yet another macbook/imac question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seenett, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. seenett macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #1
    Newbie here, I will make this question short and sweet. ANY advice or comments are welcome!

    I am finally going to jump into the Mac world and ditch all things Windows. Currently I have a 17" pc laptop which serves as a desktop (in a docking station) and goes on the road with me when I'm out of town. I mainly browse the web, email, do basic documents/spreadsheets, watch/burn DVDs and watch my Slingbox.

    Option A is to buy a macbook pro (maybe more machine than I need?) and use it as a desktop/laptop, just like I do now.

    Option B is to buy the low end macbook (2.0ghz, 80gb, 1gb RAM, simple drive) to take on the road -AND- buy a mid-level imac (20", 320mb, superdrive) and upgrade it to 2gb RAM. This would serve as my desktop and wouldn't have to be moved. The macbook and imac would cost the same as buying a macbook pro.

    Which option makes more sense for a non-business, just-for-fun user like me?

    I understand that two macs can sync wirelessly. Is it that easy? I would want both machines to sync ical, mail, addresses and documents so both machines have the same data at any given time.
     
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    i think you could do fine just with the macbook. i think the two of the would be over kill and not needed. the mbp i think would be more that what you need it for. if you just want it for the larger screen, buy a macbook and hook it up to an external monitor when you are home if you want the larger viewing area
     
  3. seenett thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #3
    I realize that buying two machines is probably overkill, but here's the way I look at it:

    The basic white mb would do everything I need while on the road. A mid-level imac would do everything I need at home. Together, these would cost me a total of $2748 (assuming no discounts).

    A mbp would do everything I need both at home and on the road, but I would also need a few other accessories: a 20 or 22" generic monitor (minimum $300), a full sized keyboard and mouse (for easier desktop use, $100) and an extra 85W magsafe power adapter (so I don't have to dig behind my desk to take it with me each time, $79). The macbook pro and accessories would cost me $2978 - about $250 MORE than buying both a mb and an imac.

    Or am I just completely crazy? :confused:
     
  4. ghostwriter macrumors regular

    ghostwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains U.S.A.
    #4
    I thought the same thing. In reality, I barely use my iMAC and live off my MBP. Synching is a hassle, at least for me.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #5
    Forgive me, but what do you do that can't be done on a macbook alone?:confused: Aside from gaming, the macbook is every bit the equal of the mbp (aside from the screen and graphics-but that's why you shouldn't game with it) for the apps you mentioned.

    I say get yourself a macbook, get a nice external with mouse, keyboard, and extra AC, and you'll be set to go with a good $1000 shaved off the total.

    And, out of curiosity, are you in Canada or the US, because those dollar amounts look higher.
     
  6. CJRhoades macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    #6
    Just get the MacBook Pro. It's all you'll need...
     
  7. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I would NEVER go with two, lower cost machines. The MBP will be more than enough for just about anything - it's even decent at gaming, with its 8600. Really, though, the only reason I'd buy a MBP over a MB is screen size.
     
  8. seenett thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #8
    Burn DVDs, for one thing. But after reading all the replies, I guess I could get the next level white mb with the superdrive. Add on an extra gb of ram and the total is less than $1500. BTW, I live in the U.S. and was getting the prices off the Apple website.

    I WOULD need an external 20 or 22 inch monitor. My modular desk is limited on computer space - don't have the height or depth to keep both an open laptop and external monitor. Can a mb run with the lid closed, using an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse?

    Also, the mb's 13" resolution is 1280x800. Would it be able to display 1440x900 on a larger external monitor?

    Thanks for the great replies so far!
     
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #9
    Yeah, I really think this will be the best deal for you. Also, don't buy RAM from Apple. You can get it at other sites for 1/5th of the price;):)

    So the macbook pro you speced out was a 2.4? Why would you want that? A 2.2 would have done the trick. Are you sure you can't afford:

    2.2mbp-$2,000+taxes

    + external keyboard and mouse ($150 if Apple, less if other brands)

    + external display (Christmas time means good deals on this too).

    I'd say that total, a mbp with the external and all will run you about $500-600 less than you originally thought. Even though a macbook will do fine, you might want the matte screen or better speakers, or better graphics card for the future, so keep your mind open to it.

    Yes. It's called clamshell mode FYI. Just be sure to have an external display plugged in with a mouse/keyboard. :)
     
  10. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    yeah i like i said, the macbook pro would just be too much for what you need it for and i see the justification in your situation for the extra cost. get the mid level macbook, throw in 4 gigs of ram from owc, and get the externals you need with out having 2 computers or having to spend the extra for a mbp!
     
  11. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #11
    A midlevel white macbook would be GREAT for you. If you wait a while they will probably start appearing in the refurb store (the current SR ones) and you can get an even bigger chuck of money out. You can probably find a nice 20 inch for 200 dollars even. A macbook can run great closed. You should be able to have a great setup for well under 2000 :) That would probably be the best option,

    However, if you are concerned that you may need the dedicated graphics card at somepoint (you may end up wanting to game or do something more graphics card intensive) go for a 2.2 SR MBP refurb for 1699 (1801 including illinois state tax) and tack on a monitor and keyboard set up on that if you want/need and you are at just about 2200 total :)

    Everything you will ever need - 2200 dollars! I love my set up!

    Edit: you said you would have to get a second magsafe, while that is useful, the adapter is made so that the longer cord from the brick to the wall can slide off the brick and can be replaced with asmall two prong dohicky. If you keep that long cord plugged into your wall and onto your desk to the brick, you can jsut detach the brick when you leave and put in the little 2 prong adapter and have that cord for when you leave, It's plenty long enough for plugging in for charging or working at a table near an outlet. Thats what I do, and it works great.
     
  12. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #12
    I was going to start a new thread, but this seems to mostly cover what I was looking at.

    I recently received a new laptop from work (Dell 14" widescreen), which is quite nice, but it's just that - a work laptop. I find that I am still wanting for a computer that is mine and I can do with as I please. I was running a PC a few years back, but it died and I haven't bothered to get a new machine yet. In the meantime I've been looking at the Mac world and thought about dipping my toes in the proverbial water.

    My only reguirements are really basic use: web, audio, video viewing, etc.. The only game I play is WoW, and as we know that isn't graphics intensive. As a result, I find myself torn between the following:

    15" MBP with external mouse/keyboard and a nice monitor or a 24" iMac (2.4 model). The price is roughly the same, but my issue with each are:

    -- MBP - Yes I want my own machine, but the work computer is a laptop, so I already have that "on the go" flexibility. Do I really need to duplicate this?

    -- iMac - Do I really need to go with the 24" model? Sure the price isn't much more over the 20", but perhaps it's overkill for my first foray into the Mac universe?
     
  13. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #13
    if you don't need the portability again with another laptop go for the imac. you won't regret that when your viewing your videos and doing email on a beautiful 24" screen. if you have the space and money i would really go for the 24". it is a higher rez screen and i think you would love how big and clear it is sitting on your desk
     
  14. anotherarunan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    #14
    To me, the 24" imac does seem a bit too much, but im used to restricted desk space...and 24" would just be too big a screen for me.

    Although, if you cant just ditch the dell and use the MBP as a work and home laptop, then there isnt much to seperate the 20" imac and the MBP, so if portability isnt an issue, then go for the imac
     

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