Macbook Pro + Thunderbolt Display OR iMac + Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Adelphos33, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I intend on buying a high end Apple home display + portable laptop combo over the next six months or so...

    Should I get

    Macbook Pro (middle model, uprgraded to 16G RAM) with a Thunderbolt Display? This would run $2,700

    or a

    27" iMac (base model with Fusion Drive and 16G RAM) with a Macbook Air (base 13 inch with 8G of RAM)? This would run $3,400

    The only advatages I see with the second setup are a more portable laptop and more storage. But I can add a Thunderbolt external HD with more storage and the new MBP seems pretty portable.
  2. sholzer macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2013
    I'd personally go with the mbp+thunderbolt display.
  3. Adelphos33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    If I can get away with 8G RAM, the MPB+Thunderbolt combo becomes every more affordable (close to $1K less).
  4. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It really depends on how much power you need on the road. If you do most of your work at home, I'd definitely go with option #1. Especially since the iMac also has better GPU which will enable you to play some games too during your spare time.
  5. Adelphos33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I wouldn't need that much power on the road really. I just want a better home computing experience (big screen, facetime HD camera, more real estate) combined with adequate portability (Office/iwork, iPhoto, internet connectivity, some media playing). Not a big gamer at all.
  6. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Thought thru the same question, I'm going with the MBPr and external display. Just planning on doing it in stages; getting a MBPr this year, will use my old iMac as display (e.g. we will see, retina display may be fine for short term), next year will look at completing the docking setup.

    With two machines, Just found myself always moving files around or getting new programs installed on the Old MacBook whenever going mobile, etc. Plus, you end up with two machines being the same age, eventually neither up to snuff and having to replace both machines at the same time.
  7. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    I've had both of your setups before. Both are great and you can't go wrong with either one of them.
  8. mtmac macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    From your needs, it seems like an air and a TBD would be fine. Most computers now are so much more powerful than what most people use them for. Wait for the TBD2 that most likely appear in December. You can add a hard drive at home, plus have the lighter Air on the road, and you most likely wouldn't even notice a difference for your needs. I think you can keep more current by buying cheaper models and upgrading more often. As Apples hold their value, it is less expensive and you stay current over time. There is less system time devoted to keeping one computer than two.
  9. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    I'd always go option 1. It's cheaper and far more efficient to run everything off of only one machine instead of having to sync. The stock mid-line 13" rMBP should be fine. Although the Thunderbolt Display wasn't updated the other day as some expected, there's still a chance it could appear in December when the new Mac Pros are released. The current design of the TBD is pretty dated imo along with the peripherals.
  10. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    If you're spending that much time behind the iMac then I wouldn't discount the MBA 11" as your portable device. That would be my perfect setup. With the Air being a real laptop and replacing any need for an iPad (which really doesn't do anything).
  11. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    Managing data between two machines was always a pain for me. It depends on your use but I love my mbp+tb display combo.
  12. theKitch macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    rMBP + Display. Managing data across two devices is a PAIN! Extra bonus is that you have all the horsepower with you no matter where you work.

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