Two Macs or One?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheColtr, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. TheColtr macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2014
    Im usually really good about knowing what I want but right now I have difficult decision to make. I currently have a 2017 MacBook Pro Touch Bar that is still able to be returned. My question is should I keep the MacBook Pro, or return it and get a iMac and 12 inch MacBook?

    I am a student so I need mobility but not a lot of power. My job doesn't require a lot of power, but since I work from home most of the time I would love the larger screen of an iMac.

    Any advice would be great!
  2. ChrisChaval macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2016
    an external monitor could be an alternative

    I own a MacBook Air. when using it at home an external display is always plugged in

    best of both worlds, works great for me
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    As @ChrisChaval said - adding an external display to your MBP is something to consider. Deluxe option would be the LG/Apple Ultrafine 5k that would charge your MBP and act as a dock for a few USB devices - but almost any display will work with the appropriate adapter cable so you don't have to pay that much.

    I find it works best if you also get an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad so you can use the external as your main display - and either keep the MBP shut or put it on an elevator stand to act as a small, second display. I'd find that extra attractive given the keyboard on the new MBP.

    Things to consider:

    Is all your software licensed for use on two computers? App store stuff is usually fine, but you may have to buy second copies or upgrade subscriptions for other software (e.g. MS Office).

    How hard will it be to 'sync' your work between two computers? This might vary from trivial if you do everything in iCloud/DropBox/Google Drive/whatever to a bit of a pain if (e.g.) you're doing development and not everything is in nice, self-contained documents. Nothing insurmountable, but being able to unplug your laptop and go is the most convenient option.

    Do you need a back-up computer? If your work will grind to a halt if your computer fails then owning two computers might be sensible.

    What sort of display would you prefer? With an iMac, you've got two (admittedly very good) options, but with an external you have a huge choice of screen sizes, ultra wide, matte screen, glossy screen, integrated TV etc.

    Do you have other devices? Most 3rd-party external displays have multiple DisplayPort, HDMI and maybe other inputs, so you can plug in your PC, XBox, Raspberry PI, Apple TV, ancient Mac Mini etc. The limitation with iMacs is that you can't display anything else on them.
  4. jeyf, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    jeyf macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2009
    the 2016/17" MBP is not the most reliable. I am sure apple Inc. will get on here soon but MBP street reviews are less than expected. Is the 12" any better?
    either way
    having a backup is almost a requirement these days
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My reservations regarding the 2017 MBPro's are concerning their robustness and longevity.
    The keyboards in particular seem prone to failure, even when relatively new.

    For that reason, your idea of an iMac/MacBook sounds good to me...
  6. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    12"= mobility+

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5 February 16, 2018