Newbie Mac user need advice making the big switch: iMac or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by erinstar, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. erinstar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    I'm coming into some bonus money (thank you tax man!) so I've decided to bite the bullet and make the big switch from PC to Mac.

    It will be used for (home use) internet, email, word processing, managing a rather large iPhoto library (currently using Photoshop Elements Organiser), iTunes, and Photoshop Elements for photoediting and digital scrapbooking.

    I'm leaning towards a base model 21.5" iMac especially because I don't need it to be portable so I'm struggling to justify the extra $$ for portability but I could be convinced to go for a 13" or 15" MacBook Pro if it would be just as suitable for my needs.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    The general rule of thumb is go for the highest spec you can buy now, and then upgrade internal components that can be upgraded when you think your computer is starting to slow down. This will also maximise any resale value you have.
     
  3. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #3
    Only get a laptop if you really need portability. I do, so I had to trade in my iMac for a MBP. I couldn´t justify to keep both.
    I really miss the 24" inch screen on that iMac (it was the previous generation). The iMac aslo have a desktop type hard drive and few other bits that makes them a bit faster than a MBP.

    The iMacs are great machines
     
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #4
    I didn't "need" portability myself, but I also can't imagine always being tethered to my iMac in the basement office anymore. My 15" MBP never really leaves the house, but I love the portability within the house- mostly to sit on the couch or on the deck and surf or work. It is also perfect for sitting next to my wife and surfing while she watches TV shows I don't really care for!::mad:
     
  5. Kollis macrumors newbie

    Kollis

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    #5
    If posing at a net cafe is of low importance, go for the biggest screen affordable to work with photos. If the PC's screen is Good Enough, a high specced Mac Mini also is a good solution.
     
  6. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    kidnapped by aliens
    #6
    I need portabillity just to use my MacBook Pro both at home and at work. I never regretted buying my maxed out 17" along with the 24" LED display. My setup is as performant as a desktop computer and I have the portabillity I need. Also, I can switch to dual screen mode and enjoy a real large screen surface.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    "It will be used for (home use) internet, email, word processing, managing a rather large iPhoto library (currently using Photoshop Elements Organiser), iTunes, and Photoshop Elements for photoediting and digital scrapbooking."

    Many of the tasks you mentioned work better on larger screens. As another poster mentioned, if you don't absolutely-have-to-have "portability", the iMac might be the better deal.

    Other thoughts I'd like to toss at you:

    Don't settle for the 21.5" screen -- get something bigger.

    One person I know bought the new 27" iMac and had screen problems (Apple is repairing it). Another bought a refurbished 24" on my recommendation, no problems at all.

    You can keep an eye on all the refurbs on one page here:
    http://www.refurb.me/
    Also, it shows what's in stock, what's out-of-stock, and how long a particular one has been out.
     
  8. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #8
    bigger is not always better (or at least that is what my wife says!:rolleyes:)

    Be sure to sit down in front of one of the larger iMac screens and make sure you like it. I personally think it is quite a bit of screen real estate to navigate with a mouse and while I think it is gorgeous and would be great for major photoshop type editing or tv type viewing of videos, etc, personally I think the 21 or 24 is sufficient for basic use but it all depends on exactly what you are using it for.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    The iMac has a much better screen (IPS instead of TN, and far more pixels) which is much better for photo editing. If you don't need the portability, get the iMac and save money.
     
  10. EzhnoWolf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #10
    I own a MBP but I need portability because I am a student.

    If you aren't too concerned about protability, I would agree with many of the other users and say that the larger screen real estate will serve you well for your purposes.
     
  11. erinstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I'll stick with the 21.5". I have a spare monitor I can use as a second display and really if I was going to spend the extra I'd rather it be for portablity rather larger screen size. I may consider getting a MBP for external (and couch) use later on. Now just need to decide if I will get it now or wait for potential updates.

    Also is there any advantage / benefit to buying AppleCare with purchase rather than in 10 or 11 months time? I understand you just need to have it registered before the initial 12 month warranty is out.
     
  12. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #12
    OH NOOOOO....now we are on the "wait for potential update" part of these types of threads! :D Just kidding ya!

    On potential updates- there are always potential updates so I would say get it if:

    a) your current system is too outdated to do what you want
    b) you have lots of time waiting for the processor to process what you are doing
    c) you get stressed over the troubleshooting of the computer or are sick of dealing with virus/spyware, etc.

    I don't forsee any 'major' updates other than small speed bumps, HD and memory bumps- but you can certainly get a fantastic system right now for little money.

    Only benefit I know of is depending on where you purchase it you might pay some taxes on it either now or later. Also, if you are an educator you get a huge discount on applecare but even so that can be realized directly from apple now or at the 10 month date.

    Good luck and enjoy your new mac.
     
  13. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #13
    Phone warranty ends after 90 days. Therefore if you call after 90 days you'll need Applecare to talk to the folks at Apple. Otherwise you gotta go to the Genius bar.
     
  14. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #14
    Very good point- I forgot about this- if you do applecare right of the start you have apple phone support for 3 years solid...if you wait you have no phone support until you purchase the Apple Care. Being you are new to the Mac I would buy it right from the start....but you always have us here at MR to help you!:D
     
  15. erinstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #15
    hahaha - I certainly don't want to start that debate! I'm not a very patient person so I'll probably be out purchasing on the weekend!! It was more that if I waited it would also allow me a bit more time to save a bit more money - the tax man wasn't that generous!!

    I'm still undecided about AppleCare, because while new to Mac, I've been using a computer for as long as I can remember, I'm now curious as what problems I might incur that would require calling Apple or going to a genius bar? I'm pretty happy googling, or searching MR (or other forums) for answers!
     
  16. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #16
    iMac
     
  17. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #17
    You can always buy Applecare on your first phone call after 90 days is up. You'll find they are quick to point out your phone support is up and you'll need to pair per incident or buy Applecare at that point. :eek:

    You can wait up to your full year before you purchase Applecare.

    I find that I tend to use Applecare far more when I've purchased it, so I look at the 90 day to 1 year period as money well spent. It's a bit different than calling say Dell that runs a script in India. They actually know more than "Have you tried rebooting the computer?"
     
  18. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #18
    So if you are a competent computer user and enjoy searching for answers then I say wait and buy it if you can't find it online or figure it out.....like the other poster said they give you this option I guess.

    I have it and I still end up here or on google figuring out anything I want to know.

    Just a tip- use the link in my signature to search MacRumors specifically for your future issues (if you have any!:D:apple:)
     

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