Possible new iMac/MBP purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Techichi, May 16, 2011.

  1. Techichi macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I've been contemplating replacing my early 2008 MacBook Pro with either one of the latest iMacs (21.5" or 27") or MacBook Pro (15" or 17").
    Even though my laptop still works fine at the moment, in a few months I won't be a student anymore and therefore I thought of anticipating a possible purchase by a few months to make the most out of the discount offered by Apple.
    Currently, I mainly use my MBP for academic writing, using Pages or MS Word, with the occasional use of statistics programs and watching movies/TV shows. I also wouldn't mind being able to do a little bit of gaming on my future machine.
    I have a few questions regarding the latest Apple products which might help me decide what machine to go for. I know that they might've been asked on this forum thousands of times already but I hope that a kind soul on here will be willing to help me out nevertheless...

    1) Given my main use of a computer described above, which product and screen size would you recommend? I am slightly unsure on whether to go for a laptop or a stationary computer because, although in the last year I hardly used my MBP outside of my flat, I generally take my laptop with me while on visiting my family (usually twice per year) and it's always pleasant to have all my files on me. In terms of screen size I am somewhat afraid that the 27" iMac might be excessive for my use or that the 17" MBP might make the portability advantage of owning a laptop useless.

    2) If I decided to go for the latest MBP, what kind of improvements could I expect from it, compared to my current model? I must add that my MBP's motherboard stopped functioning about a year ago and I only managed to avoid buying a new MBP at the time through AppleCare. Do I still have to expect this kind of issues or are the new Apple laptops generally more reliable?

    3) I currently have Snow Leopard installed on my machine and I regularly back up the contents of laptop through time machine. Would I be able to transfer all my files directly to the new computer or would there be some limitations? Additionally, would you recommend I waited for the release of OS X Lion before buying a new iMac/MBP or not? Owning several Apple computers in my household, I would probably buy the new operating system separately anyway.

    Thank you in advance for your help! :)
  2. DeChrii macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    First I'll give you my suggestion and then follow with your 3 questions.
    I would highly suggest the iMac based on what you stated. Your macbook pro is still in fine condition and therefore if you need a portable computer, you have one. The iMac entry 21.5" will be able to do everything you stated including gaming. I own a 27" and a 21.5" and I have to say the 27" is a ton better if your not concerned about having a "too big" of a screen. It allows 2 windows + ichat + itunes + mail all in the same screen without overlap. The iMac 21.5" is still good though. Both of the new iMacs have facetime hd cameras. The iMac 27" also has 2 thunderbolt port which would allow triple screening while the 21.5" only has 1. Now thunderbolt isn't really being used as of now but that will most likely change in the future :p.

    Now to answer some of your questions
    1) Oh...i guess my answer above answered this hah.
    2) Depending on your current specs. If you can list your current specs, that would help a ton. Most likely your going to get an increase in processor speed (sandy bridge i5/i7) and a better gpu. In addition you'll also get face time hd webcam and the thunderbolt port. The issues you stated are hardware problems and you never know if a hardware will fail or not. Be sure to have apple care just in case as you never know if it will fail. Apple care will pretty much replace anything (non water damage) thats faulty.
    3) You can transfer all your data/files from one mac to another by hooking up the 2 together and transferring.

    I hoped some of this helped you out! Good luck on your next purchase!

    Oh yeah, I would wait till May 24th or + as the "back to school" event will most likely happen. That way you get a free ipod touch and printer(which you can sell or keep).
  3. jmmerel macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2011
    Why not MPB with Screen

    I've used an iMac 27" for one year and i've been extremly satisfied of the size of the screen. I was also using Parallels to work on Office document into Windows (to be 100% sure of compatibility).
    I also had a laptop and I was spending a lot of time in synchronizing my 2 machines.

    I solved the issue with a MBP 15" + a Apple Screen 27".
    The 27" is my main screen.
    I could keep the MPB closed, except that you can't boot if it closed but sleep mode is OK. I keep it open and just have e-mails into it.

    The 27" is too expensive for most budgets and compare to competitors.
    There are other LED screens at better price.

    Having one machine and one hard drive is my choice.
    It makes my life easier.

    If mobility is 25% of your computer life, I would advise for the MBP + screen.
  4. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    That was definitely very helpful, thank you DeChrii.

    I did consider keeping my MBP alongside a hypothetical iMac but I don't usually like to keeping unused computers around, especially if I can get some money for my old MBP as it seems to be the case. I guess I could keep it for a few months though and then decide whether to purchase a MacBook Air in the future, depending on my needs.

    The 27" screen was a bit overwhelming, although undeniably beautiful, when I checked it out at the Apple store. You reckon I'd get used to it? Being able to keep more than one document open at a time is a necessity for me when I'm writing and my MBP unfortunately gives me a bit of trouble doing that due to its limited space on screen.

    Would I be able to benefit from the last promotion you mentioned even though from September/October I am not going to be a student anymore?

    Thank you again for your help.
  5. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Thank you for your reply.

    I did consider this option as well but I was put off by the high price of the Apple 27" screen. I'll have a look around for alternatives and consider this option though.
  6. nate13 macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2004
    Fargo, ND
    Check out Dell, their IPS panels seem to have the best reputation online, and the price is steep but well worth it if your at all a fan of true colors.
  7. DeChrii macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Theres always the option of selling your MBP and getting the iMac and a used iPad 1(which can be between 200-300 on craigslist). The iPad 1 will allow you to couch browse etc or on the go and your work will still be on your iMac. I would highly recommend the 27" but only if you feel like you really need it as it is a little pricey. The 21.5" will still allow you to have 2 documents.
    The 27" is very easy to adapt but once you go big, its hard to downgrade hah.

    You should still be able to get the promotion, just show your current I.D i guess. Most of the time, they wont even ask for a I.D if you look college age :p
  8. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Great, I'll be looking at the available Dell screens and I might stop by the Apple store to play around a little bit longer with the 21.5" iMac and the 27".
    Thanks again for your advice! :)
  9. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Do yourself a favor and steer clear of Dell. Their monitors are as cheaply sourced as the computers.
  10. jmmerel macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2011
    Go for LED

    In the store, you'll love the iMac: super design, and very neat LED screen.
    And if you're not sure of your mobility need, I believe you'll go for it.

    I like the idea of iMac + iPad... to a certain degree. if "outside" you just read mail, browse internet that is a bright idea. Otherwise... you'll miss your data and applications.

    Cheaper alternative to Apple Display is Samsung LED. They have all display sizes with pretty good design, very thin screens, and are true LED specialist. On some of the displays you can change the hight.
  11. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    If it wasn't for the mobility "issue" I would've made my choice already: a 21.5" or even a 27" iMac. Unfortunately, I do not know whether I'll need a laptop in the future, depending on what line of work I'll be in. I suppose they would provide me with a computer anyway and, as it's already been mentioned, I could always keep my MBP for a few months until I'm completely sure on what to do.
    Already owning an iPhone, and being extremely happy with it, I never found the iPad option too appealing but I guess I could take that into consideration too. After all I never really considered my MBP as a truly portable device, as it's still quite heavy and chunky.

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