Question About iPad and MacBook for Owners of Both

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Panama, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Panama

    Panama
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Thanks Received:
    6
    I have an iPad and an iPhone. We have always used PCs for a lot of other work like word processing or graphics. We are not gamers and don't need anything big and new and fancy. My wife has a new fancy Lenovo that we use for other stuff.

    I am wanting to buy a MacBook for photo editing and maybe some graphics and word processing. It does not need to be new or have a big screen just something reliable that I won't regret buying later on. My wife is an author of several published fiction books and may use it a little on the graphics side. My use would be photos and also something that works with the iPad I have and iPhone.

    I don't know what to buy and could probably spend many many hours deciding what would work for us..... And then not really be sure.. Also we need one pretty quick for a cover graphics design that my wife would like to try Mac out on. Other authors in a recent convention told her to buy one for this....It is easier to just come here and ask for recommendations from people that know and use both. I see a lot of refurbished Mac laptops on EBay and so forth for $250 or $300. Would it be a mistake to buy one of these. I don't know about what software to be aware of or to avoid and the names of Mac software like leopard and such I don't understand either. We know PCs and not Macs.... I want something inexpensive and dependable and something that would not be a mistake to buy. Could somebody help out?
     
  2. KevinJS

    KevinJS
    Expand Collapse
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,646
    Thanks Received:
    1,409
    This is my opinion on the subject and should be taken as no more than that. Ultimately, it's up to you how you spend your money.

    iOS and OS X are becoming closely entwined. Generally, all of the native apps on one are included or available, usually free, for the other.

    Unfortunately, the capability of seamlessly using iPad, iPhone and Mac as a complete system relies on having the most up to date operating system. What you are trying to do MIGHT work using an older OS, but you are much less likely to have problems if you are bang up to date.

    Personally, I would do again what I have found to be the long term cheapest option. Buy the best you can afford, and do it once. The MacBookPro was my choice, but a MacBookAir would work just as well. Other members of this forum have them and have nothing but praise for them.

    When you consider that Pages, Numbers and Keynote come free with new Macs and IPads/iPhones and are file compatible with MS office you soon find out that the MacBookAir, at less that $1000 (Canadian) isn't so hideously expensive after all.

    Refurbished models are available on Apple's website, and often offer considerable saving, though for the price you mention, you are very unlikely to turn up a model that will run a recent version of OS X.
     
  3. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,778
    Thanks Received:
    5,842
    Hi Panama - in spring 2013, wife and I switch from PCs (DT & laptop) to an iMac & retina-MBPro (8 GB RAM), both are now running Yosemite OS (10.10.4); in a few months, El Capitan (i.e. 10.11.x) will be released - to run these modern Apple operating systems, 4 GB RAM would be minimal (although twice is preferable) - plus, a newer OS would likely be required to run some of the Apple software you want to use.

    SO, I have to agree w/ Kevin.., i.e. a couple hundred bucks will not do at all - your budget should be closer to $1000 for a recent & capable Apple laptop (i.e. used or refurbished) - personally, I would not buy a computer off eBay (even though many certainly must do) - I would like a warranty and the Apple refurbs indeed offer one for a year - see the pic below from Apple's Refurb Page.

    My other suggestion is to visit the Mac Forums (I'm member RadDave there) - the mods & a number of members are computer specialists w/ years of experience using Macs & PCs - this question arises several times a week and a search there might provide some more good suggestions. Let me allow you to respond to the questions raised - plus, what is your upper budget limit? Dave :)
    .
    Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 1.00.26 PM.png
     
  4. KevinJS

    KevinJS
    Expand Collapse
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,646
    Thanks Received:
    1,409
    Here's an instance of just how useful the interoperability between Apple devices can be. Assume your wife has a working copy of her latest book on her Mac and is out and about. She might have a thought which she just HAS to include. No problem. Dig out the iPhone, open the file in Pages, make the edit and the file will automatically update on the Mac.

    You may also be interested in the iBooksAuthor app which enables you to create ebooks from your Pages documents. It's free from the Mac App Store.
     
  5. Panama

    Panama
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Thanks for the replies. We not thinking of moving from the PC to Mac. She recently bought a strong and fast Lenovo laptop that will be her main computer. She is on it maybe 10 hours a day. She writes and edits from it and does shared information with her publisher and editor.

    We would share the Mac and she would use it occasionally for a graphics job with a co-author or her publisher or maybe a little word processing and I would use it for mainly photo editing. She will not be moving to a Mac platform for daily use. She mainly uses her Lenovo laptop and I use my iPad....

    The Mac will spend most of its life in a case. It could be used as a backup laptop if the Lenovo has an issue but we have a desktop PC that would probably do that as well. She was sitting at a table with a lot of other authors and they were talking about graphics and the consensus was that it was better on a Mac and that she needed one.... And I thought OK - I could use it with my camera and photo editing...it will spend most of its life in a case though....
    We were looking at some used ones or refurbished MAcBook Pros with Yosemite and 15 inch screens and they were cheap. Considering it will not be used a lot and she is NOT going to Mac full time --- I thought a used one might fit the bill and if it didn't that I would only be out $300 or so anyway... But did not want to make a mistake either. Thanks for your time. Is this wrong?
     
  6. KevinJS

    KevinJS
    Expand Collapse
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,646
    Thanks Received:
    1,409
    To reiterate; your money, your choice. I just had a quick look on eBay, and was quite surprised at the apparent low prices. Like Dave, I would not touch eBay for computers. I noticed one supposedly refurbished one that looks like a truck ran over it.

    All that said, if you can turn up a Mac that will run Yosemite or Mavericks and get it for a good price, all the power to you. Just be ultra careful. Check your vendor out as much as possible and try to pay in a way that will give you some protection if things go sideways.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Panama

    Panama
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Thank you and I appreciate the advice. I will take it to heart. We are real novices when it comes to specifics of MacBooks. My wife knows PCs and actually set up a system for a large university but we don't know Macs...
    Yes, I was surprised at some of the LOW pricing too. That's why I am here asking what I should look for regarding the operating systems and size of drives and wanting it to work with my iPad and Canon camera photo editing...

    I have had good luck buying things off EBay and using Paypal. I have bought cameras and fishing equipment and several other things. EBay and Paypal will protect you if things are not right.... They are very good about that....
    But I have not bought a computer there and just did not know what to look for as far as the model or specific software and size of drives....considering our potential use for it...
    There are some good deals on MacBook Pro Models there it seemed to me.
     
  8. twerppoet

    twerppoet
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Legend II

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,599
    Thanks Received:
    6,441
    I wouldn't buy anything older than a 2012. While the newest version of OS X will likely run on computers as old as 2009 (mine), the performance is lacking, and will only get worse over the next couple of years.

    It does not matter how little you spend on a computer, if it performs so poorly you seldom or never use it, then it's wasted money. A good deal is only a 'good' deal when you end up with something you like and use.

    Note: If OS X El Capitan delivers on the performance improvements promised, my old machine might keep on chugging for another year or two. Maybe I'll have the money to replace it by then. Hold in mind that my computer is a 2009 iMac, which is considerably more capable than all but the top of the line 2009 MacBook Pros. :)
     
  9. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,778
    Thanks Received:
    5,842
    Well, I just spent a little time on eBay looking @ 13" MBPro models (which is the minimum screen size that I would suggest for your purposes) - found a company out of Ohio and took a screen capture below of one of their offerings (link HERE for more details) - $500 for a 2010 model; 4 GB RAM and 250 GB HD - released w/ OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) - offer a 90 day warranty and a 2-year warranty can be purchased for a further $120.

    Scrolling down the link states that Yosemite has been installed along w/ an AV program & Open Office; thus, if you want iWork (Numbers, Pages, & Keynote), another $20 for each app; plus, you likely will want an advanced graphics program - I use Pixelmator, another $15, so starting to reach the price of some of the more recent Apple refurbs that I showed in my previous post; and keep in mind that the mechanical HD is 5 years old - after 3-4 years these drives start to fail at a more rapid rate - the newer Apple laptops have SSDs.

    Plus, you might want to provide some more details on the type of graphics & imaging needs that are desired, e.g. OS X comes w/ a free app called Preview - for myself I bring my photos into my laptop either by importing from the removed SD card of my Lumix camera or I use its built in Wi-Fi, most of my needs involve cropping and resizing which is easily done w/ this program. Now, if you need more that that, such as a PhotoShop program, then one such as Pixelmator is needed and there is a learning curve.

    Now, I saw other Apple laptops that were less expensive but the warranty options were not there nor were the OS X updated; just some more thoughts. Dave :)

    .
    Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 3.08.15 PM.png
    .
     
  10. Panama

    Panama
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Thanks Received:
    6
    You have all been very helpful and it is exactly the type of information that I had hoped to see. I am doing an edit on one of her books today and this is the first time I have read it, so I keep taking a break and looking here to see any information ... Also it is way too hot to be outside doing anything today.

    I have been cruising the Apple refurb site and trying to learn more about the options. I think I see some there that are interesting. As said, the good ones on EBay are getting close to the Apple area and we could add $200 - $300 or so and get one from them and be a little more comfortable. I have also been reading about OS X 10. whatever and year models of MacBooks and which ones will work OK with the software upgrades and which ones might be too slow.

    I hardly ever even use a laptop anymore. I used one in my business until I hated seeing it and my wife used and uses a PC continuously. Since we are sort of retired now, I can pretty do much anything I need to on my iPad and she uses the IBM/Lenovo. The MacBook would probably see minimal use but she would occasionally use it and I would like it for photos....and the MacBook terminology is a learning curve for us. You have helped out a lot and shortened my learning experience.

    I want to than you all for the advice and help and the time you took to assist us. Thanks.

    By the way Girad Dave -- I actually called that Apple outlet in Ohio (if it is the same one) earlier today and they were not open but I left a message for them to call me. Bet that is one I called about earlier.
     
    #10 Panama, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

Share This Page