Should I buy macbook + imac or just macbook pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jbg232, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking to get a new mac (currently use a laptop) and priced out a macbook pro or a macbook + imac and got the same price! So my question is this:

    How annoying is it to keep two computers in sync (a laptop and a desktop) vs. just getting a powerful laptop. I really want the 24" screen and larger hard drive but not at the cost of a lot of annoyance of syncing the two computers. I would say that I need to bring my laptop somewhere 1x/month aside from business trips (3x/year) and vacations (1-2x/year). Thanks.
  2. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    If I was you, I would spring a few hundred extra and get an external display for a MBP.

    If that's not an option, go for the mb + imac, it's not hard to keep two computers synced. Just make sure you have remote desktop and set up your imac as a server so you can log on to it from afar.
  3. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2006
    do the imac plus macbook.

    it's what i wish i could do...
  4. 9Speed macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I bought an iMac and iBook at the same time, intending to use the laptop at school and the iMac at home. Even with .mac synching the two, I just found too often I would have files or programs on one that I needed on the other and ended up selling the iMac. With Leopard synching is even better than it was back then, but I would still lean toward getting a MacBook Pro and getting (in the future if you have to) an external LCD, keyboard and mouse.
  5. Jalbert14 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007
    MBP vs MB + imac

    I was tempted to purchase both, however the issues of synch and footprint outweighed. I use an MBP with a second monitor. I've got the griffin elevator stand for my MBP so it and the second monitor are side by side. Hard drive was not an issue for me, however you should buy an external regardless for back up so you could partition that if need be. I take my MBP w/me a lot more than I ever anticipated. fwiw.

  6. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I have an iMac and a MBP. I use the iMac as my main machine for work (I work from home). The MBP comes with me when I get the urge to change my environment and work from a Starbucks or other overpriced coffee emporium.

    I love both machines. I actually enjoy working from a desk and I like having a dedicated desktop. I used to use the MBP with an external display but when the iMac came along, I couldn't resist.

    In my opinion, both setups have their merits.

    Syncing isn't really a big problem for me. For work email, I use Entourage. I copy the Microsoft folder in the Documents folder from my iMac to the laptop before I leave the house. I also transfer the folders I know I'll need on the go. In fact, I usually copy everything over once every day or so to ensure that both machines stay up to date. I also have an external drive that I backup to (I don't think I'll be using Time Machine as I'm not a fan of automated processes).

    If you keep both computers up to date, you'll have extra peace-of-mind knowing you've got a backup of your computer should something go awry.
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Could we hear some reasoning behind that vote? ;) :)

    This was my first thought as well. As the OP stated that a larger screen was important to him, I thought a nice external would do nicely. If you go the non-Apple route, you can get some nicely sized ones for a good price (especially with the bad forecast retailers have this Christmas season ;)).

    The Elevator is indeed a nice stand (I have one-no external though--yet :p). I would suggest to the OP that he buy a stand no matter what course of action he ultimately decides on. The stand really helps keep the mbp cooler and produces the right eye-level for computer usage.
  8. Patrick My macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2007
    I suggest buying a MacBook Pro and an external monitor. You can use the external monitor with your MacBook Pro whenever you're at home to get the 24" which you're looking for.
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Macbook Pro and external display.
  10. jbg232 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I'm leaning towards the macbook pro but here is the problem with an external monitor: I have a small desk and while I could fit an LCD monitor or imac up against the back of it I would not have room for both the LCD and the laptop on the same desk unless the LCD was ON TOP of it. Does anyone know of a solution to this?
  11. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Your mbp can't sit next to your monitor or behind it at the very least? Hmmm...perhaps a tilt on both so you can fit them in there. IE, have the monitor slightly slanted and the mbp slightly slanted.

    Here's what I mean:

    Monitor>>>> / \ <<<<<mpb

    Would this work?
  12. Finlandboy macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    i personally would of gone with the imac and the macbook; the more macs, the merrier, :D

    but with your space problem maybe building a self and placing the macbook pro underneath of it and the external monitor on top of it, just a thought
  13. LeMacK macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2007
    You could always use your MBP with the display closed when attached to your monitor with a separate keyboard and mouse.
  14. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Yes, most of us have suggested this.
    I believe his problem is finding a place for everything;)
  15. Hoo03 macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2007
    Yup. I agree with this possible solution. As long as you don't have any vertical restriction then get/build a sturdy stand that will allow you to place mbp and place your external display on top of the stand.

    However, my vote is for mbp & external display. I have imac & macbook combo and I have yet to sync my computers.
  16. CaptainWOW macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2007
    San Diego
    I say get the MBP and an external monitor.

    I have nothing against having more than one computer, I have several myself, but one thing to consider is the fact that the Macbook and the iMac are not drastically different machines. Sure they have different form-factors, one has a slightly faster processor and a bigger hard drive but they are not leaps and bounds different from each other.

    If you bought the iMac and a Macbook you'd have two computers aging at the same rate. They come with the same software and are both Santa Rosa Intel Core 2 Duos.

    Buying two machines at once just doesn't make that much sense to me. It may seem useful now but, with the headaches of synching and the aging of the machines at the same rate it just doesn't seem that logical.
  17. TheScavenger macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2007
    Kansas City, MO
  18. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    There Is A Solution To Your Desk Space Problem

    just buy a longer cable that connects your laptop to your display. then put your laptop under you desk. You can put the wire behind your desk or drill a hole. Problem solved.
  19. MacNewbie03 macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2007
    Hicksville, OH (Northwest Ohio)
    I have both the iMac and the MacBook. The MacBook is a Core Duo 2.0 with a gig of ram and the iMac is the 20 inch Aluminum 2.4 with a gig of ram. I am using the iMac as my main computer, but the MacBook was doing a lot before and its nice to have the portability.
  20. ivan1234 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2007
    I went with the macbook pro and never regretted it for a second! :D

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