MBA/MBP vs iMac/iPad

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by east1999, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. east1999 macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey everyone!

    I bet you're all tired of these threads by now. You either want to be a laggard or an early adopter, right? I'm taking my time to consider new products like the MBA and the iPad. Here it goes. I just started my PhD and I have both a truckload of work to do and some extra money to spend on new machines. My laptop is dying so here's what I'm considering..

    1. MBP 13" i5/MBA 13" 4g RAM

    This looks like the right form factor, plus you can dock them at home. I'm very wary of fan noise with these two, and I've read the MBP is a fumbling beast. Occasional whirrs are okay during heavier tasks but I'm not at all comfortable with recurring noise and/or low-frequency hums coming from the laptop when I'm sleeping (and I sometimes leave it on to finish downloads, etc.). I use Google Talk video chat lot, and I wonder if all the things people are saying about the power-hungry Skype are true for GT too. Aside from these efforts, the occasional iMovie edit just needs to be snappy, and I'm okay with longer export times. I'm, however, very worried with the screen, having compared the two. Smudgy and small vs. a screen I can use everywhere with brightness lower than maximum? I know people have used the MBP screens for years and I still haven't read a fine argument for glossy displays. Are they crispier? Easier to clean and protect, because you don't touch the screen directly? Please help me here.

    2. Getting the iPad 2 instead?

    Now that the iPad 2 is out, and looks like a multitasking powerhouse, does the iMac+iPad combo still hold valid? A great desktop + a great mobile gadget? I have so many papers to read right now that the idea of reading them on a laptop kinda makes me cringe, though of course I have to compile notes, write essays, research, usually at the same time. How is that "going away from the computer" working for you?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What is it going to be used for? Anything else besides Skype and iMovie? iPad is terrible if you need to do any serious typing. If you need to do typing while on go (take notes for example), then that leaves you with MBP or MBA. Sounds like the MBP is better for you as it will be your main computer.

    Remember that you have 14 days to exchange/return it so if the MBP isn't what you want, you can go and exchange it for MBA.
  3. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Yeah.. well, truth is I tend to take written notes at seminars and talks, and keep the laptop/iPhone next to me just to look things up. I also do know at least one person who uses the iPad as notebook, with a Pogo stylus.
  4. mcm2839 macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I have a 13" MBP i5 and love it. There are no fan noises and it works beautifully.
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    If I'm reading this right, you already have an iMac but you're looking for a portable device to use on the go? I would go with the MacBook Pro IMO. I love the design of the MBA but if you aren't getting the 13 inch I would say that it might be a little too small... depending on what you're doing with it.

    Because you stated video editing and heavy google talk usage, I would gravitate for the MBP. Better overall specs make it a bigger contendor as well.

    The iPad 2 is good, but the lack of an actual keyboard (unless you buy the stand) holds it back on typing; and even then, you can't create solid papers on it, it lacks everything you need to fully edit and get a paper ready to print, by university standards IMO. I see it as more of a luxury device to get after you have a laptop or a main home computer and aren't needing to do anything important while out.

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