MBP? MBA? iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FurryPaws, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. FurryPaws macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    Hey guys,

    having just seen a couple of videos about Mavericks and especially GarageBand, a long time windows user is thinking about making the switch.

    This is going to be a rather long post and lot of thought has been put into this so far, so please put some into your replies as well.

    My situation:

    University-student, hobby-musician, using public transport a lot, seldom flying, having a small flat, spending loads of time in the uni library, having to move to London next year (from Germany)

    As I said, I have a small room, about 15m², so un-cluttering would help me so much.

    What do I use a computer for?

    a) working with music, especially guitar tabulature (guitar pro), digital drums, guitar effects
    b) playing with music, as in Rocksmith (guitar) and Synthesia (Piano)
    c) doing uni stuff
    d) watching a couple of pirated TV shows
    e) playing the occasional Blizzard game (SC2, D3)

    As I spend a lot of time at the uni and usually have a couple of free periods, I need a mobile device. However, that doesn't exactly scream Macbook, because I also use public transport a lot, where an iPad would rule supreme.

    Here's what I considered so far:

    a) Get a Macbook Air 13 inch, 8 GB Ram (1.126,93 €)
    b) Get a Macbook Pro Retina 13 inch, (1.314,95 €)
    c) Get an iMac 21 inch plus an iPad mini 2 (2.000,96 €)

    Pros and Cons for a laptop:

    - if you lose it, all your data falls into a stranger's hand
    - if you lose it, you're stuck in the digital stone age
    - you can't play games for longer periods of time due to ventilation (at home, obviously)
    - if one part of the thing is defective, it's impossible to fix by yourself
    - it's much less mobile than a tablet
    - the screen is tiny, annoying to use for longer periods of time
    - constantly connecting and disconnecting cables HAS to be a pain
    - I don't have a TV set, so I'd have to watch movies on a 13" screen
    + you have all your data with you at all time
    + you can be almost as productive in the uni as you can be at home
  2. iWeekend macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Considering that a majority of your work is "production", that leads to recommending a laptop. Backing up important data to an external drive will be a godsend if you lose your laptop. Even dropbox would do.

    Since you "like" the university library and thats likely to continue in London(?), the home computer is basically moot.

    A bigger question though is, will (a) and (b) be possible on an iPad?
  3. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Put a password on it. On the lock screen, put your contact info. If you lose it, use iCloud 'Find My Device' to set it to either completely lock or to remotely wipe.
    The only game I play is Civ 5 but I've never had to stop playing for ventilation issues. The fan comes on. The only drawback is battery life is much shorter than with other uses.

    Yes. My understanding is that in the UK students get an amazing deal with AppleCare included for three years or something like that.

    I use my 11" on the subway. It's totally fine when sitting or even when standing as long as the train isn't too crowded. So I would say less but not necessarily much less mobile.

    Very subjective. But you can always use an external screen at home if you don't find the cables too annoying. That would also solve your tv issue.

    Basically I think a lot of your cons are bogus. I think it will come down to how productive you want to be able to be on the go versus how light you want to travel. I guess you'd be perfectly happy with whichever you pick.
  4. FurryPaws thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    I was considering the 11" MacBook Air, because it's the tiniest one that still has a full operating system. Then I'd keep using my Windows desktop, for large data storage, to watch movies and listen to music loudly.

    Then I can still get an iMac when I'm back from London, and if I even like the MacOS.

    I'm concerned about the really tiny screen size, though...
  5. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Hi FurryPaws. If you think you will be mobile 80% of the time, the Retina MacBook Pro would be fine though I would go for the 15" screen. Because the 15" size has a bigger enclosure so better heat dissipation and the internal components are not to tight compared to the smaller 13" Ret Macbook Pro. I also don't see the 15" as too big to carry when you're mobile. It's not too big but not too small for games or movies.
  6. KeegM480, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

    KeegM480 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    I know this wasn't what you are considering but I think your best bet is a 15" MacBook Pro, and if you dont want the 15" MacBook Pro go 13" MacBook Pro, you can get an external monitor for at home, but you can't really take the iMac with you or set it on your lap (comfortably). MacBook Pro is the way to go! You won't regret it :)

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