Which Mac should I get?

Which Mac should I get?

Summary: I'm planning to get the first Mac for the PC Doc HQ. Which one should I get?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
59

After years of resistance I've finally given in and decided to get the first Mac for the PC Doc HQ. I'm probably going to wait until Leopard is out because it seems a waste of cash to have to pay for an upgrade (thoughts on this?).

I'm leaning towards getting the Mac mini - it's cheap, small and I can stick it on a KVM switch so I can go to it when I feel like it. It also seems nice and small and portable. However, I am open to having my mind changed ...

[poll id=184]

Share your thoughts!

Topics: Apple, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

59 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 24" iMac

    Go for the 24" iMac unless you feel you can't do without slots, in which case go for
    the MacPro
    Len Rooney
    • Recommendations from experience - Macbook

      If you are going to be evaluating it as far as usability.. why not the mainstream choice of portable america, the macbook... compare that wifi with dell and toshiba side by side.. order the mini dvi to vga adaptor and plug it into a nice flat panel when you use it at the office. Have a full size mouse and keyboard of your personal choice to use while at the offie.. Try it out with bluetooth mice and keyboards, or any usb mouse and keyboard, even microsoft mice and keyboards. Throw every device and printer you have at it.. how well did it do with each one... how about your home printers and wifi... Was it plug and play or plug and pray? Did you have to do anything other than pair the keyboard and mouse and never had a problem, or was it a pain and problematic? I think it will amaze you at the wifi reception it gets and that it can see more available networks than the competition... use it as your real world computer... take it with you everywhere... see how well it works in various situations... How fast does it pick up and connect to the wifi at your favorite coffee shop or bookstore.. etc. etc. The come back and give us your opinion on how it did... The macbook will give you a full picture as it excels as both portable and stationary. Its the basic, plain jane portable of Apple computers.. not too spendy, all the features to try and evaluate, and it's not stuck in one place.. you can take it with you and try it in the real world.

      If you care to get fancy with it.... Load Parallels and a copy of vista or XP and evaluate that as well.. Or even load your favorite flavor of Unix or Linux.. Hey... Ubuntu is about to release a new version...
      i8thecat
      • Not bad, i8

        You actually wrote a post talking about Macs, and even mentioned Windows and Linux, without going over the top. You did slip in a couple of phrases like "plug and pray", but still a huge improvement.

        As for your choice of a notebook, I don't know. I use both, notebook and desktop, and much prefer the functionallity of a desktop over a portable for most work. There have been times that I worked exclusively with a notebook, even when at the office, but I traveled more in those days. Unless portability is the main concern, I would go with a desktop.

        I would, however, recommend that he get something above the Mini, as I usually avoid the low end systems, at least for myself. Being a "power user" I figure that I can take advantage of the bigger machine. It is interesting, though, that he didn't really say what he intended to use the computer for. How are we supposed to make a recommendation based on so little info?

        All in all, I would vote for one of the iMacs.
        itpro_z
        • Bizzaro World

          I suddenly find my self agreeing more with itpro_z than i8thecat. My experience is
          more in line with itpro_z in that I'm just now (as soon as Leopard comes out)
          going to the iMac from an old TiBook. I want that beautiful 24" screen.

          Adrian may feel he has enough screens and keyboards already, in which case, I
          would go with the Mac Mini. It has the power of a MacBook Pro and I've read that
          you can increase it's performance by using 2G or more RAM and booting from an
          800 firewire drive.

          But overall, to recommend a Mac to a first time owner, I still say iMac 24". iMac
          20" if funds are tight. Get the full experience, the whole widget with Mac screen,
          keyboard, mouse.
          Len Rooney
          • You both make good points...

            You both make good points...

            The main reason I recommend the macbook is simply the fact that it is portable and Adrian would be able to test it in all possible environments... The reason I recommended the macbook instead of the macbook pro is mainly because Adrian stated he was thinking of getting a low end desktop system. I have seen some friends do some very cool things with a mini.. i.e. install them in a car with a touch screen and trackpad instead of keyboard and mouse, etc. But it is still limited and doesn't offer the other side of the coin that a portable system offers.

            If anyone is thinking of getting one mac, I always recommend a macbook. If they want a desktop for the home, I recommend the iMac... Unless they are serious power users and plan on compiling video or are professional musician and plan on running pro audio with firewire mixing board.

            The macbook all by itself is an extremely powerful mac and offers the average user the broadest spectrum of what Apple has to offer at the lowest price point. I love taking my macbook when I travel, it is the perfect size for sitting on a cramped airplane seat and watching a dvd or working on a project. It is not bulky nor heavy and is very easy to carry around. It's not like you have a 50lb albatros hanging from your shoulder. And if you ever have to switch planes in Phoenix or Philly, you really appreciate that.

            Besides, why not give feedback on a computer the majority of readers would be interested in purchasing. It offers extended desktop, and plugging it into an external flat panel is a dream. I have loaded Parallels on them and running XP or Vista is just a doubleclick on a desktop icon. It will plug into a KVM just as easy as a mini will providing you get the mini dvi to vga adaptor (both need usb).


            The iMac has an incredible screen and is sleek, beautiful, and a real pleasure to use, but it's not portable and doesn't offer portable aspect.
            i8thecat
  • What do you intend to use it for?

    .
    ye
    • This is the correct question

      I have a Mini, and it is compact, but not performance-minded. It's a good basic Mac for learning Mac software and if speed is not of importance to you.

      My mini is a pre-Intel model, for the record.

      I bought it maxed-out, as upgrades later on a Mini are not easy or cheap. So if you do buy a Mini, bet the best processor and most RAM and fastest NIC, etc.

      If you wish to play games or use graphics-intensive software or media entertainment, DO NOT buy a Mini. Go with the iMacs or Pro Laptops.

      On the whole, I like my Mini, but given Mac's price premium, at present, I would rather buy a suped-up windoze laptop and install Linux as a dual-boot option. ABS makes some nice laptops which I have installed Linux on with decent results.

      The large iMacs might be acceptable if one were using them as a computer and a TV. At least then, the sticker shock would be spread across more devices.

      At least that's the logic I would try with my spouse...
      srobtjones@...
      • Wrong on upgrades

        Intel Mini's all have upgradeable processors. So if he gets a used core solo, he can put a new code 2 duo into it.

        As for graphics intensive, only if its 3D graphics. Anything 2d is done fine by the GMA960.

        The intel minis are well priced for what you get, and the ultra small and quiet form factor.
        Stuka
      • And, not surprisingly, only two people asked it.

        As is typical of most Mac fanatics who frequent this forum they don't care about your
        needs. All they care about is that you buy a Mac. And they wonder why more people
        don't switch.
        ye
        • Bzzt, wrong!

          [i]?The Mac is clearly gaining market share, with sales growing 36 percent?more
          than three times the industry growth rate?[/i]

          http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/25results.html

          So there are clearly lots and lots of people buying Macs and a lot of them are likely
          ex-Windows users.
          Mikael_z
        • Never spent a lot of time wondering why people don't

          switch to the Mac. All in all I sort of like the fact that more don't switch. I'm in a sort
          of win/win situation there are those who are switching but not enough to make it a
          massive flood that would probably overwhelm Apple but enough to make Apple very
          profitable. BONUS!

          Pagan jim
          Laff
  • Kind of hard to say

    It really depends on what you're going to do with the thing.

    I would caution on one thing - screens. If you cannot get to an Apple retailer you cannot preview the new glossy screens. I've heard good and bad about them. We got in some new Macbooks in August and I do not like the screens. The users, however, liked the computers a lot. They're used for just general busi9ness stuff on location.

    If I was in the market for a new machine or machines in the office right now, I'd buy a leftover 24" imac for about $1500 and toss in another gig of 3rd party memory. The screen is flat and it's a beautiful machine.

    If interested, you can find these at Macmall.com and Smalldog.com.
    j.m.galvin
  • Well...

    I'm guessing you think of yourself as a power user, so... If you're overly mobile, then I'd say you should go for the MacBook Pro, if you're pretty much fixed, then go for the Desktop Pro.

    Or both if you're feeling overly liquid in your assets :P
    zkiwi
  • Congratulations

    Congratulations and welcome aboard.

    Try the 20" or 24" iMac.
    Harry Bardal
  • Get the best one Dell or HP makes.

    ;-)
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • I know I shouldn't, but....

      LOL
      Hallowed are the Ori
    • Thanks for the advice

      I will take that into consideration when spending the money you'll be sending me on November 14th, the date our wager ends. You claimed the Zune would be outselling the iPod within one year of its release, a period which ends on November 14. The wager was for one paycheck, which, given the amount of time you spend flying around the country in your corporate jet, must be enormous.
      tic swayback
      • Damn...

        I wish I'd have gotten some of that action...
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • I was too busy...

          ... rotflmao...
          Confused by religion
          • Take this with humor...

            as it is meant to be...

            but if you would leave the bed once in a while you get in on this action too! ;)
            Linux User 147560