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Gift for Wife - iPad or Macbook?

phorts

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I know, it's discussed ad nauseum, but it's an important question. After all, what works for one, isnt necessarily the right fit for another. I would greatly appreciate any advice on my individual situation and what device may be best suited for our needs.

I'm a PC guy. I've worked in IT and live in Windows all day, every day for the past two decades. I have an Android phone.

My Wife, is an Apple girl. She has an iPhone 5. Her Sony Vaio laptop i bought her 4 years ago just crapped out, and our home PC is one hard shut down away from the scrapyard. Currently, all of our music lives on the PC (in iTunes) and all of our Photos in Google Picasa on my work laptop. Documents are spread out.

So, we've decided to get an Apple for ourselves to replace her laptop, but which one? iPad or Macbook? That, is the question. Here's a list of things I would like this solution to do for us, and my concerns:


Main Uses:

- Surf Web
- Manage Music (iTunes) (about 20GB) Currently)
- Manage Photos (Store, View, Edit, Print, Share, Offload from Camera, Backup) (About 20GB Currently)
- Read/Write Email
- Facebook, Games, Twitter
- Stream Movies, Music, Netflix, Hulu, etc
- Read/Create Documents (Resume, Letters, Recipes, etc)
- Take with us on trips for the above


I like the idea of an iPad and know it will do all of the above perfectly. I'm just worried about the big two; managing iTunes our Music and Photos. Here are those concerns:

1. Storage - Where to store all of this stuff? Even if i go Macbook i still would want them backed up to central storage and/or accessible from other devices. iCloud is too $$, other cloud solutions arent much cheaper and seem more difficult to deal with, local NAS storage seems like a decent option but accessing via other devices isnt an option in that setup. This has to be my main concern regardless of device. I just need a system, and i'm not comfortable with Apple's ecosystem enough to know what works best. Admittedly, my current system isnt ideal, but at least it works. (Picasa -> Google+, Print via Shutterfly)

2. Managing Music - Right now the wife connects her iPhone/iPod/iTouch to the PC when she wants to sync her iTunes Library or Playlists. She uses the PC to manage her updates as well. Well, what if those go away? What about Backups? iCloud? Can you Manage your Library if it's hosted entirely in the cloud? I need to learn more about this, but how are you doing it?

3. Managing Photos - I need to be able to seemlessly move photos from the iPhone or Camera to the storage solution (Be in in the Cloud, Local Network or Device Storage). 99% of our pictures are of our 1.5 year old daughter. So, we produce a lot. Can i edit them on the iPad but they live in the cloud? Can i easily back them up to a local device from the cloud (or replicate to another cloud service)



Those are the 3 biggies. Logistics really. Even if i go Macbook I still have these concerns, except that you can plug in the iOS devices into the Macbook to update and you can store all your music/photos/docs on the macbook itself. I just can't afford both!


Thanks for any and all help. Very, very much appreciated!
 

KevinJS

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You are up to more than 40Gb right from the get go, so for me it's a no brainer. It has to be the MacBook.


As she already has an iPhone, there would be more benefit in having the larger storage capacity of the Mac. Just my opinion, of course.

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rarebreed

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For sure macbook for you in this situation, they looked decent today from when i last looked when i bought my girl the new ipad lol..
 

oberkc

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If unable to get both, then: MacBook AIR. Definitely.

Keyboard is too handy for the reading and creating of documents. Ability to "manage" photos is too limited on the iPad, in my estimation. The MacBook air is thin and light, nice for taking on trips.
 

AQ_OC

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A windows laptop works just as well, along with an iPad. Nothing wrong with a MacBook per se, but they both seem to have windows experience. I don't think I can every leave windows because I have too many files that are windows specific and there would be too many compatibility issues with switching over. The other issue is that laptop drives tend to be rather smallish (more so if you go ssd for speed)....might want to keep music and photos on an external drive or even consider a nice iMac (I'd love to have one of those, even with my windows PCs).
 
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Gabriel1

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AQ_OC said:
A windows laptop works just as well, along with an iPad. Nothing wrong with a MacBook per se, but they both seem to have windows experience. I don't think I can every leave windows because I have too many files that are windows specific and there would be too many compatibility issues with switching over. The other issue is that laptop drives tend to be rather smallish (more so if you go ssd for speed)....might want to keep music and photos on an external drive or even consider a nice iMac (I'd love to have one of those, even with my windows PCs).

Of course you can dual boot a Mac with Windows.

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LannyC

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For me, the perfect solution was an iMac and an iPad. The bottom of the line iMac has plenty of power for anything but advanced game graphics, and it comes with a Bluetooth keyboard that also works fine with an iPad. Content creation on an iPad is a frustrating struggle, or at best difficult if you're doing it for the challenge. On the iMac, it's a joy. A laptop would be less struggle than an iPad, but still much more than an iMac. Or, if you already have a monitor and keyboard you like, consider plugging them into a Mac Mini.

That said, days go by without waking my iMac from its slumber, as the iPad lets me stay out of my office and touch the world from my comfy recliner. On a three-week vacation trip, it was easy enough to use the iPad to take photos and video, uploading them each evening to Flickr and YouTube for friends to share. The portability and instant-on factor are handy at home, too. Last night we were watching a movie on the living room TV, and when my wife had a question about one of the actors, I paused the DVD to look it up on the iPad without leaving my chair.

milliHelen: amount of beauty required to launch one ship.
 
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phorts

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Thanks all for your very helpful insight. I think you talked me off the ledge of trying to go iPad only and use it as the sole device. I think my desires of having a machine that can edit photos, manage iTunes, create docs and store tons of stuff makes it pretty much a no brainer to go with a Macbook or iMac.

So, what i'm going to do is try to find a used Macbook AND iPad. going new might set me back $2000. Going used i could probably get a model version older on both and save 50%.


Everyone wins :)

Thanks for your help everyone!
 

Gabriel1

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phorts said:
Thanks all for your very helpful insight. I think you talked me off the ledge of trying to go iPad only and use it as the sole device. I think my desires of having a machine that can edit photos, manage iTunes, create docs and store tons of stuff makes it pretty much a no brainer to go with a Macbook or iMac.

So, what i'm going to do is try to find a used Macbook AND iPad. going new might set me back $2000. Going used i could probably get a model version older on both and save 50%.

Everyone wins :)

Thanks for your help everyone!

You might want to try the refurb store at apple.com

The Archangel
 

oberkc

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Now that we throw budget into the mix, perhaps an IPad2 ($399 still?) will suffice for the apple drug fix and, as suggested earlier, a nice, thin, windows machine for when you need to manage your files/pictures and create documents. I would think a good shopper could get both for $1000. I am actually a bit intriqued by that latest chromebook, wondering if it would meet your needs for document creation and picture management?

As much as I like the macbook air, with the thin form factor and multi-touch gestures, I think a lot of the latest windows machines are nice, as well.
 

MoonlitSonata

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oberkc said:
Now that we throw budget into the mix, perhaps an IPad2 ($399 still?) will suffice for the apple drug fix and, as suggested earlier, a nice, thin, windows machine for when you need to manage your files/pictures and create documents. I would think a good shopper could get both for $1000. I am actually a bit intriqued by that latest chromebook, wondering if it would meet your needs for document creation and picture management?

As much as I like the macbook air, with the thin form factor and multi-touch gestures, I think a lot of the latest windows machines are nice, as well.

Being a new apple convert from over 20 years with Windows, I wouldn't wish Windows anything on my worst enemy!
 

lutherian

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If you love your wife - you'll buy her an Android... or else she's be forced to buy an app for every godforsaken thing ... connect to a windows share to watch a movie you got? forget about it ... ka-ching, buy an app. Once she learns Andoird, she won't look back - don't under-estimate your wife's technical ability, she just "likes" Apple because all the adverts tells her she should.

If you love yourself - you'd use Linux.

If apple could charge you for the air they breathe - they would, they have no moral core. Windows, less so, they want you to pay fair and square, and Linux God bless it - gives it to you for free if you are willing to learn.
 

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