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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2017
I'm a engineering student currently looking to upgrade from my worn out, late 2011 MacBook Pro. I love the idea of using a 10.5 iPad Pro as my primary portable device for note taking, light productivity, email, web browsing and other basic tasks. However, I would still require a macOS machine for more labor intensive graphics processing that could also double as a general purpose machine for the household.

Now that new hardware has been released I'm looking at two options:

  1. Purchase 10.5 iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil for roughly $1200 and also get a 2017 4K iMac w/ 3.6GHz i7 (This model's memory, storage and CPU are upgradable according to for roughly $1800.
  2. Purchase 2017 13" MacBook Pro "TouchBar" that has comparable memory, storage and CPU to the above iMac for roughly the same overall cost.

I know this will have to come down to personal preference, and am honestly leaning towards the first option since I really think the iPad Pro could handle 90% of my daily tasks and like the idea of having an upgradable iMac that will serve my family's storage and performance needs into the foreseeable future. I guess I've already decided, but wanted to check and make sure there's not something I'm forgetting or missing. Does this seem reasonable? Is there some specific setback or hurdle with using an iPad Pro for my studies? Any additional questions or comments are appreciated.


Nov 5, 2010
Get a surface pro and an external monitor for use at home.... Sorry couldn't resist that.

I've got a surface pro (using it right now) and I can us it all day every day as a laptop. It's tablet capabilities are not as good as the iPad, but it's laptop capabilities are better - they mirror each other in this respect. Surface, good laptop, average tablet; iPad Pro good tablet, average laptop.

I find for all of my daily 'stuff' and my actual job (Storage and Virtualisation) I can do this on a Surface.

No it doesn't run Mac OS, but I don't need it to. Most of the apps I use are either office, or web-based admin tools. Taking notes in OneNote or other note taking apps is easy too and I get a choice of either using the screen with a pen or typing the notes.
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macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2012
Austin, TX
I've given serious thought to making a similar switch, from my 15" MBP to an iMac and 12.9" iPad Pro combo.

No, you can't quite do everything on the iPad, but with some of the new pro apps like Affinity Photo you can get pretty dang close and I love the idea of being able to sketch concepts with the Pencil. Not sure it'll quite work for me, but I'm really intrigued by the possibility.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
I'm a engineering student

You're going to want a Windows Machine sooner or later. That's what you'll most likely use at work and in school. If not, I'd get the MBP for portability and capable of running Windows.
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macrumors member
Jun 18, 2010
The iMac as a household machine makes total sense! And, you get to use it for school projects too!

Still, an engineering student using an $1200 iPad Pro! It would be best to see what the school recommends first. A cheaper laptop might be a better idea (either older Apple gear or even a Windows machine or for notes even a long battery Chromebook).

This is worth a chuckle:
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