Which setup would you choose?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by entatlrg, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    Keeping in mind I have a desktop that I use as a server, storage, back up, and downloading. I work from my notebook as my main computer, I don't travel often other than house to car... car to office. But I do take a notebook with me everywhere I go.

    13" MBP with 24" ACD
    - the advantage being working from one computer, no files to keep in sync.
    - I'd mount the ACD in my Den on a monitor arm, as that's where I do most of my work.
    - the disadvantage is working from a small 13" screen when not attached to the 24" monitor.

    or

    15" MBP and MacBook Air
    - the advantage being I'd have the 15" MBP for use in my Den or when I wanted to work from a larger screen and I'd have the Air for taking along with me everywhere, whether it be to the office, on holidays or the coffee shop.
    - the disadvantage being juggling files between two computers.

    or

    what would you choose?
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    27" iMac + MacBook Air. For the same price as the 15" Pro + Air, you get way more power, way bigger screen, and you can mount it on an arm just like you would have done with the ACD. No contest.

    If that's not an option...

    13" Pro. Keeping two computers is tough enough. Having two notebooks around is just silly unless you're using one as a desktop (in which case, see above, and just buy a desktop).

    The 15" screen on the Pro is not that big, and you're likely to end up buying an ACD later on anyway to use with it. In which case, you've spent a pile of money to duplicate the functionality you could have had with a 13" MBP.

    So: if money does not matter, iMac + Air. Expensive, but probably the sweetest setup you can find anywhere.

    If money is tighter, 13" MBP + ACD (or even a less-expensive screen if you prefer).
     
  3. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #3
    I have a 15" MBP and like to bring it everywhere as you do. And it's too heavy. I regret to have not bought a 13".
     
  4. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    I wouldn't do the second option, two laptops is kind of worthless in my opinion.

    I think if you can get away with 2GB of ram, one USB and the smaller HD in the air, then get the SSD MBA. Also no future upgrades realistically outside of HD's and those can get spendy.

    However if you can't, the 13" MBP is a great machine. But since you travel so much you need to decide if it is worth having a bigger screen in the 15" because you are always using it on the go or is it worth it to have less weight in the 13" for the same reason.

    Then an external monitor is what I would do. Keeping all your files on one computer is nice. I have a MBP and a MP, keeping files between the two isn't difficult, but can be annoying even with a time capsule, wireless and mobile me.

    For monitors Apples 24 is nice and hooking it up to apple products is simple, but really limited to using it for anything else. Dells 24" has a multitude of inputs - DVI, HDMI, DP, S Video, Component. USB reader and a USB hub.

    What is your desktop you have now? Could it be replaced with a 27" imac? Then you could use the imac as the desktop, backup computer and as a monitor for the notebook you buy, if doing that fits your workflow.
     
  5. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    #5
    I wouldn't get two laptops either. You'll never have the files you need on both of them.
     
  6. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #6
    Thanks for your input so far.

    I own the business and can have any kind of set up I like. I have a MacPro in my office at work used for server, storage, back ups... But, I don't like to work from my desk/office, too many interruptions.

    Therefore I work mostly from home, in my den or home office leaving my MacPro back at work. I oversee business operations, do some product/concept design, all I need is a computer and an internet connection.

    What I'm looking to decide on is my 'main work computer', from my explanation above now you can see why I think it needs to be a laptop.

    Option 1
    The 15" MBP. Gives me a bigger screen, lot's of power, great for work in the den and home office. But it's clunky and heavy to take everywhere.

    So I'd add the MBA to the set up as well. Use it as a netbook almost, it would stay in my bag and come out when I'm out or feel like using a smaller, lighter laptop on my lap to send a quick email, surf etc ....

    Option 1 is the no compromise solution, especially if I added a 24" ACD to the set up. I'd have a 24" display in my den, a 15" MBP display and power when I'm mobile if I wanted it, or the option of just bringing my Air, (netbook) with me. No compromise in size, weight or performance regardless of the tasks.

    But again, that's three computers and I worry that's going to be confusing.

    Option 2
    My other idea was a 13" MBP with a 24" ACD. I'd use a monitor arm to mount it in my den. That would give me a 24" screen where I spend the most of my time working and then I"m working from one 'main computer'.

    Option 2 has one main computer which seems great, but there is trade offs, I'll always be sacrificing either weight or screen size. To me the biggest sacrifice there is not having an option of having a 15" screen for mobile use. And, the 13" MBP is heavier to carry everywhere compared to the Air.

    I mean I have a choice :) Here's a photo of the Mac's I bought for my business so far this year. Not shown in the photo are two more MBA's, two iMac's and another 15" MBP....

    What would you do?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. JajoPGH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #7
    DANG. I wish the restaurant business would be more accepting of lots and lots of Macs. Nice. :D
     
  8. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a

    Mintin8

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
  9. kitch95 macrumors regular

    kitch95

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #9
    I agree that 2 laptops is not the best idea, I think that the 13" mbp and the 24" acd is the best option. The mbp is portable so you can always have it with you and when you need a big screen you can hock it up to the big 24" acd. Of course if you can afford and think its worth it, 27" imac and a ssd macbook air that is a killer setup.
     
  10. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    If you have a 15" MBP and a 13" MB air, plus a Mac Pro, why are you asking us?

    Since you have the 15" and 13" you should know what size you want. If you already have an air, you know if you want an air or a MBP. If you like the air and it does everything you want, buy another one. If it doesn't work right now for you buy a MBP.

    What are we going to tell you that owning them already doesn't?
     
  11. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #11
    Just looking for input / idea's / others experiences.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    You don't need multiple laptops. I have 3 computers (+1 server) but mainly use MBP 17"

    I connect a 24" display to my MBP.

    17" MBP works fine for me. I move mine almost every day.

    It's no way too "heavy", considering most PC 15" laptops are the same size and same weight as MBP 17". So the 15" is not even heavy at all. Maybe someone needs to work out or get a better bag.
     
  13. krimsen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    #13
    +1

    although, this is not the most popular opinion on macrumors :D
     
  14. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #14
    Yes, the 17" is a nice machine. We have one, it's in the photo above.

    It's being used by our head Engineer, OSX and Vista, he's loves it and would never part with it. For me it's more screen and bulk than I need.
     
  15. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #15
    "I own the business and can have any kind of set up I like. I have a MacPro in my office at work used for server, storage, back ups... But, I don't like to work from my desk/office, too many interruptions.

    Therefore I work mostly from home, in my den or home office leaving my MacPro back at work. I oversee business operations, do some product/concept design, all I need is a computer and an internet connection."

    Get the best setup for where you do most of your work, don't compromise for the exception.

    An iMac in the den makes sense to me, or 13" + ACD makes sense to me.
     
  16. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a

    carlosbutler

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    London City
    #16
    I am not sure if you knew this, but MobileMe is able to sync files between as many computers as you like. All you do is tick the option that says 'keep backup of my iDisk on computer' and it will copy everything over.

    I have a uMBP and iMac, I take my MBP to uni and all my notes in lectures and meetings are then synced automatically to my iMac. The only issue I have picked up is when you sync large .sparseimage files because, even though its exactly the same file name the size will change and even if you change one document, it has to resync the whole file (which in my case is nearly 300mb, which it has to upload to apple servers)

    personally i would say you are better of with a proper desktop ie iMac, Mac Pro, windows desktop whatever and then either an Air or MBP. If you only need about 5 hours battery and dont do anything intensive then i would recommend the air. otherwise the 15" mbp
     
  17. No ice please macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #17
    Imac and macbook. You can use the imac as a monitor to.
     
  18. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #18
    Possible Setup

    Thanks for the great suggestions.

    I spend MANY hours on a computer; product/parts design, managing the business. As suggested I want a no compromise set up where I do most of my work. Which is in my den.

    Here's my goals explained clearly and an idea I have for my ultimate set up >

    Goals:
    1. Have a 24" LCD display at each workstation; den, home office and work office.
    2. A good comfortable set up in my Den for long hours of work.
    3. To have a cool, light fun computer for anywhere use
    4. Have a separate machine for downloads, storage, back up.
    5. Computers at least important files in sync'd (OSX and Windows files).

    I have some reading and learning to do on mobileme, SugarSync, DropBox I realize.

    It's always good to use a larger screen whenever possible right? So that's my main goal.

    What I'm thinking of doing is this:
    - 24" monitor in home office
    - 24" monitor in den
    - Use the 15" MBP as my main computer, it can be connected to the 24" monitor I'll have in my den and home office.
    - Plus since I've chosen the 15" MBP to be my 'main computer' instead of an iMac or Mac Pro I have the option of mobility with a decent sized 15" screen on the go.

    - Where would or should the Mac Pro come in? I think I'll set it up in my home office but not at my main desk, it can be used for downloading, back up and storage. But, it won't be my main work computer, the 15" MBP can handle the workload.

    So the main desk in my office will have a 24" ACD and a Raindesign monitor stand for the 15" MBP, when I want to do work at my home office desk I'll plug in the 15" MBP to the ACD, set it on the stand and voila I have dual monitors.

    Finally, for fun, net surfing, banging off replies to emails 'anywhere' that's where I'll use the MacBook Air.

    Summary
    MacPro - downloading, back up, server, storage.
    15" MBP - connected to 24" monitors in my den, home office or work office.
    MBA - for fun / mobile use anywhere...

    What do you think?
     
  19. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a

    Mintin8

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    Sounds good. You never know when you would need the extra portability with the air etc.

    But what are you doing, are you keeping your mac pro with dual displays at your office and just having the two laptops hooked up to a display at home?
     
  20. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #20
    ...well it sounds like your business is doing with as you seem to be able to pick and choose your options with out skimping on your desired choices...

    With the machines you currently have, why not try out your option choices for a couple weeks and see what you'd like to do?

    It may even end up being more productive to give your staff the newer machines, unless you want the new "office" toys... your choice.

    Also, something to consider is the refresh in ~Jan/Feb, now might not be the best time to buy...
     
  21. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #21
    Here's the Setup I've decided to go with >

    Mac Pro and one 24" ACD OSX only
    - To be used in Home Office loaded with OSX only.
    - For server, back up, storage, learning OSX software such as final cut.

    15" MacBook Pro OSX & Win7 (my main computer)
    - will also be used in my Home Office along side the Mac Pro, plus the den, kitchen table, and for travel when I going by car and want a larger screen with me..
    - Will be used for everything, from design work, email, running the business Office Apps, email, surfing, on the go photo/video editing -

    MBA (1.86/128ssd
    - My "netbook" for when I don't feel like sitting at my desk or using the 15" on my lap the Air fits in perfectly. It's a fun machine to use and very handy for all kinds of work when you don't need a larger screen.
    - Also my machine of choice for air travel.

    I work from home 90% of the time now, therefore I'm going to have all my computers set up there.

    When I go to my work office I'll bring my notebook and hook up to an ACD there.

    I'm happy, I've finally made up my mind on how I want to set things up.

    There's going to be some folders I'm going to want to keep in sync on all 3 machines so I'm going to have to do a little research on software that's both OSX and Windows compatible. Such as Sugar Sync, Drop Box or ?

    Thanks again everyone for the tips.
     

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