Macbook Pro as your only computer? How safe?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by H.Finch, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. H.Finch macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    Hi guys, just a quick question.

    I have an iMac and a Macbook Air at the moment, but my ideal setup (in my imagination) would probably be simpler... I'm thinking a Macbook Pro (Retina), 13 or 15 inc, combined with a Retina 27" Cinema (when it comes out).

    However, I'm wondering how safe this setup would be... I'm a designer and I strongly depend on my computer... If my Air or iMac were to break somehow right now, I can just continue on the other computer... Without any delay...
    If I were to switch to just a Macbook Pro, the risk would probably be greater... Does anybody know whats the best option? Or how big the risk is? Should I keep my current setup? Or is it possible to cover you Macbook Pro with Applecare in a way that you'd get a temporary Macbook on loan directly when your current one breaks?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure someone else has though about this already :)
  2. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    If your work is mission critical, always have a second computer handy.
  3. H.Finch thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    You might be right. Damn, there goes my little OCD of simplifying everything I have... :D

    Maybe if they manage to make a Macbook without any moving parts... then the percentage of critical crashes/issues would probably go down significantly... I've always heard its the moving parts in computers that make them vunurable..
  4. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2014
    I've been treating my MBP 13" not really like a prince, but quite harsh, and it still goes on. And by harsh I mean physically and on workload: carrying it everywhere on the typical school bag, putting the bag (so the Mac inside) on the floor or between my feet while going on train, some hits, 100% CPU usage running quite hot every day for some hours... The only thing that broke in 4 years was the fan last year, and it didn't really break, it was still running and cooling well but making some noise so I changed it by myself buying one on Ebay (5 minutes repairing it, not more).

    About AppleCare, I wouldn't recommend it. Ignoring the fact that they probably won't give you a temporary one, for less money (about the 10% of the Mac total price) you can get an insurance policy for about that covers any damage it takes (even if you split water or hit it accidentally). Then you should see if the insurance policy has the option of getting a temporary Mac to work with while yours is being repaired, or if they change your Mac for a new one (same model & upgrades as yours).
  5. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Most of the moving parts are gone now. Those that are left are the essentials (keyboard, trackpad, hinges and fans)
  6. nudoru macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2012
    Near Charlotte NC
    I've been using a laptop as my sole computer for several years now and am fine with the idea. I do have an old mac as a back up. I think you'd be fine keeping one of your older ones around as a backup.
  7. lokster macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2010
    There is nothing wrong with having your laptop as your main device.

    Ive have done this for a few months, just don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    With having one computer ALWAYS have an external backup of all your work. All my work is backed up in several hard drives and i just access if i need it for reference or reuse.

    Having a laptop is super handy, i switched to laptop only because it was pretty cumbersome managing two computers.

    Another suggestion, use dropbox and other online storage to have some documents that you always need, like fonts or some stock photos. I found this incredibly useful
  8. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    The only moving part in the current rMBPs is the fan. They have flash storage just like the MBA and don't have a CD drive. The only difference between the two models these days is the retina display and faster processors in the rMBPs. Also a rectangular design as opposed to the wedge design.

    If you're worried about data loss, be sure to make backups often or store documents in the cloud.

    I've had a MacBook Pro as my sole computer since 2009. The only time I've been without it for more than a few hours was when it was continually crashing and needed to be replaced at four years old. The problematic cable that caused the issues isn't used in current models. Surprisingly enough that machine works fine today now that I don't take it back and forth to class. My parents' 2010 MacBook Pro has been sitting on their desk for four years with very few problems.

    AppleCare generally doesn't offer a temporary replacement. In my experience it only takes them a few hours to fix most issues. It's better than most other manufacturer service plans where you have to mail your laptop in or have a stranger come to your home. If you're legitimately worried about accidental damage, AppleCare won't cover that, but it will cover unexplainable issues that come up within the three years. You get your machine repaired or an Apple refurbished replacement instead of a replacement of unknown origin.

    You should know that if you're going to use it at your desk all the time, you do need to unplug it and let it run on battery occasionally to keep the battery in good health.
  9. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    I don't use my Mac everyday, but I do depend upon it for my work. The data is more important to me than the hardware. I have backups on some external drives should the machine fail.

    If my machine were to fail, I would purchase another one from the Apple store. I don't have to tie up my capital in two machines.
  10. bgd macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    My MBA has been a lot more reliable than my MacPro, as have all the Apple laptops we have been using. My daughter still uses my original macbook from 2006.

    I will be sticking with laptops going forward.
  11. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I use a cMBP and iMac 21.5", it sounds like in much the same way you do at the moment, work can be opened on either machine via Dropbox, bookmarks are synced between the two.

    Even before Continuity was launched with Yosemite it was a pretty seamless experience, failure of either would have been simple to deal with, not only in keeping work going but in minimising the effort needed to get back to the status quo, new machine, clone drive from old, enter a few passwords and back up and running.

    It is the time saved when you have to do this you should be worried about in addition to any working time actually lost.

    In addition I have TM drive plugged into the cMBP when it is on my office desk...

    Does your iMac support Target Screen - so it can be used as an external monitor anyway?
  12. H.Finch thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    Thanks for all your replies guys!

    Yes my iMac supports target display mode I think. Both my iMac and Macbook air are from late 2012 (although my iMac was delivered months later).
    And indeed I also use Dropbox to sync files between my two Macs. Some of you have almost the exact same setup it seems.

    Maybe at some point I'll keep the Air, sell the iMac and buy a Macbook Pro + Display (both retina if possible). Thats also an option. And just put the Air somewhere in a closet as a backup. I just really have an obsession with slimming down my Apple hardware arsenal for some reason. Its quite the opposite of some other people here haha. I was even calculating if an iPhone 6 plus could replace both my iPhone 5 and my iPad.

    This is my current line-up:
    • iMac 27" late 2012
    • Macbook Air 13" mid 2012
    • iPhone 5
    • iPad 2 :S (which has to go soon, iOS 8 made it a wreck)
    • iPod Shuffle (for workouts)

    This was what I was thinking about:

    • Macbook Pro Retina 13 or 15 inch (ideally more the size and weight of the Air)
    • 27" retina display
    • iPhone 6 plus
    • iWatch (to replace my shuffle) and for the smaller tasks for which the Plus is too large or cumbersome to get out of my bag)
      *As soon as they have a thinner version though. The current thickness is quite a deal-breaker for me.

    Ah well, I'll have to be patient I think. Maybe my current setup isn't so bad after all.
  13. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    My MacBook Pro is my second work Macintosh; primary is my heavily upgraded Mac Pro 3,1 which does all the heavy workload with Adobe CS and video etc with aplomb, coping with all the extra power and heat generated easily as its a workstation by nature and design with a much higher TDP and is much faster than the notebook at these tasks and would also apply if I used an iMac as a second Mac. My 3,1 will be replaced by a dual socket Mac Pro 5,1 sometime this year with dual hex core Xeons for a big increase in grunt with all my upgrades fitted into the newer cheesegrater.

    OP - I think your setup is absolutely fine and sensible for your uses too :D
  14. Crugga macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2010
    Id rather the one top of the range rmbp than 2 other machines.
    When I had issues before ie spilt a drink on Macbook I literally went on ebay and bought a used machine 10 miles down the road, was without a machine for about an afternoon then a couple of weeks later got a payout from home insurance and sold the 2nd hand machine for a bit more than i'd bought it for.
    Just make sure you have back ups.
    My view is that having a computer sat doing nothing but purely for a just in case situation is excess. Its losing value constantly and you may as well have a small amout of money put aside to purchase the best you can for the money if that situation arrises.
    Just my opinion though and your set up seems fine unless you really want to simplify things.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've been on a single computer before and I found Macs to be more stable then others. With that said, its always good to have a secondary computer just incase. Thanks to being married with kids, we have multiple computers in the household. So far though (knocks on wood), I've not needed to use another computer because my main computer failed.

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14 October 26, 2014