unless you get a mac mini), and with a nice dock (Caldigit TS3 plus), you can make it like a desktop when you are home. I love my setup.

S4vrWV2FRAG+xN610%q1DA.jpg
 

Thysanoptera

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2018
795
766
Pittsburgh, PA
I just did this switch. I wanted all my stuff on one machine instead of a desktop and laptop. Plus I got better specs on my laptop since I only need to buy one machine. You can get the monitor you want (unless you get a mac mini), and with a nice dock (Caldigit TS3 plus), you can make it like a desktop when you are home. I love my setup.
I have the same desk (it sucks Ikea doesn't make them anymore), similar glass riser, same Anker charger, same monitor, also a logitech gaming mouse (the proteus). I keep the notebook behind the monitor, have two additional monitors next to it, hooked up to eGPU. I'd make a picture but it's a mess, don't feel like cleaning it up until my wife forces me to. What's that thing over the monitor, a soundbar?
 

IdentityCrisis

Suspended
Sep 9, 2018
684
345
I have the same desk (it sucks Ikea doesn't make them anymore), similar glass riser, same Anker charger, same monitor, also a logitech gaming mouse (the proteus). I keep the notebook behind the monitor, have two additional monitors next to it, hooked up to eGPU. I'd make a picture but it's a mess, don't feel like cleaning it up until my wife forces me to. What's that thing over the monitor, a soundbar?
It’s a benq led light bar. Very useful and bright. Yea the desk is about 7-8 years old now. Looking a little rough these days. Wanting to switch it up my next trip to Dallas with a white desk probably.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,105
1,398
I just did this switch. I wanted all my stuff on one machine instead of a desktop and laptop. Plus I got better specs on my laptop since I only need to buy one machine. You can get the monitor you want (unless you get a mac mini), and with a nice dock (Caldigit TS3 plus), you can make it like a desktop when you are home. I love my setup.
Nice setup! What's the issue with mini and monitors? :eek:

I just did the switch in opposite direction, from 15" to mini+13"... still waiting for both. No clue how it will work out.

I assume Mini will be okay for the studio since i need to tuck it away somewhere silent (and preferably keep it there).
 

MrGunnyPT

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2017
999
601
Yep! I do this at work I have a dock alongside a monitor..

I arrive at work and put my MacBook Pro on the dock and start up using the monitor this way I don't really need to hurt my eyes by looking at such a small monitor.

I use a Windows VM for some couple of stuff at work and it works just fine.
 

Dr.Duct_Mossburg

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2016
7
2
Nice setup! What's the issue with mini and monitors? :eek:

I just did the switch in opposite direction, from 15" to mini+13"... still waiting for both. No clue how it will work out.

I assume Mini will be okay for the studio since i need to tuck it away somewhere silent (and preferably keep it there).
I considered running the 13” but I feel with a 12.9” iPad Pro it might not quite feel the gap.
[doublepost=1544451897][/doublepost]
Yep! I do this at work I have a dock alongside a monitor..

I arrive at work and put my MacBook Pro on the dock and start up using the monitor this way I don't really need to hurt my eyes by looking at such a small monitor.

I use a Windows VM for some couple of stuff at work and it works just fine.
This. I also have a Lenovo Computer for work that uses type c... So I could easily switch between the two. I think I’m going to pull the trigger when I get back to town from work this weekend.
 

IdentityCrisis

Suspended
Sep 9, 2018
684
345
Nice setup! What's the issue with mini and monitors? :eek:

I just did the switch in opposite direction, from 15" to mini+13"... still waiting for both. No clue how it will work out.

I assume Mini will be okay for the studio since i need to tuck it away somewhere silent (and preferably keep it there).
I mistyped that. I meant you can get the monitor you want unless you have a mac mini too which can also get the monitor you want. iMAC comes with one, so you are forced with it.
 
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IdentityCrisis

Suspended
Sep 9, 2018
684
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Nice setup! What's the issue with mini and monitors? :eek:

I just did the switch in opposite direction, from 15" to mini+13"... still waiting for both. No clue how it will work out.

I assume Mini will be okay for the studio since i need to tuck it away somewhere silent (and preferably keep it there).
Which Mac Mini did you get? I am still considering replacing my Mom's 2009 Mac Mini I got her years ago. She doesn't want it replaced, but you know after 10 years, she needs it replaced. lol. I'll be curious of your opinion of it.
 

cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
916
355
The Netherlands
Thunderbolt makes docking crazy easy. Just get a good dock and you're off to the races.

Lots of people like a monitor with integrated dock. It's a cleaner look but I really appreciate a separate dock because it's very easy to upgrade the monitor.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,105
1,398
Which Mac Mini did you get? I am still considering replacing my Mom's 2009 Mac Mini I got her years ago. She doesn't want it replaced, but you know after 10 years, she needs it replaced. lol. I'll be curious of your opinion of it.
i7/8gb/512/10gbe
Will replace RAM myself :)

Ill surely chime in when i get it - hopefully in a week or so
 
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Goldfire

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2009
110
25
Oklahoma City, OK
I've been using a vertical Henge Dock with my MBP and two monitors on my desk for years and it has been fantastic (just upgraded to 2018 MBP with the new dock and it is even better). It is really nice being able to just pull the computer out of the dock and go, without needing to plug in/out every time. It effectively turns it into a desktop so that my desk can stay empty of clutter.

 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,786
33,746
Boston
My MBP is my main machine, it replaced an iMac. I'm using an old 24" Apple Cinema display that is still going strong, the MBP is on a Rain M Stand, which protects it from any possible spills.

The advantages are as mentioned, one location for the files, makes life a lot easier.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,981
2,803
US
Lots of people like a monitor with integrated dock. It's a cleaner look but I really appreciate a separate dock because it's very easy to upgrade the monitor.
Yes, I get the "clean" aspect -- though it seemed like Thunderbolt3 monitors were crazy expensive and USBC monitors were limited in doing what I wanted (supporting dual-display, ethernet, SD card reader, etc).

So for that reason I went with separate dock - the CalDigit TS3+ is more compact in person than it looks in the photos.
[doublepost=1544544446][/doublepost]
I've been using a vertical Henge Dock with my MBP and two monitors on my desk for years and it has been fantastic (just upgraded to 2018 MBP with the new dock and it is even better). It is really nice being able to just pull the computer out of the dock and go, without needing to plug in/out every time. It effectively turns it into a desktop so that my desk can stay empty of clutter.
The Henge is a very nice device, clean setup.

How do you connect it to two non-USBC monitors and get power to the computer as well? Or do you need to use at least one USBC monitor in a dual-monitor setup?
 

Goldfire

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2009
110
25
Oklahoma City, OK

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,981
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DaveyVigs

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2016
140
132
I've been using a vertical Henge Dock with my MBP and two monitors on my desk for years and it has been fantastic (just upgraded to 2018 MBP with the new dock and it is even better). It is really nice being able to just pull the computer out of the dock and go, without needing to plug in/out every time. It effectively turns it into a desktop so that my desk can stay empty of clutter.

Love my vertical Henge dock too! The thing is perfect for a clean desk especially when I need the space and swap monitors with my work PC when working from home.
 
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