Should I get a new iMac or Macbook Pro? I'm so indecisive...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kate4385, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. kate4385 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009

    So, my old 17" G4 iMac is just about on it's last legs, and I am in desperate need of an upgrade. I am a graphic designer and will be using CS4 on the new computer for both print and web (Flash). I don't do much video stuff but I may in the future, and maybe even After Effects. But mainly print stuff.

    I had been planning on buying a Macbook Pro, but when I went to the Apple Store today, the 24" iMac lured me over and before I knew it I was salivating over the size of the screen. I have always been a desktop person, as I find it easier and better to design on them, but I feel that if I am doing freelance design work and need to meet with clients (as well as for general portability and awesomeness), the laptop trumps the desktop.

    But then I had an idea....the 17" 2.66 GHz Macbook Pro is $2,799.
    A new 24" 2.93 GHz iMac is $1,799. And a little white 13" Macbook (with an upgrade to 4 GB) is $1,099.

    So added together, with tax, the iMac and Macbook are $3,100.

    The MacBook Pro alone, with tax, is $3,000.

    Is it insane to buy the iMac to satisfy my love for giant screen needs and a white Macbook to satisfy my laptop needs? I know that seems crazy, buying TWO computers, but for only $100 difference, it kind of seems like a good option.

    Is there really anything the 17" 2.66 GHz Macbook Pro offers for my graphic design needs that the new 24" 2.93 GHz iMac doesn't?

    Sorry this is such a long post. But I've already resigned to spend a crap-load of money on this, and I want to make sure I've done my research.

    Thanks for any help in advance! :)
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Do you really need a laptop or not?

    I'm quite happy with my MacBook and Windows desktop for heavy lifting. If you can't make money off of the portable get the power of the iMac on your desk.

    With the freelance work that I do I make money having my Macbook around on site.
  3. conbob54 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2007
    Just get a macbook pro and an external display. duh...
  4. kate4385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    but an iMac and a white macbook are cheaper than a Macbook Pro + an external display, right? I'm admittedly not an external display expert but surely there a few hundred bucks or more for a good one? so that'd be like $3,500.

    It was just a crazy idea I was throwing out there...I was just thinking that if I was already going to fork over the cash for a Macbook Pro anyway, I could instead get an iMac and a Macbook for basically the same price.

    So i guess my question is, for graphic design, is a Macbook Pro really all that better than the new iMac?
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    One is a laptop and one is a desktop.
  6. conbob54 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2007
    Yeah, but for the money, your getting a lot more. It sounded like you wanted a macbook pro, but you could just go with the sexy alum macbook and an external display...

    Im just saying you dont gain much by having an entire other computer over just an external display.
  7. kate4385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    #7 do have a point. ergh. i thought i had my mind made up. i'll have to think it over some more. thanks for replying!
  8. RebootD macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Honestly at this point just get the macbook/macbook pro + monitor. In 3 years or so when you want a new macbook you still have the same perfectly usable LCD, rather than tossing/selling the iMac and having to buy another iMac or screen.

    I'm tired and I hope I'm making sense?
  9. kate4385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    yes, you do make good sense, haha. any recommendations on good, reasonably priced LCD monitors? I have no idea when it comes to those. thanks!
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The 17" MBP is essentially a smaller, portable iMac. Having just the 17"
    saves you from having 2 separate computers. However, with the MacBook, you'll have a lighter weight computer to carry.

    If you travel a lot with your computer, I like the idea of having the small travel MacBook. However, if you travel seldomly and really want to impress a client, while also giving up very little computing power at home, then buy a 17" MBP and an external display.

    Good luck. :)
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Dell IPS 22" Monitor 2209WA
  12. kate4385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    thanks! i'll look into that one...
  13. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    This was how i was I was thinking back in the days of the G5 iMac and G4 laptops.
    Buying an ibook to travel and an G5 iMac for home instead of on Powerbook G4, but back then it was a much bigger performance gap between the two.

    I ended up with buying the ibook first and actually NOT buying an iMac (until much later when C2D came out).

    I really liked the size of the 12" ibook and felt it had enough power for me at the time.
    As it was getting older I added an iMac and they had been upgraded to Intel C2D and 24" screen since then.

    Now I have traded my iMac for a MBP 2,5 15" "classic" and I do miss my 24" iMac 2,16. The screen was wonderfull.

    I think the 15" is a little too big for me size wise. The ibook I could toss in anywhere and go, the MBP I have to have a certain size bag to be able to take it with me.

    So after a lot of rambling I would recommend getting the Macbook first and then if it dosen´t meet your computing needs, get an iMac as well.
    If it does, get an external monitor instead
    The 17" is just too big IMHO to be used as a laptop.

    PS You could try out just the Macbook for a while to see if it mee
  14. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    If you really prefer the desktop, do the iMac. It'll be worth it.
  15. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    iMac and refurb macbook.

    Or this might sound crazy but...

    All those people trying to get rid of their Mac Pros for the new one. Try to get one of those.
  16. kate4385 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    aside from Apple, where can I find reliable refurbs?

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