Which Mac should I start with?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by riviera74, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. riviera74 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fort Myers FL
    #1
    I have been looking at Mac for a few years now and I will certainly replace my 10 year old DIY desktop sooner rather than later. The only reason I am replacing it now with a new iMac is because supposedly newer iMacs will be released within the next 60 days or so (thanks to Intel's Skylake CPUs).

    That leads me to this question: Given that I am starting out on a Mac, which one should I purchase? There are only two I can think of that will not preclude me from buying an iMac in the near future: a MacBook Air (probably refurbished) or one of those retina MacBooks that came out in April.

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    ott.on.ca
    #2
    It depends of course! You mentioned a desktop and two laptops. Do you need the portability? iMac makes for an excellent machine, especially the new Retina models. Waiting for Skylake would be a very good idea. Personally, i would be waiting for the new Thunderbolt 3/USB-C combo ports since that will likely be the defining standard for the next ten years or so. Macbook Air is a great portable, i have the 11 inch and love it to death. With the addition of a USB Serial adaptor, it handles all of my Lab/IT/security duties easily. I run multiple OSes on it with Fusion. I am not sure the Retina Macbook could handle quite so much heavy lifting. The MBA is a mature line and has great value, the RMB is still first generation and will likely need a revision or two (again, the Skylake+TB3/USB-C combo port would be very welcome here) to settle into its groove.
     
  3. riviera74 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fort Myers FL
    #3
    OK. I figured that the rMB is on its first generation, and maybe it is best to wait until the second generation comes out. I am sure that there are those who love the rMB and chose it over a MBA. Not sure why, though.
     
  4. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    ott.on.ca
    #4
    Well the retina screen is very attractive, as is the extreme slenderness and lightness of the macbook. I tried one in the store and was very impressed. However, the MBA has Thunderbolt whereas the Macbook does not, so it is less future-proof in that respect...
     
  5. brookter1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #5
    The rMB is lighter, smaller, and has a much, much better screen than the MBA. It's less powerful (but still more than powerful enough for purposes that don't involve say, heavy gaming or video editing) and it has fewer ports.

    If you need the extra power and the ports, then the MBA is a more suitable laptop (NB not 'better' -- this is all about matching needs): if you don't need them (I don't) then there's just no point in getting the MBA, unless you're going for the very cheapest version to save costs -- the rMB is for me a far superior proposition, simply because the keyboard and the screen are so much better. BTW, I find the keyboard excellent -- I touch type on it for several hours a day and prefer it to my old cMBP.

    And if you want more power / ports AND a superior screen, then you need the rMBP...

    Having said all that, I wouldn't get an rMB as my primary computer -- but as a second computer to complement my iMac, it's very very good.
     
  6. bigmikeyp macrumors regular

    bigmikeyp

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Before any details thinking about hardware etc, I think you should really decide whether you would like portability with your purchase. This completely defines the direction you're able to take.

    Do you see yourself wanting to take your Mac elsewhere (either when travelling, working, or even on your lap while on the sofa in the front room)?

    I went down this exact thought process a few years back, and decided on an iMac; which served me brilliantly. Yet 18 months later I decided to sell it and buy a 13" MBA, which I'm still using today as my daily work system.
     
  7. riviera74 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Location:
    Fort Myers FL
    #7
    I think I will drop the MBA vs. rMB debate. While I certainly want an iMac, maybe I should instead look at the iPad Air 2 (assuming there is no Air 3 forthcoming). The iPad Pro looks amazing, but it seems a little too rich for me.
     
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #8
    If you want an iMac then buy one. You can surely get a serviceable model for the same price as a new iPad Air 2.
     

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