New MBP, iMac, or Wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nope7308, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I need a new computer, but I’m not sure whether to get the new MBP (Oct. 14) or the iMac. Here is my predicament: I don’t know where I’ll be living next September (graduate school). If my studies take me to the other side of the country (definite possibility), then it doesn’t seem feasible to take an iMac with me.

    Here is what I had in mind (I’d like everyone’s opinion).

    Option 1:
    - 24” iMac
    - Asus Eee PC 10” Linux (for portability)

    Option 2:
    - 15” MBP
    - 24” Monitor (I’ll decide later)
    - Mouse/Keyboard

    If I weren’t in this predicament, I would prefer option 1. It seems that you get a better ‘bang for your buck’ with desktops, and I really like the iMac screen. However, I have no idea how I would lug an iMac halfway across the country without cracking/breaking it.

    With Option 2, I can buy the monitor wherever I end up, but I’m not too keen on lugging around a 5lb + computer with (presumably) 4h of battery life. I’ve grown accustomed to the weight of my current laptop (3lb) and its long battery life (9h). Anything less, at this point, would seem obsolete. That said, I actually need the computing power of the iMac/MBP – the MBA (and my current laptop) just won’t cut it. Sure, portability is a nice feature, but I’m still trying to decide if it’s a necessary feature (I write essays – a UMPC or library computer would do).

    Naturally, I could wait until I get a definite answer as to where I’ll end up, but for reasons stated below, the issue is a fairly pressing one. I also finish up this December, so I will have to buy prior to then, or wait until I get assigned a new student number (not sure when). At this point, I need any discount I can get!

    Pressing issue because…
    I currently own a 12.1” laptop (Asus Z33a) that has become a serious liability. By ‘liability’, I mean the following:
    - The ‘i’ button barely works (ironic, switching to a Mac)
    - The cable sparks/smokes when I plug it into the computer
    - The computer becomes dangerously hot (burning of the skin hot)
    - I can’t hear a movie over the sound of the fan (literally)
    - Photoshop/Dreamweaver crashes the computer
    - Very ‘grainy’ screen resolution and extremely poor brightness

    For the record, I despise the Mac ‘lifestyle/fashion statement’ (along with the price), but I admire the exceptional build quality, OS stability, and attention to detail.

    Thanks for the input!

    P.S. This took me 30 minutes to write because of my bum “i” button!
     
  2. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #2
    If you need a new computer purchase one now. If you do not need a new computer, wait until you absolutely need one. That's pretty much the best advice you will get.
     
  3. mediumofmeaning macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    I'd wait a week, see what happens. I feel like that's a pretty obvious solution.
     
  4. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    It's not simply a question of whether or not to buy a new computer. It's a cost/benefit question between the MBP and an iMac given my situation, combined with the possibility that my current computer can spontaneously combust any day now.

    Obviously I'm going to wait to see what the new MBP looks like, but given Apple's track record, I doubt I'll be disappointed. Essentially, it's a laptop vs. desktop question and I'm stuck in the middle. I'm not looking for the 'right answer', just a well reasoned opinion.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  5. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    I faced a largely similar situation. i move around a lot. Despite, unsure of where I'll end up next summer, I decided to go with a solid work station at home (mac pro), and an ultra-portable. Still i think its the same, desktop vs. laptop.

    While, this is really up to personal preference, these were my reasons for choosing the set up that i did.

    1. I've done the whole MBP and external monitor route. It's a great set up, but lugging around the MBP, and un-connecting it every morning, connecting again at night got a bit tiresome after awhile.

    I should say though, for many people this is not a problem, and a minor inconvenience, but it was tiresome for me.

    2. the promise of a solid workstation at home, plus ultra-portable was a very appealing set up for me. You have all your main work in a solid workstation at home, and you can load it up with everything you need. On the road, you have a light, fast computer.

    All in all, this set up has worked very well for me, and I am very satisfied with it.

    Personal experience aside, I suggest buying the iMac now if you need something proper to work on immediately. If not, you can wait a week, but ask yourself if the lost productivity is worth it, and also keep in mind, Oct 14th is not a given. It could be a week, 2 weeks, a month, we don't know.

    In any case, I'll be frank. You won't be disappointed if you bought an iMac over the new macbook pro that is coming out.

    Also, hurry and back up that data before that ticking time bomb blows.
     
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #6
    I have to agree with it being tiresome unplugging the laptop every morning, transporting it, then plugging it back up. It doesn't sound like much on paper but it does get old fast.

    What I would suggest though.....

    MBP and monitor for your room (two screens verses one, very useful) AND an eeePC for travel (I have one of these and I love it)

    Thats a shame about your asus too. Of all the years I've been working IT Ive never seen them have a problem.
     
  7. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    Thanks - those were very helpful replies! I do have one more question though... on average, would you say that the iMac wll last longer than the MBP? A good friend of mine bought a PowerBook G4 at about the same time I bought my Asus... the difference: he's had to repair his about 3/4 times already.

    Is this a usual risk, or did he just get a lemon?

    Thanks again!

    P.S. All my data is saved to my external HD; I've learned the hard way before. And yes, it does suck about my Asus. My laptop was actually built on the M5N model which Asus eventually discontinued (presumably, for the same reasons that I'm getting a new computer).
     
  8. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    I've got a similiar issue. I'm thinking about going with the MBP + external monitor (I already have 20" ACD), as I won't be moving the MBP around much it will mostly live on my desk. I do like the portability though, if I want to work downstairs I can and have instant access to all my files rather than a separate computer where I have to sync or transfer data which could get more annoying than having to unplug and replug a laptop from a display. I also like the dual screen setup, although I can achieve that with an iMac also because I have an ACD. Still, I do see the positives of an iMac and a netbook so I will continue to weigh up the pro's and cons, but I just don't see the point of having a tiny netbook with a small screen if I'll be using it at home the majority of time.
     
  9. macaco74 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #9
    I would wait a week or two to see if a new MBP is released. I bought a MBP in October and then recently a new 24" imac. I use the MBP 100 times more than the imac for pure portability.

    But it does depend on your processing needs.
     
  10. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #10
    I just hate typing on a laptop, so I am an advocate of a desktop computer. And no, I do not want a plug-in keyboard and monitor for my laptop. The laptop is used rarely, but it is there when I need it.
     
  11. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Laptops are usually more susceptible to problems than desktops just because they get moved around alot, and hence experience bumps, shakes, and knocks here and there.
     
  12. BenEndeem macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #12
    The PowerBook G4 has a rather 'high' failure rate, I read a guide on eBay once which cited it as high as 15%, but most say 8-10%. This isn't really typical of Macs in general, but then there was the infamous NVIDIA problem with (some) MacBook Pros. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.

    To answer the question I'd prefer the iMac option myself, it really provides the best of both worlds without foreseeable consequence.
     
  13. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    my house
    #13
    best bet, laptop with external monitor w/ keyboard & mouse.

    It's essentially a lap/desk top
     
  14. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    just a thought. A way around the whole student number issue is to just get a refurb.

    Now i'm not sure if you're someone who must absolutely have something "brand new" but the refurbs are still cheaper than what you get with an education discount. Especially so with the iMacs, mbp's i think the difference would be around 100 dollars.

    i myself, went with a refurb, instead of using my education discount, and it's been great so far.

    if you went for the mid range MBP. 2.5, you could essentially get the top of the line iMac whose refurb price is only 1899. And you'll have money left over for your eee, apple care, more ram etc.

    just something to think about. :)
     
  15. robie1208 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    #15
    I have the Z33a laptop as well and I had the same heat and noise issue as you. I found that if you open up the laptop, remove the heatsink/fan unit, use some compressed air to clean the fan, clean the heatsink, and put some new thermal paste, the laptop runs cooler and quieter like it used to when it was brand new. Sorry, I know that wasn't the intent of your post but I figured it was something you can do to reduce some of your issues with your z33 before you make your mac purchase.
     
  16. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #16
    Thanks for all the replies! Judging by the responses, it seems like it's a dead heat.

    Is it safe to say that the iMac has greater computing power over the MBP? Damn, I wish it was Oct. 14 already so I could actually have something to compare!

    Thank you SO much - this is definitely relevant. One question though, what the hell is 'thermal paste' and where should I put it on (inside) the computer?
     

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