A Decision to Make for the Home Office: iMac or MacBook Pro?

I switched from using a PC to an iMac at home years ago. I have liked my iMac, though there are a couple things that I still find easier to do on a PC (which I use for my day job). For example, I don't think I'll ever move over to using Apple's mouse. I'm too attached to right clicking without using the keyboard!

My iMac has been slowing down over the last year or so. I feel like I'm crawling towards publishing my blog posts each morning. The purchase of a replacement is imminent. I'm conflicted between buying another iMac or buying an Apple laptop.

Option 1: The iMac



The new iMac is fast and sleek. It can probably handle everything I need to do, from photo editing to working with music files for Marc's radio show, easily. It obviously isn't portable.

I love having a big screen and a full keyboard. When I got a wireless keyboard a few years ago, I returned it within hours because it is missing some of the buttons of the wired one.


Option 2: The MacBook

Confession: I don't know why some people say MacBook and others say MacBook Pro. Maybe it's a difference in the age of the device? The Apple website just shows two laptops: the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. I'm pretty sure the Air doesn't have enough power to do everything I need to do, so the MacBook Pro is what I'm considering.

I worry about the lifespan of a laptop vs. a desktop and screen size is also an issue. It'd be nice to be portable...just about a week ago, I wanted to show a friend some SEO strategies for her website and blog, but I didn't have a laptop to take with me to our lunch meeting. She brought her MacBook and I couldn't figure out how to show her some things on it because there were differences in how they worked. Such techie I am, huh?

I already dealt with a switch from a PC to a Mac (and I have my feet in both worlds because my work computer is a PC), but is there also a big difference between the iMac and MacBook?

Meg Biram's office | via The Foundary

Sherry and John of Young House Love in Richmond | via HGTV Magazine

I am shocked that Sherry and John have managed their blog on two laptops for all these years. My work machine is a Dell PC, but I have monitor, so I do my work on two screens. I guess you can get a lot done on just one screen.


Has anyone moved from an iMac to a MacBook? How was the transition? Did anyone go in the other direction? If you do a significant amount of work from home, which machine is better for your needs and why?

Comments

  1. I'm not an Apple person, so I can't speak to the any of those questions, but I can tell you that it is possible to get a laptop with a screen that's just as nice/big as a desktop. Mine is huge, which is great. I've been blogging and working exclusively on laptops for years and haven't had any problems at all.

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    1. I use a second screen at work (and during my busy season, at home). I haven't thought of making it a permanent thing at home. Hm.

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  2. I have an iMac after having a pc laptop before. The laptop definitely looked nicer but I was killing my back hunched over looking at it.

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    1. Good point. I wonder what an ergonomics expert would say is better...probably the iMac.

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    2. I would recommend a laptop with a second monitor on your desk at home. You can even use a dock on your desk so that you have your monitor raised to a healthy height, and then have a real keyboard for at-home use. And then you can grab your laptop off the dock whenever you go somewhere.

      This is a really good point made by Mrs. Limestone. I use a laptop at home for work, and then after hours I have an iMac (which is secondhand and only now slowing down) and then I have a laptop. I find that I have been getting a lot of pain and stiffness in shoulders and neck lately, and think most of it stems from poor posture from tilting my head down to use a little laptop on a desk.

      I'm in the process of switching to use my personal laptop full time at home with a dock with a real keyboard and monitor attached.

      And sorry to write a book, but my husband got my laptop for me at Christmas. I wanted the features of an iPad, but all the accessories added up fast, and I wanted the power of a real computer, so his computer geek choice was the Lenovo Yoga, which transforms from laptop into touchscreen tablet. It is AMAZING. And super powerful. I was sad to not get a mac, but now? No regrets. So much more for the money.

      Unsolicited ramble now over :)

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  3. So, this wasn't an option, but I vote iMac + iPad. A powerful machine at home to do the photos and music, and a portable option for everything else.

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    1. This was my thought too! :) And don't you already have an iPad? I wrote you a long-winded response on facebook, J.

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    2. This might be the solution. I love my iPad for general surfing. :)

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    3. I vote for this option too!

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  4. As for Macbook vs. Macbook Pro. Apple used to offer both of these. Recently though they've gotten rid of their standard Macbook model (these were the white and black macbooks) and they're all Macbook pros now, you can just choose your screen size, GhZ, retina display, etc.

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    1. I should totally know that already, shouldn't I. *blushes*

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  5. Not to be a nerd, but you can turn right click on for your Apple Mouse under System Preferences -> Mouse. There should be an option to turn on "Secondary Click", which is equivalent to right click, on the right side of the mouse. I hope this helps you make the transition completely!

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    1. My iMac is so old that its mouse only had one click and a ball in the middle. It wasn't like today's awesome Apple mouse.

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  6. I'm a total PC person, but in general the quality and durability of laptops has soared over the last several years; had it not, iPads would either be extraordinarily fragile, or would put all laptops completely to shame! While desktops/iMacs will generally last a lot longer, I wouldn't let longevity be a defining factor unless you are absolutely against upgrading again in 4-5 years.

    TL;DR: Quality laptops are generally a 4-5 year investment when they're taken care of; desktops can go closer to 10 depending on how they're treated, and how outdated you're willing to let your technology get.

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    1. Comment on durability - Ryan swears by getting warranties from Squaretrade (They're not a ripoff like most) and does that for all electronics in our home (Because I'm a disaster) - and I would recommend that for a laptop. That way there's no worries!

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  7. I made the switch from PC to Mac in design school and have had several since then. Honestly, I'd be more concerned with the iMac keeping up with the Macbook Pro. And if you think about it, just because the iMac is bigger doesn't mean the computer parts are any bigger... they have to be just as small to fit around the screen thinly as the Macbook Pro parts have to be to fit in the case (more or less...)

    I currently have a Macbook Pro at home for design and an iMac at work, and honestly the iMac gives me more trouble with speed and lag than my MBP. And I hate hate hate the glossy mirror screen on the iMac. Had to buy a $200 plastic glare protector for work to make it bearable for 8 hours a day. The gloss thing and the power are the main reasons why I wouldn't choose one over a MBP. I use my MBP with a Cintiq wacom display and an external wired keyboard and magic mouse.

    That said, I think the iMac (or a nice Mac Mini which I've heard great things about) has a great price point. MBPs are expensive you want the good processors. But they are portable. They are certainly great computers.

    And I always tell people the main difference between a PC and a Mac these days is that the apple (now "command") key and the ctrl key have different functions and that's the big switch. Everything else, mice with 2 button clicking, monitors, menus, etc is almost the same and more or less intuitive to someone who knows how to use a computer. Good luck choosing!

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