Thought: Could the iPad breath new life into the iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PatriotInvasion, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #1
    For years, the iMac/desktop computer concept has felt like a dying breed. As more and more people gravitated towards MacBooks, many wondered if Apple would consider discontinuing the iMac all together.

    But, as the iPad has gotten better over time, I'm wondering if the pressure has shifted to notebooks as the dying breed instead of desktops. If we are to look at the Mac as a truck needed for occasional heavy duty computing, and the iPad as a car meant for everyday driving, I'd argue that you're better off getting more bang (and screen size) for your buck buying an iMac+iPad instead of paying the portability premium for a MacBook Pro. Obviously use cases will vary, but for the average consumer, I think iMac+iPad+iPhone is probably the best computing setup you can have. Interested in thoughts from others.:eek:
     
  2. Vandefilm macrumors regular

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    #2
    I agree. I have an iMac, iPad and iPhone :D.

    But indeed, use an iMac for productivity and for the rest you can use your iPad and iPhone (together with an Apple tv).
     
  3. bronner macrumors newbie

    bronner

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    #3
    MacBook is still viable

    I'm going to guess MacBooks are a lot better for people that need the full OS X. iPads are getting better for doing more powerful tasks now, but doing a 50 layer HD project in Photoshop that needs gigs of RAM is a better task for a Mac. Some people do that better on a laptop.
     
  4. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #4
    My argument is that when you need to sit down and work on a 50 layer HD project in Photoshop, you'd be better off doing that on a big beautiful iMac screen anyway, hence you would prefer to have an iMac instead of a notebook and use your iPad for portability.

    As I mentioned, use cases will vary based on what you do. Was just throwing out the idea that the iPad is helping make desktop computers like the iMac look less archaic than perhaps they looked 2-3 years ago.
     
  5. bronner macrumors newbie

    bronner

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    #5
    I might be biased since I don't own an iMac, but I can't carry a 21.5" iMac or god forbid a 27" in the field, which is where most of my work gets done. Then again, I use a 2007 white Macbook, and my office is the computer desk in my room.

    Fancy, I know... :cool:
     
  6. The Economist, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    The Economist macrumors 6502

    The Economist

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    #6
    My current setup is also an iMac/iPad/iPhone. My main and sole computer was a MacBook Pro. I didn't need it anymore after I finished grad school and I was issued a Windows laptop at work, so I replaced my MacBook with an iMac.

    There's still too many people who really need a laptop and then there are some who still think that they need a laptop. This will certainly change with time.

    Right now my iPad is my portable computer but I usually just carry it around the house.
     
  7. TheRealDanM macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I'm running the whole gamut... iPhone 5s, iPad Air, 13" rMBP, 27" iMac. They all have their uses. The Mac Mini is expected by the end of the week.
     
  8. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #8
    3 Macs?:eek::confused:

    If you have to have a MacBook Pro, why not just pair it with a Thunderbolt Display? Why do you need and iMac with a notebook?
     
  9. bronner macrumors newbie

    bronner

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    #9
    Not OP, but I wish I had money for all that stuff! If I had that money, I'd have the same setup.

    I have an iPhone 4 with no plan (basically an iPod), an iPad 2 I don't use, an iPad Air, a 2006 Macbook I don't use and a 2007 Macbook.

    The 2006 Macbook and iPad 2 are backups in case something happens to any of my devices.
     
  10. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Notebooks a dying breed? Last time I checked, I couldn't bring my iMac to my lectures/seminars at uni. ;) Neither can an iPad replace a proper computer for most students - at the most basic level, most of us need to be able to run at least Word, Excel and PowerPoint in their native environment (i.e. not iWork for iPad). Moreover, most schools require/provide software which is not supported on iPads, for example we use MathType for writing Mathematical formulas in MS Office.

    Now imagine if you were studying something a bit more computer-demanding, like architecture, graphical design, IT development, et.c. No way could an iPad replace a notebook. No way are notebooks a dying breed. Sure their sales might have declined due to the iPad, but there will always be a need for laptops until the day when iPads feature a complete OS X experience.

    To be honest, out of the 4 Apple products I currently use (MBA, iMac, iPad, iPhone), I only really need the MBA and iPhone, the iMac and iPads are more of luxury devices for my usage, although they do increase my productivity. However I'm sure there are people who are more dependent on a desktop rather than laptop. I'm also sure the iPad can replace a notebook for SOME people, but certainly not for all as of yet.

    Main point is that all people have different uses, and different needs.

    That said, I hope we'll see Apple outdoing themselves with the forthcoming iMacs. I would love if they made it a proper all-in-one, with HDMI input and maybe even a built-in antenna for watching TV, sort of like the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, or Mac TV. Would also love to see reduced bezel.
     
  11. balticgreen macrumors member

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    #11
    I recently ordered a new Mac; it's being delivered tomorrow. After a series of Powerbooks and Macbook Pros, it would have seemed obvious to buy another Macbook Pro. However, I realized that since I bought an iPad two years ago, my current Macbook Pro has not left my desk at any point over the entire two years. Not even once. It sits there with the screen closed, connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and trackpad. I figured since I'm using it as a desktop anyway, it made more sense to buy a 27" iMac this time.

    If there is a point where the iPad does not meet my needs for travel, I'll buy a Macbook Air for travel. I don't think this is the death knell for the Macbook Pro. A lot of people will still prefer the MBPro. But the iPad does give some users a reason to consider the iMac/iPad combo, even former MBPro people, and I'm one of those people.
     
  12. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #12
    Maybe if you're a lecturer, student, or in-the-field pro, a MacBook Pro is still a must. But for the everyday 30-something guy who works in an office 8 hours a day and comes home to his wife, kids, and dog, the iMac+iPad+iPhone setup is probably ideal. And, I think this scenario probably represents the majority of us.
     
  13. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #13
    I don't think the average person needs an iMac, unless you're doing some type of graphic or editing work there's not generally a need for a big screen and that much power. And if you're playing games you're better off on a console than a Mac.

    The majority of folks I know that are typical day job working types have a laptop, not a desktop, at home.
     
  14. scaredpoet, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #14
    First and foremost, I disagree that ANY class of device is a "dying breed." This is a myth perpetuated by myopic investors and bloggers who seem to think that everyone should only ever use one device for all their needs, and that everyone's needs are the same. It's this same mentality that keeps the other myth going: that there can only be one OS that's successful, and if you're not #1 in sales and market share, you're "doomed."

    The truth is, there are and will continue to be legitimate uses for PCs, desktop Macs, and laptop PCs and Macs. Not least of which is, creating apps for mobile devices. Even after 7 years of iOS and other smartphone operating systems, none have evolved to a level where you can use that same oS to develop and app for itself. You have to use to a full OS X computer to make an iOS app; you have to use a PC or Mac to develop for Android.

    What will happen is that their uses will evolve over time to accommodate more specialized devices. Just like the mainframe computers of the 1940s through the 1970s: their "death" was predicted when PCs became popular, but the truth is they never died. Instead, their purpose changed. We call mainframes "servers" now, and they're pretty much a necessity for just about anything web-based or cloud-based on your smartphone.


    Nobody needs Macs or iPads or iPhones of any kind, period. It's about what the user wants and what works for them. Some people have justifications that work for them about why they use what they use. And so long as it works for them, why force a change?

    I have an iMac at work and at home, a MacBook Air, and iPad and an iPhone. I recognize that I don't need all of these devices... if I absolutely had to pare things down, the MacBook Air and iPhone would probably be the two devices I keep. But I don't have to pare things down.

    The MacBook Air gets a lot of use when I'm working off-site, and as a second Mac to do things when I'm in the office with my iMac. When I'm home, it's easier and faster to bring the iMac I have there out of sleep than it is to dig out my MBA, hook it up to an external display and do what I need to do, and pack it up again to take it somewhere else later.

    The iPad works best for meetings. I can easily retrieve information, check e-mails and load up documents. And it's great on planes, too. And the iPhone really doesn't need explanation.

    Between iCloud and dropbox, it's very easy to switch from one device to another. None of my devices get neglected; they all have a place and I'm happy using them all. I don't need all these devices, I guess. But having them makes things a lot easier.
     
  15. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #15
    Fair enough on all accounts. I did state that I knew use cases would vary, so I was just trying to define what makes the most sense for the masses who are looking for an Apple based computing setup. I would imagine most people "need" a computer and a phone, but don't always need the power of a Mac (though they do enough to justify owning a Mac) but need more screen space than an iPhone (hence the iPad addition to the mix). In this very common scenario, I just don't see how a notebook makes as much sense as it did a few years ago. That's all.
     
  16. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

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    #16
    I could probably give up my iPhone - but not the iPad, it's so integrated into my working day, that its now an indispensable part of the puzzle.

    Just goes to show - each to their own!

    When I read the topic - I instantly thought of an app on my iPad: ActionsApp for iPad (Usefool Apps?). I plug it wherever I can - it really has changed the way I work with my Mac, and means I virtually always operate the two in tandem.

    Having said all the above - I simply cannot fathom a world where a tablet can replace a laptop/desktop. PLENTY would still need to change before that became likely in my world.

    My 2 cents.
     
  17. gordian macrumors member

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    #17
    Not even close!

    How can I begin to dissect such a self-serving misstatement. You're making a ludicrous allusion and essentially marginalizing the entire line of notebooks based on your unfounded belief that "the majority" of people buy Apple notebooks to relax and kick back after work?

    What about artists, engineers, designers, and web developers? Who do you think makes the websites you browse on your iPad after coming home from an 8 hour day to your wife, kids, and dog?

    When I'm cruising at 32,000 feet there's no way my iPad can handle Photoshop, Illustrator, several browser windows each with multiple tabs, command line tasks, and a full LAMP stack; in fact it's where I get some of my best work done. And I am not alone.

    For people who use their Apple computers to be productive rather than just fun distractions, the desktop and notebook combination will be around for quite some time.
     
  18. Kayan macrumors 6502

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    #18
    R-e-l-a-x. This isn't "self-serving". He just expressed an opinion. I happen to agree with him for the most part. You talk like everyone is an "artist, engineer, designer, or web developer" but the truth is that for every one web designer, there are thousands if not millions of non-web developers that use their website. Same goes for engineers and others that design products for the masses to consume. And what do they use to read their website? An iPad will certainly do. Don't need photoshop, illustrator, or a coding environment to do that now do we? I happen to fall in the category of engineers, so don't get on a pedestal about needing something more than an iPad when for some of my simulations I run, a MBP (or any single computer for that reason) is still not sufficient. Again, how many people run simulations needing large supercomputers? Definitely not a majority of people by any standard, which is the audience that this thread was directed to.
     
  19. Vandefilm macrumors regular

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    #19
    I agree with Kayan. If you're not using a laptop in everday life to carry it with you (like a schoolteacher, engineer or webdesigner etc.) then having a laptop seems a bit weird with iPads being there now. And indeed, the most people do have an 9-5 job where they go to an office to work on the computer of the boss and then come home and use their apple-stuff. I for one can call myself a hobby-artist (music) and I use my iPad and iPhone for that. I had a MBA but I sold it a year ago and bought an iMac. Since all the producing was done on my desk. No need for a laptop.
     
  20. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #20
    Somehow this thread got morphed into an anti-notebook debate when that was never the intent if you go back and read my posts. It was originally meant to highlight that the iMac/desktop computer concept seems to be more of a viable option now, and less dated than it appeared to be a few years ago because the iPad is able to serve as a portable computer for many, many people.

    There was a time in the past 48 months where people wondered why any consumer would buy a desktop again. The MacBook line was all the rage and the iPad was still just a niche growing product line. But now if a $499 iPad Air is able to handle most of your portable needs, the iMac seems to be a more logical choice than a MBP as your "truck" (aka full powered computer) if both will just sit on a desk the majority of the time anyway because of your iPad.

    So in sum, not calling for Apple to discontinue MacBooks for those that need them. Just as a fan of the iMac, I'm happy to see a rejuvenated reason for it to exist in a world of popular portable computing products.
     
  21. businezguy macrumors 6502

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    #21
    It is possible that as people find the iPad fills their portable needs, there may me a mini revival with the iMac for those who need Mac OS X. Still, I doubt it will make a huge impact.
     
  22. Vandefilm macrumors regular

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    Nah, the mini ís a dying breed I think. You can just use airplay to use your tv if you have any mac. Why buy a mini? Just buy an Apple tv.
    That way, if you are not a power user and only use a computer for surfing and a bit of word processing, you can have an iPad as your sole and only computer. If you want to use it on the go for typing, do it. If you want to watch a movie or show a video from youtube, mirror it to your tv. Done.
     
  23. Sodner macrumors 68020

    Sodner

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    #23
    iMac/iPad/iPhone here. That's the ultimate combo.

    I do have a MacBook Air but hardly ever use it as the iPad meets my portability needs. It will be passed down to my step daughter if she makes the honor roll all 4 quaters. 2 Down, 2 to go!! :)
     

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