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Apple designer setup: iPad or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by SaulDesign, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. SaulDesign
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    SaulDesign iPF Noob

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    Hello everyone,

    It's time for me to switch on apple products. I am Graphic Design student and freelance Web Designer. Currently I have weak ACER 5742Z laptop and 27" Dell U2711 Monitor at home. I want to lose my laptop and buy 2 apple products to get complete work station both for quality and portable. The main question is it enough to buy iPad for portability or do I need a MacBook Pro?

    This is few combinations I came up with (give your opinion which works the best):

    1. iMac + iPad.
    Pros: good quality at home with iMac, easy to take iPad with me everywhere, can use iPad as portfolio to show works for clients.
    Cons: I can work with design only at home. I need to sell my Dell monitor.

    2. MacBook Pro 15" + current Dell monitor
    Pros: Save money buying only 1 apple product, take advantage of Retina display performance, can work out in cafes with MBP.
    Cons: 15" MBP is too big and heavy for portability.

    3. MacMini + Dell monitor + iPad
    Pros: Use my monitor and save some money. Advantage of iPad portability.
    Cons: Not sure about Dell vs Mac screen quality, what is it worth, because I need good quality for design work.

    Please let me know your opinion on these choices and help me decide which one to choose. Thank you!
  2. sjleworthy
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    sjleworthy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    i too am a graphic designer, but you've got to ask yourself what do you want to get out of the equipment.

    for me personally, i need raw computing power. whether thats for web desiging or processing art work, an ipad isnt even in the picture for this. i have a couple of mac pros. but for portability and the ability to sketch and design in the field and when visiting clients you still need something pro enough to deliver - a laptop should suffice.

    so, i'd personally spend all my money on the newest, fastest and most highly specced mac lap top available. (i would today if i could afford it and the boss (a.k.a. the wife) would allow it)

    an ipad is basically a toy in the above respect. dont get me wrong, it's my pride and joy. i use it in my business for client admin, emails, skype, all communications and web access, and, very importantly, as a portible device to showcase my work to clients with. but all this isn't and aren't deal clinchers. the ipad wont run my business as a graphic artist, but boy is it a fun gadget to have around.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  3. Poisonivy
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    Poisonivy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    im not into anything like that but i have a MacBook pro and love it,its slick and fast,ipad is great but would never be my only computer,so my advice would be go for the pro.
  4. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Agree.
    Go with the best you can afford.
    Never scrimp on screen estate if you're into web design or photoshopping.
  5. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO, it comes down to whether you prefer a laptop or a desktop for your work. The iPad cannot be your first consideration. Decide on a desktop/laptop, then decide if you want/need an iPad.

    If I were making the decision, I'd get the desktop with large monitor first. Try as I might, I just can't warm up to doing all my work on a laptop. For me, they are just full of compromises, but you may feel differently, and a lot of folks do. Note, I have several laptops, but I always go to a desktop for real work. The laptop fills in when I must be portable. Now, the iPad is different, I keep it with me and use it for a lot of things, but it just can't do the majority of my real work, though it can do a lot of things that I want/need to do. I'm fortunate in that I can have all of them and use them as I please, but if I had to make a decision, it would not be primary. Frankly, I would almost say you need four devices: Desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet, in that order (for me). That is not the order in which I enjoy them, however. That order is tablet, phone, desktop, laptop. :)
  6. SaulDesign
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    SaulDesign iPF Noob

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    Ok, so here is next question. If I choose to buy MBP, is it worth to buy new version with Retina display? Is it worth 600$?

    One of my friend said, that it is hard to work on 15" screen with so big resolution, eyes get tired very fast. Also there is some problems with pixel density on readability, i.e. Chrome browser font rendering.

    I have already 27" display which works perfect, so I would prefer 13" MBP rather than 15" MBP.. So would it be enough 13" MBP 2,9GHz?
  7. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Every person that I have read writing about the rMBP loves it. There is a thought that the 13 MBP will get retina soon, too. Might want to wait until after the 12th.

    Personally, if I were a serious laptop user I would not resist the rMBP. There is just no point in staring at pixels of long hours. But if you are a causal user, then I'd say no, don't do it.
  8. Poisonivy
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    Poisonivy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    my mbp is the 13" and I'm on mine from morning till night virtually everyday,i have no problem with the screen but i think when the time comes to upgrade i may consider a 15",to answer your question if i were going out to buy a mbp tomorrow i would go for one with Retina display.
  9. MoonlitSonata
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    MoonlitSonata Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 15" MBP and it is not too heavy. Much lighter than my previous HP G-71.
  10. sjleworthy
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    sjleworthy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a few 30inch apple displays for main work, but aye, i'd buy the finest screen res mbp i could find. You wont notice eye strain (iStrain?), and in reality, even a mbp should be secondary to your desktop pc for production work.

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