Which Mac do you suggest?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Simple Living, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Simple Living macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I did a lot of reading before making my first post, and I'm not nearly as technologically literate as most of the people here seem to be, so I hope my questions aren't too annoying.

    PC Rant: I'm sick of it. Completely. My stomach turns when I know I have to boot up my laptop. Never, never will I go back. Nothing M$ will ever touch my new Mac, either. :mad:

    I've always had Windows. Every computer I've ever owned. I followed everyone else blindly, never considering what else there might be. Finally, a friend suggested getting a Mac and I started asking around. What I found amazed me.

    Whenever I mentioned that I was considering a Mac, all the Mac people cheered and encouraged me. They've been incredibly friendly and helpful, practically throwing me a party just for making the switch. They weren't derogatory about M$, just encouraging that I would love Mac so much more.

    On the contrary, Windows people would actually get angry! Like I was betraying them. They weren't neutral, happy, encouraging or even friendly. Even when talking to Windows people about Windows products or PCs, nobody ever showed the enthusiasm I've come to know from Mac users. To me, that alone says a lot!

    I'm hoping some of you can direct me towards the best Mac for me, once you know what I need to do with it.

    I'm a writer (freelance and fiction), so I rely on Word. Other than that, I'm not reliant on anything from M$, except that whatever I use in Mac must be compatible with my editors who use Word. This is the biggest thing.

    Other than that, I have my iPod, research the internet, use e-mail and watch an occasional movie or listen to internet radio. What I'll be getting into though is putting together a media rich website, complete with audio and video. I don't know if I'll build it or hire someone to do it, but I will be maintaining it. I'll also need to start including photographs with my articles, so I'll need to be able to correct and enhance digital pictures. Excel and PowerPoint are useful, too. I'm not a gamer, unless the odd hand of Solitaire is considered gaming.

    I currently have a laptop but don't find myself needing to take it out of the house very often at all. I just don't know if that will change, though. It's possible. I do miss having a home computer with a larger monitor. I happened into an Apple Store because I saw an iMac from the hallway. I had two words for it. Gor-geous! I'm leaning towards the 2.4GHz, 24" monitor and upgrading to at least 2GB RAM (not purchased from Apple. See? I told you I did my reading.)

    Is this too much machine for what I need? I want something to grow into, but I don't want overkill. Which notebook model would you recommend if I go that route?

    Being brand new to Mac, I'm not even sure what the right questions to ask are. I trust people like yourself who actually use Macs and have nothing to gain by helping me than I would a salesman. I'm going in for my one hour appointment in a few days. What should I be asking? Looking for?

    Any and all helpful suggestions are appreciated. Sorry so long-winded. A bit of excitement and anxiety at the same time going on... :eek:
  2. jarenado macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2007
    If you get the desktop, what you were thinking with the iMac is spot on.

    If I were in your position, I would get the 15 in Macbook Pro, maybe even the 17 in but that may make it a little less travel friendly. The Macbook Pro will do everything you need it to do, is a big enough screen for most people, and you will find as are all Macbook models, they are very light and slender, so you will find yourself taking it along with you much more. I had a compaq notebook before my macbook, and it left my apartment once a year, and that was to move. I got my macbook, the only time it isnt with me is when I was waiting tables, and even then I brought it sometimes.

    You cant go wrong anyway you go. For what you want to do the regular Macbook might also suit you if you get enough Ram, the only downside would be a smaller screen, but the trade off is the fact that it weighs 5 pounds.

    Good Luck, have fun, Welcome to the world of enjoying your computer!
  3. MezicanGangxtah macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2007
    Might I reccomend the mac mini. Just remember to increase the RAM to 2 GB and you should be fine with your needs.
  4. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    I would suggest a MacBook because you can take it with you. Trust me, once you start using a Mac, you won't want to put it down!

    If you decide to get a desktop, the iMac is a great choice. Good luck with you decision and congrats on your pending Mac purchase.
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    The 24" 2.4GHz iMac would be a great computer for you. To be honest, it packs far more power than you will most likely need. That does not make it overkill, it just means that it is capable of more than you will use at the moment- the benefit is that it will last you quite a while to come.

    You could probably get away with the 20" 2GHz iMac (unless you want the larger display- which is no doubt very desirable) and save a couple hundred bucks.

    If you go the laptop route, I would suggest going with the 15" MacBook Pro. The MacBook would be plenty powerful enough for you, but I have a feeling you would enjoy the larger display the MacBook Pro offers.

    Either Mac you choose, I am sure you will be delighted for years to come. I know this might be a bit early, but welcome to Mac- enjoy! :) :apple: :)
  6. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    hey i would go for the imac. your really going to appreciate the gorgeous screen and it wont strain your eyes while im sure you are on the computer typing for hours at a time. thats not too much. with that set up i think you would be future proof (for your needs at least) for a very long time. thats my opinion but whatever you chose congrats on choosing a mac and enjoy!!!!!
  7. tMac85 macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2007
    in a great place
    MBP is the best of both worlds. Like previous post, my old (windows based) laptop never left my house, even friends today with newer "slimmer/lighter" laptops say they are too clunky to lug around. You will really love the portability of the MBP.

    Play with both and pick the one that suits you best. either way you will be very happy.

  8. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    Or, for a little more than the MBP, you could get an iMac and a refurb MacBook. That would truly give you the best of both worlds.
  9. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Being a writer does not mean being reliant on ms word. There are TONS of other word processors out there, and many people find the alternatives to be much better than ms word. My personal favorite is mellel.



    And check out the forum for a good idea of just how intensely it get used.

  10. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Use iwork for writing. It is great. I concur with the suggestion of getting a Macbook or a Macbook pro (depending on the extent of your photo editing).

    I have been using Macs for years, and if right now I was in your shoes and knew what I knew, and had your usage habits, I would get a 15" Macbook Pro, the 2.2 ghz model and a 22" Dell monitor. That way if you want to change your writing scenario and write in the park or at starbucks you can, plus you could just plug in to your external monitor when you are at home.
  11. RustyMac macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2007
    I have been in your shoes for a while now. I couldn't decide what to go for. I use my computers for graphic design work. I have always kept an eye on the MacBook Pro with an additional screen. I am still on the unsure and just received my new computer today. I decided to go with the 24" 2.8 Extreme iMac. It is faster than the MacBook Pro. I am also picking up a MacBook. This way I have the best of both worlds. Plus it cost about the same for an iMac with a MacBook as does a MacBook Pro and a screen. Also, if something were to happen to one of the computers, you have the other one to back it up.

    I did just get my iMac and I haven't opened it yet. I am also thinking about waiting for MacWorld in January to see what other options are coming out. My 2 cents! Good Luck with your decision. I know that it tough to make one!:)
  12. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    I think the choice for you should be the macbook or macbook pro.

    Everything you say you do (writing mainly, and some photowork.. even maintaining or designing a website) can be done on a regular macbook no sweat, and with the new upgrades they are screaming fast. One would last you for a long time, and like everyone says, you will find yourself taking it out more.

    For a writer, I would assuming having a portable computer would be useful for even the occasional trip, as well as taking off to a different location to get some insight. You may not go many places now, but you will :)

    Now, I personally, would get a 2.2 white macbook (midrange i guess) get a nice case for it, and pick up a nice 22 inch monitor for home. It's a nice set up (I have the same with my macbook pro) You could probably do all that for around the price of a macbook pro.

    However, if you are concerned about the glossiness or the screen size of the regular macbook, or just don't like the white (although spec cases are nice and do add character and protection to the little white macbooks) then a macbook pro refurb would be the way to go.

    Plenty of screen space, super face, and still very portable (I LOVE mine.. do get a nice case for it again though). I just got a 2.2 SR refurb for 1699... came to 1801 including tax. It's an absolutely great machine and runs quiet, and very cool and has great battery life, but if I didn't need a graphics card for my intensive 3d rendering, I would have grabbed a macbook in a second.

    Perfect setup I think for you would be a macbook, a 22inch and a nice external mouse and keyboard for home.

    Welcome to the world of mac. :)

    P.S. If you can wait till January, you might want to, because of the updates that will, even if you don't want a new update when they come out, will drive down the prices of the current models, which would be useful... and perhaps fund a 24 inch external :)
  13. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I really appreciate everyone's time and advice. I've taken a lot of notes that will come in handy during my one hour torture session, I mean appointment, with an Apple employee. :)

    I agree with those who said that, in the end, whatever I choose, I'm going to love. What's niggling at me the most is that I really, really love the iMac. I want so badly! But, as ktbubster said, I'm not traveling much right now, but I more than likely will be. The notebook would come in handy then. (But, a 24" screen! How can I give that up?!)

    The notebooks are also a bit more than I wanted to spend. I know I won't care about the price after I get it, but it is a consideration.

    Can anyone think of anything I should ask the salesperson during my hour appointment with them? Here in Minneapolis, we have at least three, and probably several more, Apple Stores. Anything specific I should look for in the sales person?
  14. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I agree with this. You really will want to take it with you a lot more. There's nothing better than sitting in a cafe and working. Since you're a writer and don't need to be hooked up to all sorts of peripherals all the time, I would say go portable as well. You can always hook it up to an external monitor later.
  15. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I appreciate the links. Are these compatible with others (editors) who use M$ Word?
  16. smooth macrumors 6502


    Nov 12, 2007
    If you want the big 24" I say go for it, especially if plan on being at a desk while you do most of your work. And if you do travel more in the future, you could possibly scrape together enough for a refurbed base macbook. If you are like me, who prefers to work while on my recliner a MacBook would be a better option and because you are using it to write, the MBP does have a good size screen.

    It does feel good to be M$ free, I can say that!
  17. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Being portable is nice, but I think what you really want is that 24" iMac. I was in a similar situation. The iMac is the biggest bang for your buck, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a MBP and an Apple Display. If you like working at your desk, than go for the iMac. If you'd rather take it into other rooms, lie down, or take it on trips, go for the MBP.
  18. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I'm online looking at MBPs. If I got one, it would most likely be the 15" (Yes, I like larger screens.) 2.4GHz. There's a chance I could go for the 17" MBP but the only difference I see between these two is the screen and pixel sizes. Is that true?

    Something that really confuses me about speed, though. No matter how fast the notebook or computer is, aren't you really limited by the speed of your internet service? I don't know the technical terms for this, I'm sorry, but if I have 160GB, I'll never get that speed from my internet service. It's usually half that, if you're lucky. "Speed" confuses me. What good is 160GB if you don't get to use it?

    The biggest thing I hate about notebooks is the touchpad. I hate them! Whenever I'm typing and my thumb or my palm accidentally touches the pad, the cursor goes flying somewhere else and screws up my typing. Isn't there a way to turn off the touchpad completely? I always use a laser mouse.

    Another question. How secure is the wireless? The coffee shop I currently take my laptop to has unsecured wireless access. How secure is it? Are file transmissions safe?

    When it comes to battery life, what if you usually use your notebook plugged in all the time? I rarely need to use it away from an electrical socket. Does this help or hurt the battery life?

    Sorry. I warned you about my dumb questions. :eek:
  19. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    Just received my iMac 2.8 Extreme.....

    The 24" screen is WONDERFUL. This iMac is very powerful, and if you add RAM and are only using M$ Word, your going to fly through your writing.

    Go to Amazon or M$s website, there is a special on Word 2004, with an almost free upgrade to the new Word/office this coming January for $10.00...basically shipping and Office is FREE!!

    Your going to LOVE your iMac!!!!!!!!
  20. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    This is the main thing I really struggle with. I realize I'm the only one who can make that decision, but it helps to talk it out and get advice. I appreciate everyone's patience.

    Here's my situation. Currently living in downtown Minneapolis. Being a country guy, this is not of God. By next fall, I'm hoping to move to small town, Montana and make a living completely as a freelancer. (Corporate America is a soul-killing, zombie-creating, monster.) I want to live in a small town but be close enough to a city (30 minutes minimum) to make freelancing easier.

    Since this is the case, I can see the wisdom in getting the MBP. I really can. But the iMac! How can anyone pass that up? The price is a lot better than the MBP. Other than size and portability, what's the real difference between them? How are iMacs better than MBPs and how are MBPs better than iMacs?
  21. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    160GB is your hard drive size, silly. It has NOTHING to do with your internet speed. Only your service provider does. None of the specs will change that. Of course, sometimes a wired connection can be a little faster than a wireless one, depending on signal strength.
  22. Nugget macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    Whatever you do decide to buy (and none of the options you've mentioned sound like a bad bet to me) make sure you add a nice external hard drive to the order. You'll need a second hard drive to make use of Time Machine and believe me, you want to use Time Machine.

    Apple really hit a home run with this feature and for the first time in as long as I've been using computers it's simple and effortless to get good backups of your data.
  23. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    I know you've had plenty of comments already, but I may as well add mine.

    I use a MacBook (black, top level one), and use it for professional graphics, web-design, music, etc... It serves me absolutely fine for me (though I'm saving up for a MacPro)

    I would say that having the portability of the MacBook is a total saviour to me, train journeys, to and from work by bicycle etc... It's small and light.

    I would suggest that you get a mid-range/high end MacBook and spend the spare cash on a 23" Cinema Display.

    It would be a beautiful setup costing the same as an iMac, or MacBook Pro.

    Best of both worlds. Don't worry about RAM etc... for what you need, the inbuilt will be more than enough. I have 2Gb RAM and REALLY really use my MacBook to its extreme, and it rarely cuts me short (though as I said, I'm saving up for the dream machine as we speak).
  24. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    Hard drive size has nothing to do with your internet?:confused:
  25. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Yeah, see, I told you! I'm really not an idiot, I just don't know techie lingo. My point still stands about the speed though, whatever set of constants are used to describe speed. I only know it as MPH. ;)

    Everyone wants speed on their computer. Why worry about it if it's all up to the limited number of crappy ISPs in your area?

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