What is the best Mac and iOS setup?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PatriotInvasion, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    So, I currently have a 27" iMac (mid-2010 quad-i5) and an iPhone 4S. I did have an iPad 2 as well, but ended up selling it because I felt like it cannibalized my use of the iMac (which I love), and duplicated the functions of my iPhone.

    6 months later, I find myself missing some of the bigger screen portability of the iPad for times when I don't want to be in my home office on my iMac. I guess my question is what does the MacRumors community view as the best setup:

    iMac, iPad, iPhone --- the iPad offers portability but duplicates much of the iPhone's features while also being limited compared to the iMac. Somewhat Apple device overkill IMO.

    Thunderbolt Display, MacBook Pro, iPhone --- This is probably my ideal setup, but the MacBook line is influx with the retina changeover and this route is very expensive.
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    The question really is, what functions are you performing that need portability? That will determine whether the rMBP route or the iPad route make more sense.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Why not get a non-retina MBP? You can go with the hi-res display, if you wish. Then you have portability when you're away, and can use the Tb display when you're at home.
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Ignoring the iPhone, which is a constant, you are considering iMac+iPad (buying a new iPad) or MacBookPro + Thunderbolt Display (replacing your iMac).

    Consider that a 13" MBP (or 11" MBA) and a 27" iMac cost about the same as a 15" MBP+TBD (15" needed to get roughly the same performance as the iMac), that might be a better alternative. You would then need to buy a 13" MBP or a MBA, which will cost more than your iPad solution but less than replacing your iMac.

    The advantages: the big iMac for use at the desk (with its good ergonomics) and a fully functional portable computer (as opposed to the iPad) allowing working away from home.

    The disadvantages: you need to sync the two systems.

    Of course it really depends on how you use the systems, but after much deliberation I've continued using the pair of systems (but with a 15" MBP because I need the performance away from home), after toying with the idea of the MBP+TBD. Even though we have an iPad in the house, it's basically a non-starter for me with my needs (I've got to be able to run Mac and Windows apps and iOS is too anaemic.)
  5. postjack macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    like everyone else said it depends on your needs. right now I run:

    PC Desktop
    MBP (2011)
    iPad 3 (wifi)
    iPhone 4S

    my new plan involves selling the MBP and moving to:

    iMac (2012, or whatever)

    as well as possibly selling the iPad with wifi for a data iPad, then canceling my hotspot sub on the iPhone. the hotspot works great with the MBP but the iPad is really slow to recognize the iPhone hotspot for some reason. and I pretty much only use my MBP to sync the iPad and iPhone anyway. I use the iPad for 98% of my portable needs.

    so that's my plan! iMac, iPad, iPhone.
  6. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    imac 21.5 inch i7 model, ipad 3rd gen in white, white iPhone 4s, and don't forget iPod classic in silver :)
  7. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    All interesting responses for sure. I don't think I'm prepared to have 2 Macs and worry about syncing data (iMac and a MBP or MBA), and that route increases the sense of Apple device overkill I had when owning the iPad 2.

    I think my best route is to stick with my current setup (the iMac has plenty more life left) and see how the MacBook line shakes out over the next year or so. From there, I think the Thunderbolt Display, MacBook Pro, and of course iPhone will meet all of my needs - Big screen display for desktop use, and a portable machine for around the house that doesn't duplicate what my $80/mo iPhone does.

    I would want a Retina Thunderbolt Display:p(although 2560x1440 from 2 feet away is just fine)...a retina 15" MacBook Pro (that doesn't start at $2,199)...and the iPhone;)
  8. PaulCostello macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2012
    I find the iMac 21", iPad 32 3gen, to be the best combo for me. Im a full time pastor, and find myself studying and preparing my sermon on my iMac, then moving it to my iPad (via dropbox) for the actual sunday service.
  9. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    iMac and iPad. No question. The iPad is more portable than any notebook computer will ever be, and if you're doing something complex, you have a real desktop system to do it on.
  10. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Just curious, how is this a disadvantage? Syncing is just a matter of turning on iCloud on both machines and your done. The whole selling point of iCloud is to make all your important information automatically synced without having to think about it. Just set it and forget it. I actually consider having all your information synced and available where you go as a prime advantage.
  11. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    I think it depends on what your needs are. If you travel a lot [business] and need access to OSX Apple's Macbook lineup is quite good. And that's why laptops are so popular.

    i do like the iMac though.
  12. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    iMac + iPad + iPhone work out the best for me.

    I totally get the iOS overkill feeling, though. I felt the same way when I first got an iPad last year but, once you work both devices into your daily routines, you learn to look at your iPhone and iPad as two entirely different devices despite their similarities.
  13. Azzin, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012

    Azzin macrumors 601


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    Sorry to sound harsh, but what anybody thinks here is irrelevant (IMO anyway).

    All you need to do is work out what your needs are and get the kit accordingly.

    If you don't need to use a screen larger than a phone when you're out and about, then you have a 4S and are sorted.

    If you need to work off a screen larger than a phone when you're out, then you need to think about a MBP/Air or an iPad (or both, depending on your circumstances).

    It's really very subjective and only you can answer the questions in your first post, as there is no "best" setup as everyone's needs vary.

    [Edit] - I've got a 27" 2011 iMac in my home office, a 4S and an iPad 3.

    I would also like a MBA to give me a little more flexibility when I'm out and about, but do I need one?

    Probably not, but that's never stopped me before! :D
  14. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Yes, if iCloud would actually sync everything. It only syncs things that can use iCloud, and if you go with iCloud you lose all the organizational capability that you get with hierarchical folder structures. Suffice it to say that even with Mountain Lion (which offers document sync of supporting apps) it's totally inadequate. I use DropBox in some cases, but even it is inadequate for some tasks.

    I use Chronsync to synchronize the folders of interest when I get home and when I leave home. It will sync quickly, but I must remember to do it. It synchronizes 6GB of files between the systems. Other files, such as videos and photos I process, are copied manually from the originating system.
  15. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    I find my setup is good; iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Macbook Pro, Mac Mini and Thunderbolt Display. It all depends though. :p
  16. Lynn Belvedere macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    Depends entirely on what you do with your devices. For me, the ideal setup would be iMac + iPad + iPhone.

    iMac: full-powered personal computer.

    iPad: media consumption/entertainment device (may be total notebook replacement if Office comes to iPad)

    iPhone: smartphone/pda.
  17. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I hope Apple doesn't forget about the iMac. Seems like most people who own one love it. If portability isn't a major concern, the iMac offers the most bang/beauty for your buck in the Mac lineup.

    A few things I would want changed in the next model:

    1. Eliminate the chin and find a way to make it look more like the Thunderbolt Display

    2. Ditch the white keys on the keyboard --- All other Macs have black keys

    3. Unify the keyboard and Magic Trackpad as one product

    4. I don't get why they don't do this, but for the love of God, can we get an HDMI In to use this gorgeous 27" screen with a cable box or game console?
  18. malias4 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2011
    Greece and Holland
    I have an iphone 4 almost two years now n last year pirchased an ipad2 but after a while i sold it n bought an imac. Now im missing something n thats ipad 3 i think :)
  19. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    Agreed. Not least because an iPad can have cellular networking built-in, which no MacBook offers.

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