Torn between iMac and MacBook Pro.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gdourado, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502

    gdourado

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I am currently thinking about buying a new computer.
    Currently I have an iPad Air, an iPhone 5s and an Aluminium Macbook 13 with the C2D 2.53, 4gb and a 750gb HDD.
    I use the Macbook 99% of the time at home, either on the couch or on the dining table. I don't work at home, so I currently don't have "an office".

    I also use the iPad at home alot. FOr couch browsing, facebook, casual games, youtube, email, I do most of this on the iPad.

    I have a windows laptop for work porpuses, so my Macbook is only my personal computer. I rarely do anything work related. I write the casual document on iWork, and mostly use the macbook to manage my media with itunes, mainly music.

    Here are my current options that I am thinking of:
    - 2012 Apple iMac 21,5" 3,1GHz Intel Core i7 8GB 1TB Fusion Drive GT 650M - 1450
    - 2013 Apple MacBook Pro 13,3" Retina 2,6 GHz i5 8 GB 512 GB SSD - 1450

    Based on this, which option would you pick and why?
    I also considered the 15 inch retina MBP, but I need at least 512gb of HDD and the 15 inch would go over 2000 in price...

    Cheers and thanks!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The iMac option gives you a larger screen, while the MBP provides you with mobility. It all boils down to your expectations - will you want to use the computer while you're on the go, or even in your living room, or other rooms?

    I personally like the MBP, and get that, but consider the smaller screen of the laptop.

    Check both out at your local retailer.
     
  3. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #3
    I would go with the MacBook Pro

    Reason being, its flexible, you can take it with you wherever you go. Last night, I was watching the Voice and there was a power outage and because my UPS battery is dead, the system went down. This would not happen with a laptop.
     
  4. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #4
    Unless you dont like sitting at the desk to use the computer, get the iMac. Much larger screen, more power, more healthy to work at, same $$.

    Bonuses: not going to destroy it by spilling liquids, no battery to worry about, wont get scratched/dropped.
     
  5. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #5
    I've given up having a static computer at home since I don't do a lot of "sitting at a desk working with paper files etc" anymore nor do I do any gaming. So I bought a MacBook Air so I could use it in any room in any location (chair, sofa, table, patio, bed).

    As the MBA is a bit underpowered for dealing with big files (DVD ripping, Music Library management) I also setup my "last" Win PC to run headless via VNC. This PC is LAN linked and is controlled by the MBA, so I can do that from any room. The PC sits in the attic alongside the NASs.

    I'm also considering getting an rMBP to run alongside the MBA and use the MBA solely for Internet stuff while in bed (gave my iPad to my other half).

    In your situation I would go for the rMBP.
     
  6. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #6
    I would get the MBP and then if you feel the need for a fixed larger screen with full keyboard, think about adding those and using them with your MBP.

    The fact that you use your existing MB on the couch even when you already have an iPad (I do the same thing), tells me you would be better off with the MBP.

    For the few times you might want to sit in one location and use a real keyboard and a large screen, an external monitor and keyboard will fill the bill, and you can add those later, if you feel that you need them.
     
  7. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #7
    Neither the couch nor the dining table are good places for an iMac. If you like to use your computer in a variety of places, then a laptop would be a more natural choice, of course.

    If you don't feel constricted on your current 13", you'll be fine with a 13" rMBP.

    If your storage requirements are due to a large music collection, consider also a service such as iTunes Match. It really streamlines the whole music management process as you will no longer need to connect your iPad/iPhone to your computer directly to sync playlists. Of course, that is only a good idea if your internet connection is both fast and not capped to a ridiculous amount.
     
  8. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a

    KeegM480

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #8
    MacBook Pro, if you ever decide you want a bigger monitor, you can buy one, if you decide you want it on your lap in the couch, that won't work with an iMac (At least not comfortably).
     
  9. gdourado thread starter macrumors 6502

    gdourado

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #9
    I can't use iTunes Match as I have over 40000 songs on my library. I really need the local storage and I would prefer to avoid external hard drives and not having all files stored on the computer.
     
  10. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #10
    Depends on your music content. If you have Jazz and/or Classical stuff as well as stuff from the 60's and before then iTunes Match is not much use.
     
  11. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #11
    You can still use it, it just won't match stuff and you will need to upload it first. Hence why it's not so good if your ISP sucks.

    ----------

    Then as you rightfully noted before, SSD are very expensive for large storage. With a similar problem I solved it by getting a refurbished 15" MBP and using a large HDD for media storage and a smaller SSD to make the computer responsive in all interactive tasks. Got a $10 caddy on eBay and now have two internal disks. Bliss. Too bad it's not retina, but I guess you can't have everything.

    Fun fact: a refurbished 15" cMBP is the same $1450 as the options on the first post. Though you will have to upgrade to SSD on your own terms.
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7
     
  12. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #12
    I personally would not consider a 21.5" iMac due to the limited expandability. For me, the allure of a desktop machine is additional power, large screen, and upgradability. The iMac you are looking at is virtually non-upgradable on all fronts. No RAM upgrade, next to impossible SSD upgrade, and no Superdrive.

    With any of the portable units, you gain portability which is a big plus for me, and you are not really trading off any upgradability going from a non-upgradable iMac to a notebook.

    If you would like a desktop experience, consider the Apple Thunderbolt display, which would give you Ethernet (1Gb) and an array of USB and Firewire ports. Unless you need it now, however, I would see if Apple updates this display. I feel it will be right around the corner as they no longer have a need to produce the form factor that the current display is using. It did share the form factor with the iMac and the LED Cinema Display, but that is no longer the case.

    I hope to see Apple update the display to Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 technology.

    If resell value is important to you, the notebooks will probably do much better than the desktop.

    If you consider the 27" iMac, you can upgrade the RAM. That would be the minimum spec iMac that I personally would consider purchasing.
     
  13. NishKap macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    Since you already have a MBP and use it just to manage iTunes, web browsing and the occasional word processing, get the iMac to supplement the MBP. In that case you don't need to sacrifice the portability of the laptop.

    However, if you were planning to sell your old MacBook, then get the new retina
     

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