What to do with MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Angelus, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I'd appreciate some input from other forum members here. Up until about a month ago, my only computer was a 15" MBP 2010 2.4Ghz i5 with user upgraded 8GB RAM and a 1TB 5200 rpm HDD. The reason I bought it initially is because I was making the big move from Ireland to NZ and wanted a good combination of power and portability. I've used it for internet browsing, email, some gaming, aperture editing and some movie editing.

    In the last few months I've made the decision to settle in NZ and I've found the Pro very cumbersome for work. I need to read a lot of medical papers but I also need to make word documents and presentations. I had a Gen 1 iPad as an 'ultraportable' but it was very limiting in terms of creating office documents which were compatible/interchangeable with my Pro. Long story short, I gave the iPad to my mum and bought a 2011 11" MacBook Air 4GB RAM with 128GB SSD for work.

    The MacBook Air is amazing to be honest. Sure the battery life is shorter than the pro but it is so light and portable. I can chuck it in my bag and forget. Since I've bought it, it has become my primary computer for Internet browsing, emails and word/PowerPoint documents. Im well aware that the 128GB SSD can't accommodate all my music, photos and movies but in all honesty I have no need to carry all those things with me at all times.

    When I initially bought the Air I thought it would be my secondary machine and the MBP would remain my primary. Instead, I've used the Pro for nothing other than storing my music, photos and movies. I've been using iTunes home sharing to move select music and iTunes movies over the Air.

    I guess my question is how best to proceed from here. I know my Air can't accommodate all my media but perhaps an external display and HHD for at home would suffice? Of course to do that I'd need to sell the Pro.

    Option 2 is to keep the MBP as photo, movie and music hub but if I did that I'd want it available to stream my movies and music etc. I could tether it to an external display to help photo edit but that would involve keeping it plugged in and most likely kill the battery.

    Option 3 is to sell the MBP and buy either an iMac or Mac mini for photos etc. The benefit of this option in addition to the big screen and fast HDD is that it could remain plugged in and act as a media server too.

    What do people think? I realise it's a cheeky question in some ways as it sounds like I'm complaining about having two many computers when some people in this world can't afford one. The issue is that my current setup isn't working for me and I'd be interested in hearing people's suggestions on how I can tweak it without ending up with a dollar deficit.

    Has anyone ever been in a similar situation?


  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I Was In A Similar

    Situation as yourself, and do a fair bit of high end Video, music and photo work. I thought about it long and hard and narrowed it down to either a mini or the top end iMac. I needed the real-estate that the 27" gives me, and decided that was the way to go. I use ATV and a high end DTS system, along with studio monitors for the music. I have only this week decided to add an MBA to use for "One project" work when I'm unable to sleep at night. If I were in your positionI would look at the iMac. It really is ideal, and I have never regretted the choice.
  3. winterlocked, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011

    winterlocked macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Hi. I sold my mbp 13 and Got an iPad to try and use it as my main machine.

    It was nearly perfect, but I decided to supplement it with a refurbished Mac mini. I use the mini as my file storage and server.

    I used to rip a lot of movies from DVD into iTunes, and was missing this ability, so I intentionally bought the last gen mini with a DVD drive to be able to use handbrake.

    I use a vnc app on my iPad to control the mini for ripping media and managing the file system. When icloud comes out, I figure it will fill the gap by automatically backing up my new photos, music and video to the mini.
  4. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2011
    Personally, if I were in your situation, I would go ahead and sell the MBP, and purchase a mac mini. Since you primarily use your MBP right now for storing photos and music right now anyways, I'd say that using the mini as a server is the best solution. On the occasions that you would need to do some editing, or any processor intensive tasks, you could just take advantage of the decently powerful CPU found in the mini. Just my 2 cents ;D.
  5. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Sounds like you need just a bit more horsepower and an iMac or Mini might be what you need. I my household we have: a 2009 Mini that is on duty as a media server (Apple TV and Drobo connection for serving files), MBP (which I am typing on now while on biz), a MBA which the entire family uses, 2 x iPad2's which my wife uses and I take when I do not want bring the MBP along. For us laptops are a better buy than iMacs or Mini's because we get the performance that we need from the mobile devices. However, in your case a static device would seem the best bet. You can always keep the MBP and sell it at your leisure or give it to a deserving family member.
  6. stradale33 macrumors member


    Aug 27, 2010
    Welcome to NZ

    You found TradeMe yet? That's a great way to move on stuff. Then you could pick up a mac mini for home or just get a external screen and HD.

    It's great having nice stuff but if it's not getting used... maybe sell and down size / free up some dollars.

    Although if it's a nice machine and if you needed / wanted a more powerful laptop in a year or two it's pretty costly to replace.
  7. Angelus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I think I'd prob be happier with a Mini or an iMac. Ive toyed with the idea of getting a Mac Mini and just hooking it up to the tv but I'm not sure if the resolution would be very useful for photo editing or aperture work. I guess I could pick up a thunderbolt display at a later stage if I went that route.

    Does anyone have any experience using an HDTV for iMovie or aperture? Part of me thinks it's could be a bit awkward.
  8. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I can't say anything for certain about using an HDTV (although I have considered using mine as a second monitor for my iMac) I would suggest you consider iMac before getting a thunderbolt display. Think about it, the Cinema display is essentially $1000 for just a screen. With an iMac you get a whole computer (insanely powerful one for that matter) for just a few hundred dollars more.

    Just something to consider. I do think the mini is your best bet but just a decent PC monitor would likely do the job.

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