View Full Version : Newbie Mac user needs advice making the big switch: iMac or MacBook Pro?

19th July 2010, 04:48 PM
I'm coming into some bonus money (thank you tax man!) so I've decided to bite the bullet and make the big switch from PC to Mac.

It will be used for (home use) internet, email, word processing, managing a rather large iPhoto library (currently using Photoshop Elements Organiser), iTunes, and Photoshop Elements for photoediting and digital scrapbooking.

I'm leaning towards a base model 21.5" iMac especially because I don't need it to be portable so I'm struggling to justify the extra $$ for portability but I could be convinced to go for a 13" or 15" MacBook Pro if it would be just as suitable for my needs.

Any advice is greatly appreciated :)

19th July 2010, 05:27 PM
Opinion 1:

I'd stick with the desktop model - especially good for the manipulation of photographs where colour might be a prime concern, as the viewing angle of an iMac's screen is 178 by 178, so regardless of where you're sitting, the colour will be near perfect.

The viewing angle of any laptop / notebook will never compare to a stationary model or a really good display screen.

Other reasons in favour of a Desktop model:

Maximum of a 2 TB Hard Drive which is not a Solid State Drive, thus will not cost all bodily appendages.

Faster Processor.

The RAM is cheaper.

$286.00 for the 2 Year AppleCare Protection Plan (as opposed to $400 - $580).

Many people find a mouse is easier to use than a track-pad and though one can get a mouse with a MacBook, it's an extra expenditure.


19th July 2010, 06:00 PM
If you really don't need the portability of the MBP then go the imac and enjoy the savings and the much larger screen.

19th July 2010, 06:03 PM
I'm a firm believer in "a desktop at home", i have a 20" iMac with a second display. iPads and iPhones for me, negate the need for a laptop, as they fulfill my mobile needs.


Going for a 13" or 15" MacBook Pro would mean you could take your entire computing experience with you where ever you went, without the limitations of the mobile device.


If you don't already have a mobile device i'd look at the MacBook Pro.
If you do have a mobile device and is adequate i'd go for the iMac as it's more bang for your buck.

Good luck with your decision.

19th July 2010, 07:05 PM
iMac is beautiful. But it's going to be updated within a few months time (which sounds long but in the Mac universe is relatively short) so you might want to wait until then.

MBP is quite possibly the best all rounder portable machine you can get provided you can afford it, and that being said, 15inch hi-res screen option is your best option.

19th July 2010, 07:21 PM
Amen...iMac better option. Just a beautifully integrated machine - the full Apple experience.

If you want to know when the next update is, Macrumors do a good job of predicting this.
Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/)

Don't forget refurbs or education discount if you qualify and want to save some$$$.

19th July 2010, 07:26 PM
If it's home use and you don't plan for taking it out ever then the iMac it is go the 27" you'll love that big screen ;)

If you do plan to take it out of the house then you might want to consider the Macbook pro 15"

Or do what some of us do and buy both :)

19th July 2010, 07:28 PM
Or do what some of us do and buy both :)

Or the iMac to create stuff and an iPad to consume it on the move! ;-)

19th July 2010, 08:26 PM
I really suppose it depends on your needs. If you want an all-in-one, which you can use at home and also take with you where you want, you may want to consider a Macbook Pro.

You can hook it up to an external display (+keyboard & mouse) to use at home if ergonomics and a large display is what you desire, but also have the portability & convenience to take elsewhere.

I currently use a 13" mb pro with a 19" external lcd monitor, apple keyboard & wireless logitech mouse. Gives me the large(r) display as well as the portability when required.

In saying that, I'd love a new 21" imac to add to my office, with the macbook pro for external (and couch) use only :)

19th July 2010, 08:28 PM
• The RAM is cheaper.


Actually the ram modules are identical in the iMac and MacBook pro lines, the 21.5" would be the favoured option in my opinion as the faster processor and bigger screen are worth it. Having gone from a MacBook which was primarily home use I do miss it a bit but I prefer my iMac.

19th July 2010, 08:29 PM
Another vote for an iMac. Great desktop machine that looks good either in a study or better still out on display in the kitchen.

The large 21.5" or 27" screen really is more functional than a 13" or even 15".

20th July 2010, 10:38 PM
Just throwing this out there because you said you were moving from a PC, which means you might have a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse lying around.

The new Mac mini is very beautiful and costs hundreds less than an iMac. With the money you save you could buy an iPad or external disc drive.

Mac mini - Buy Mac mini desktop computers - Apple Store (Australia) (http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?mco=MTM3NjY1OTU)

I've got an old Mac mini connected to my HDTV and it's a great little machine.

21st July 2010, 09:48 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I'll stick with the 21.5". I have a spare monitor I can use as a second display and really if I was going to spend the extra I'd rather it be for portablity rather larger screen size. I may consider getting a MBP for external (and couch) use later on.

Also is there any advantage / benefit to buying AppleCare with purchase rather than in 10 or 11 months time? I understand you just need to have it registered before the initial 12 month warranty is out.

thats awesome
21st July 2010, 04:54 PM
don't need a portable = don't buy a portable.

bang for your buck = iMac.