Two Mac(Books) Too Much?

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
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Though this is more aimed at people with two MacBooks, it also relates to people who have a Mac desktop and a MacBook. I am debating getting the new MacBook as a portable complement to my 15” rMBP which stays docked at home much of the time.

- I wonder if owning two MacBooks would be too redundant.

- I considered selling my rMBP and getting an iMac and a rMB, but then two Macs seem redundant.

- Then I considered selling my 15” rMBP and getting a maxed out 13” rMBP, but I hate to lose the extra processing power.

- Of course I could just get an iPad instead of the rMB.


I know it comes down to preference/may choice, but hearing feedback from others helps. Do you use two Macs? Do you find it redundant? Is it annoying to keep them in-sync?

Thank you.
~ Traverse
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
It depends on your usage. I do find that a more portable alternative is better for me, so I have an iPad, but I opted for a 13" rMBP because (obviously) I can do things on my MBP that my iPad can't do.

Having a quad core "desktop" performance machine if you need one and a more portable option is not uncommon. Whether you have two MacBooks, one MacBook and one iPad, or one iMac and one iPad is entirely up you your personal needs and workflow.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,749
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East of Eden
I think I commented on this a little in another thread. For a number of years I used a desktop alongside a 15" and a 13" notebook. It didn't necessarily make my life messy but it became clear that it was sort of wasteful. At the time, my personal needs and workflow was 100% covered by two of the machines (didn't really matter which two, either). I eventually sold the 15" because it was neither fish nor fowl.

So now I'm happily using a desktop and a 13" rMBP, but I am also now carrying my notebook with me to work every day. My round trip commute includes 4 miles of walking and an hour on commuter rail. The 13" rMBP is OK but a lighter, smaller notebook would be nice. I can afford it, and I can rationalize it, but I'm not sure I need it. What does that mean - do I have one laptop for home and vacation and another one for work and commuting?

I am not sure what kind of synchronizing you need. Documents and spreadsheets are easy via Dropbox. Email is online. For me, the issue would be media. My photo/video/music is well over 1 TB, which has made the decision making process easy in the SSD era because there hasn't been a way to put everything onto the internal SSD. The solution is easy: a USB 3.0 external drive. That may get a little sticky with the rMB, or maybe not if you buy Apple's $80 dongle. OTOH, I don't take my media library with me to work, either, so maybe it's not an issue as long as it's only a secondary notebook.

I'm really rambling. Maybe some of it will resonate. I will be reading this thread to see if any of the comments resonate for me.

The TLDR is: $hi7, I dunno. :confused:
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Though this is more aimed at people with two MacBooks, it also relates to people who have a Mac desktop and a MacBook. I am debating getting the new MacBook as a portable complement to my 15” rMBP which stays docked at home much of the time.

- I wonder if owning two MacBooks would be too redundant.

- I considered selling my rMBP and getting an iMac and a rMB, but then two Macs seem redundant.

- Then I considered selling my 15” rMBP and getting a maxed out 13” rMBP, but I hate to lose the extra processing power.

- Of course I could just get an iPad instead of the rMB.


I know it comes down to preference/may choice, but hearing feedback from others helps. Do you use two Macs? Do you find it redundant? Is it annoying to keep them in-sync?

Thank you.
~ Traverse
Believe it or not, as a cryptography software engineer and a cinematographer, I use 13 Macs.

So far, managing data has never been a pain to me since they're all Ethernet-connected to a central NAS.

And it wouldn't be redundant. If one breaks, at least you've another one to use as a spare. It happened to me before during Radeongate.
 

bedandmirror

macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2015
16
0
Believe it or not, as a cryptography software engineer and a cinematographer, I use 13 Macs.

So far, managing data has never been a pain to me since they're all Ethernet-connected to a central NAS.

And it wouldn't be redundant. If one breaks, at least you've another one to use as a spare. It happened to me before during Radeongate.
What do you use as your main machine?
 

technosix

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2015
929
11
West Coast USA
Though this is more aimed at people with two MacBooks, it also relates to people who have a Mac desktop and a MacBook. I am debating getting the new MacBook as a portable complement to my 15” rMBP which stays docked at home much of the time.

- I wonder if owning two MacBooks would be too redundant.

- I considered selling my rMBP and getting an iMac and a rMB, but then two Macs seem redundant.

- Then I considered selling my 15” rMBP and getting a maxed out 13” rMBP, but I hate to lose the extra processing power.

- Of course I could just get an iPad instead of the rMB.


I know it comes down to preference/may choice, but hearing feedback from others helps. Do you use two Macs? Do you find it redundant? Is it annoying to keep them in-sync?

Thank you.
~ Traverse
I use and have been using three Macs for years. Currently:

1) MBA
2) MBPr
3) Mac Pro

All synced and backed up in real time, including my iPhones and Nexus phones.

I have specific use cases for each, they're the tools I make my living with.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,659
7,492
Though this is more aimed at people with two MacBooks, it also relates to people who have a Mac desktop and a MacBook. I am debating getting the new MacBook as a portable complement to my 15” rMBP which stays docked at home much of the time.

- I wonder if owning two MacBooks would be too redundant.

- I considered selling my rMBP and getting an iMac and a rMB, but then two Macs seem redundant.

- Then I considered selling my 15” rMBP and getting a maxed out 13” rMBP, but I hate to lose the extra processing power.

- Of course I could just get an iPad instead of the rMB.


I know it comes down to preference/may choice, but hearing feedback from others helps. Do you use two Macs? Do you find it redundant? Is it annoying to keep them in-sync?

Thank you.
~ Traverse
I once had 2 rMBPs, a 15" and 13", replaced one with a Retina iMac and am now satisfied ;)

I have separate accounts and files on each, but being attached to the same iCloud account some stuff syncs over. Handoff and File Sharing are both nifty features to have with multiple Macs.

What do you use as your main machine?
Retina iMac as my main desktop, 13" late 2013 rMBP as my main portable.

"Trash can" Mac Pros. I don't know why, but I found that funny. :)
Having heard the "trash can" joke for over a year it has grown old to me.
 

iSheep5S

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2013
555
250
Scotland
I have 'trashed' anyone looking at The New MacBook as a standalone Mac.

This i agree with. Nice and portable. I still disagree with the price but thats another buyers concern. I'm OK with my rMBP.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,892
2,054
If you have the money to justify the use niches; and cannot find any other worthy use for the said money - then by all means get as many Macs as you want!

I have an Ivy Bridge 2012 13" rMBP as my main machine and a Haswell 2014 11" MBA that I won at a raffle. I contemplated selling the MBA at the time; but I talked myself into keeping it by justifying (fancifully) narrow use niches. But after the novelty of the new MBA wore off; it became more of a hassle synchronizing files, data and settings across both the machines. So now the MBA is mainly relegated to being put to use only when I run out of juice on the rMBP or if someone visits home and needs a borrowed computer. In hindsight, I should have sold the MBA and kept only one machine.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,022
172
A laptop that can be plugged into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, is a good compromise. You can take it on a trip, but you can also still dock it like a desktop.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,749
2,630
East of Eden
If you have the money to justify the use niches; and cannot find any other worthy use for the said money - then by all means get as many Macs as you want!

I have an Ivy Bridge 2012 13" rMBP as my main machine and a Haswell 2014 11" MBA that I won at a raffle. I contemplated selling the MBA at the time; but I talked myself into keeping it by justifying (fancifully) narrow use niches. But after the novelty of the new MBA wore off; it became more of a hassle synchronizing files, data and settings across both the machines. So now the MBA is mainly relegated to being put to use only when I run out of juice on the rMBP or if someone visits home and needs a borrowed computer. In hindsight, I should have sold the MBA and kept only one machine.
That's the kind of feedback that I think is helpful to the OP. Unless you have a specific use case that would benefit from a second laptop, the situation probably ends up about like yours.
 

JHUFrank

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
645
54
Believe it or not, as a cryptography software engineer and a cinematographer, I use 13 Macs.

So far, managing data has never been a pain to me since they're all Ethernet-connected to a central NAS.

And it wouldn't be redundant. If one breaks, at least you've another one to use as a spare. It happened to me before during Radeongate.
I have the same issue, however I am on the hardware/routing side of things. I have six work machines that serve for various functions/locations/OS plus carrying my rMBP as a daily driver. The trick is managing workflow across all your workstations.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I have the same issue, however I am on the hardware/routing side of things. I have six work machines that serve for various functions/locations/OS plus carrying my rMBP as a daily driver. The trick is managing workflow across all your workstations.
For me, it's pretty easy managing the workflow since everything is stored in an NAS.

All my Macs, regardless of what they're used for (software development, running VMs, image editing or cinematography) have the same apps installed on them so that I can just switch to any of them on the fly and hook up to the appropriate NAS/external drive that has what I want.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
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A laptop that can be plugged into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, is a good compromise. You can take it on a trip, but you can also still dock it like a desktop.
That's the kind of feedback that I think is helpful to the OP. Unless you have a specific use case that would benefit from a second laptop, the situation probably ends up about like yours.
Thank you for the feedback, though I appreciate the other comments too.

This is my fear. Like I said, I currently use my 15" docked as a desktop and take an old iPad with a keyboard cover to class, around the house, and on commutes. I was going to upgrade my iPad, but lately I've been having to take my MacBook to school for tasks the iPad was unable to do. Then Apple announced the new MB which is actually lighter than my iPad 3 + keyboard cover duo (2 lbs vs 2.2 lbs) with a larger screen and OS X.

I immediately contemplated the new MB as my casual and on-the-go device productivity device, but then I worried about having two Macs. Right now my Mac is "home base" and the iPad just gets synced with limited data. I'm worried that if my usage translates to 80% MB, 20% MBP my "home base" idea would get messy. Plus, I'm worried about regularly using the MBP battery.

Now I'm contemplating a 13" rMBP because my "dream" device I guess would be a system light enough to take with me everywhere that could be docked when I get home to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard with the power to run VMs and photoshop.

The only thing is, a 13" rMBP just feels like a big compromise. Less portable than the new MacBook or an iPad, and less powerful than the 15" rMBP. But I just don't want to end up like Freyqq and have a system that's rarely used.

----------

For me, it's pretty easy managing the workflow since everything is stored in an NAS.

All my Macs, regardless of what they're used for (software development, running VMs, image editing or cinematography) have the same apps installed on them so that I can just switch to any of them on the fly and hook up to the appropriate NAS/external drive that has what I want.
There's that, but aside from my school documents I don't keep everything in the cloud and don't have a NAS setup.

I'm not moving my iTunes and Photo/video library to the cloud.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,749
2,630
East of Eden
I'm not moving my iTunes and Photo/video library to the cloud.
Same here, and same for my TM backups. That is mostly what drives my concern about ports on the rMB.There is no internal SSD solution that will accommodate my needs at this time. It's possible that a dongle + hub would take care of that, though. I have a USB 3.0 hub kicking around that I used to use on one of my Windows laptops. I should see how my Mini or rMBP deal with it; might be a useful predictor of how the rMB would deal with it.
 

driftless

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2011
1,477
177
Chicago-area
I keep a lot of stuff in the cloud, both with iTunes and Dropbox. I also have everything on a local drive as well. I find the cloud to be very convenient. It allows me to access any of my file, anywhere. I don't see the rMB as being redundant, it will be a very good mobile option.
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
973
San Antonio, TX
I just recently considered this myself. For reference, my wife and I each have a MacBook (her a rMBP from 2012, and I a 2013 MBA). She also has the 5k iMac that I recently bought for her (she does photography), and I have a 2012 Mac mini that I use as a desktop/server (Plex and stuff like that). Last weekend I bought the new rMBP, and was planning on keeping my MBA as a backup computer, but I've come to realize that as it is it's just going to sit around not being used. Kind of pointless when I can sell it and put some money back in the bank.

Generally I have my MB with me when I go to work and use it around the house; I also have an iPad Air that I use to watch movies, read, and play mobile games (e.g. Clash of Clans). There's really not a lot of room for another MB in my life, even if I just keep it docked constantly. We have enough computers.

That's just my experience. BTW, I absolutely love the new rMBP; fantastic machine.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
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I just recently considered this myself. For reference, my wife and I each have a MacBook (her a rMBP from 2012, and I a 2013 MBA). She also has the 5k iMac that I recently bought for her (she does photography), and I have a 2012 Mac mini that I use as a desktop/server (Plex and stuff like that). Last weekend I bought the new rMBP, and was planning on keeping my MBA as a backup computer, but I've come to realize that as it is it's just going to sit around not being used. Kind of pointless when I can sell it and put some money back in the bank.

Generally I have my MB with me when I go to work and use it around the house; I also have an iPad Air that I use to watch movies, read, and play mobile games (e.g. Clash of Clans). There's really not a lot of room for another MB in my life, even if I just keep it docked constantly. We have enough computers.

That's just my experience. BTW, I absolutely love the new rMBP; fantastic machine.
Is it the 13"? Hows the Force touch/click trackpad?

How the graphics performance when running scaled resolutions (assuming you do run scaled)?
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,022
172
Thank you for the feedback, though I appreciate the other comments too.

This is my fear. Like I said, I currently use my 15" docked as a desktop and take an old iPad with a keyboard cover to class, around the house, and on commutes. I was going to upgrade my iPad, but lately I've been having to take my MacBook to school for tasks the iPad was unable to do. Then Apple announced the new MB which is actually lighter than my iPad 3 + keyboard cover duo (2 lbs vs 2.2 lbs) with a larger screen and OS X.

I immediately contemplated the new MB as my casual and on-the-go device productivity device, but then I worried about having two Macs. Right now my Mac is "home base" and the iPad just gets synced with limited data. I'm worried that if my usage translates to 80% MB, 20% MBP my "home base" idea would get messy. Plus, I'm worried about regularly using the MBP battery.

Now I'm contemplating a 13" rMBP because my "dream" device I guess would be a system light enough to take with me everywhere that could be docked when I get home to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard with the power to run VMs and photoshop.

The only thing is, a 13" rMBP just feels like a big compromise. Less portable than the new MacBook or an iPad, and less powerful than the 15" rMBP. But I just don't want to end up like Freyqq and have a system that's rarely used.

----------



There's that, but aside from my school documents I don't keep everything in the cloud and don't have a NAS setup.

I'm not moving my iTunes and Photo/video library to the cloud.
I take my 15" rMBP everywhere. If you look at weights of laptops historically, it's very very portable. It weighs as much as the 12" powerbook, believe it or not. In a backpack, you can't really tell the difference between 4.5 and 3.5 pounds. But, you get a lot more computer for just an extra pound.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
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I take my 15" rMBP everywhere. If you look at weights of laptops historically, it's very very portable. It weighs as much as the 12" powerbook, believe it or not. In a backpack, you can't really tell the difference between 4.5 and 3.5 pounds. But, you get a lot more computer for just an extra pound.
I agree, but it's somewhat cumbersome to use in a car or small desk at school or in bed or on the couch.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
There's that, but aside from my school documents I don't keep everything in the cloud and don't have a NAS setup.

I'm not moving my iTunes and Photo/video library to the cloud.
Neither are mine. My Aperture and iTunes libraries are all stored in NAS dedicated for media editing and storage. If I'm on the move, I just copy the appropriate library (yes, I've several Aperture libraries and a few iTunes libraries as well) into my Transcend 960GB external SSD and take it with me along with a Mac.
 
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