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What computer should I buy in 2017?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Jan 14, 2017.

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What computer should I buy in 2017?

  1. Nothing - Wait for 2018

    23.1%
  2. Upgrade your outdated iMac

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 2017 iMac 27"

    38.5%
  4. 2017 Mac Mini + 4K Monitor

    15.4%
  5. Windows 10 PC (Apple Tax / Apple is doooooomed!)

    23.1%
  6. iPad Pro (Desktops are so 2015)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Message #1 of 116 Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This is a thread where you can give me good, rational advice...that I can ignore and blow $2500 on whatever iMac refresh happens this Spring.

    Currently, I have an early-2009 iMac, a 2.9GHz C2D CPU. It's slow. It can't be upgraded to the latest macOS. Did I mention it's slow? I could upgrade the slow spinny drive to an SSD for $150 and a weekend's effort and likely improve its slowness a lot. But that wouldn't fix its lack of USB 3, and unsupported-ness by current macOS.

    Springboarding from my prior thread How to buy a "new" Mac affordably?, I concluded that buying an older iMac and upgrading it was unsatisfying. I'd sacrifice USB 3 and retina.

    And while my needs are modest, I have techno lust for more than I need. :)

    I've done the annual budget. I've got money allocated for a new computer.
     
  2. KeithAP

    KeithAP Screenwriter
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    What? No option for a 2017 Mac Pro or Hackintosh? Voters won't be motivated to take part if the best candidates aren't an option. ;)

    -Keith
     
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  3. DavidMiller

    DavidMiller Screenwriter

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    After being a long time MacBook Pro guy... I decided that I would pass on the new MacBooks and bought a....

    Surface Book instead so far so good. I like the fact that it can be a tablet or laptop.

    I got the i7 16GB 1TB storage version
     
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  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Haha. I know my limits, and I don't need a Xeon engineering workstation. I've eyeballed the Hackintosh community. But building an HTPC on Win10 was hard enough. I don't want to get into the horrors of a DIY Mac!

    Laptops are out. I no longer have a need for a laptop and the price premium is too high. I'd more likely go in for a new iPad and keyboard case than a laptop.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I confess that I am hoping and praying my 2009 MacBook Pro - which has gotten a little sluggish but is still generally okay - holds out a little bit longer.

    I genuinely don't know what to do when it dies. It seems that Apple has stopped supporting the things that have been a priority for me - the 17" laptop screen, a built in optical drive (much less a BD drive) and Firewire near the top of the list - and have replaced those things with offerings that offer me little or negative value.

    On the other hand, I'm in an Apple house. My wife and I use iPhones and share an iPad. Our home entertainment system has an AppleTV. Our wireless network is run by an Airport Extreme. Her computer is a Mac as well. Everything works quite well together, and I'm hesitant to change that. All of the software I own is for Macs, all of my past data that I'd want to use is from Macs. But their new line of machines just don't seem to match up with what I want from a computer. I just want a 17" laptop that runs Mac OS X and has a built in optical drive and firewire port. That shouldn't really be a big ask, but apparently in 2017, it is.

    Don't mean to hijack the thread, but definitely am lost as to where to go from here. It seems I both want and need to stay in an Apple ecosystem, but that they don't offer any products that work towards my needs - there simply isn't a comparable replacement for my existing laptop. I worry that if I just got a 15" MacBook Pro, I would be disappointed and annoyed with it every time I used it.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It seems there will be no Season 2 of "John Doe"
    It seems there will be no "Half Life 3"
    and...
    It seems Apple has stopped supporting FireWIre, optical disc media and 17" laptop screens.
    :)


    Some thoughts, not knowing your usage or needs:
    FireWire? In 2017? What about USB3 or USB C? Haven't those overtaken FW in speed and simplicity (not to mention practical availability and affordability)?

    17" Laptop screen: Is this a desktop or mobile computer, primarily? 17" is, in my experience, an unwieldy mobile computer. 15" much easier. Can you consider a 15" or even 13" for on-the-go and a 4k or 5k monitor on your desk? This is both less and much more than you get with a 17" laptop currently.

    Optical media: I don't disparage this because I use optical media a lot with my HTPC and still need it on my desktop on occasion. But it's worth asking for a mobile computer: How important is this? Do you use discs on the go? Can you just get an external USB drive for the home office and enjoy the decreased weight and greater battery life when on the go? (And if you're playing movies off disc on your laptop while on the go, you're doing it wrong ;) )

    All that said, I don't know what to advise a current laptop buyer. Apple's line up has a very strong "opinion", but I'm not sure what it is. There's the "manager book" for ultra portability with modest power in the MacBook. And there's the spendy TouchBar Book in the new MBP with a $500 price premium for uncertain benefit.

    If I had to buy a laptop, I'd probably get a Retina MacBook. But it would be an email / safari machine.
     
  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    FireWire for my camcorders. I don't do a ton of video stuff anymore, but wouldn't want to get into a situation where that stuff was no longer accessible. I also have about a dozen drives that are FireWire only - don't want to rebuy that many to migrate the data over.

    I don't really move the laptop around much, but I also don't really have a great space for a desktop. (Such is life in a one bedroom apartment.) The 17" works for me because I can have nearly the screen size of a desktop machine but the ability to move from place to place. I'm not really moving it out of the house or commuting with it.

    I could use an external optical drive but it's just less convenient than being able to pop a disc right into the machine.

    It's not so much that there's anything wrong with the new machines. It's more that my current machine is perfectly convenient and does everything I could want as easily as I want, and the knowledge that whatever I replace it with will cost more and yet be less convenient. It's one thing if I was getting a price break for losing these features but that's not really the case.

    Admittedly, these aren't world ending problems :)
     
  8. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I am still running Windows Vista on my home desktop, although I have Windows 10 on a laptop, have an iPad and and iPod Touch.

    I use so many programs on my Vista that won't work on Windows anymore--not sure what I am going to do when this trusty desktop gives up the ghost.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

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    Dave,

    My thoughts...

    Stay with Mac. That is what you love. I could never go back to Windows.

    If you stay with Mac, the most tempting thing to do would go with the upcoming 27" Retina iMac refresh.

    However....

    If you are going to upgrade just one device, I would recommend the MacBook Pro, despite all the controversy surrounding it.

    I only say that because if I could only own one computer in my home, it would be a laptop. You can bring it into any room you want. You can travel with it.
     
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  10. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    At risk of belaboring :)

    For video work, how does a FireWire camcorder compare to an iPhone recording 4K videos?
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm not an artist. :)
     
  13. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Lower resolution I'm betting, but at least a real camcorder can actually zoom via better optics.
     
  14. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    LOL

    So what do you actually do with your laptop(s)/computers on an average month beside surf/email?
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That's about it. I use it for tasks where the iPad is less convenient. I access my employer's email and intranet when I must. The desktop holds all my music and photos. (I've offloaded all video tasks to my Win10 HTPC.) I infrequently do some programming or engineering analyses for fun, but that's relatively lightweight. When I want to write longer emails or do more serious posts in forums, I'm a better touch-typer than iPad-typer.

    Laptops have too high a price premium for portability I don't need. That's what the iPad and iPhone are for.

    If the Mac mini weren't a terrible value, I'd buy a modest mini and a big monitor. But a 20" iMac will feel too cramped to enjoy. That takes me to a 27" iMac.

    If Apple borks the next iMac and mini refresh, I'll have to consider going back to windows.
     
  16. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Gotcha. Yeah if you're a diehard Apple guy then I guess suck it up and pay what they charge, but for me, if all I did was email and surf, no way I'd pay $1000++ on a laptop, be it Apple or Windows. That's just nuts IMO.

    Me, I love our new(ish) Asus 15" 2 in 1 set up. Steel body, 3 each USB 3 inputs, HDMI, 12GB ram, 1 TB storage, HD screen, backlit keyboard.Turns into a tablet if we need it to. All for under $700 and zero issues. It just works as they say. And we use it the way you do/would..email...MS Office for kiddo homework, surf. That's about it.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I can't deal with a 15" screen for a desktop computer :) but I know what you're saying. I could assemble a good desktop pc with 24" monitor for about $1200.
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

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    Alf,

    The biggest problem for most Mac users to switch over to Windows is the ecosystem.

    If you are like me, and own multiple Macs (iMac, MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch), then it's hard to step out of that ecosystem and buy something else. Mac products work fluently together. Mac/Windows products do not play nice with each other at all.

    I understand the costs involved with being an Apple diehard. Yes, we pay through the ass for our equipment. Despite some shortcomings as of recently, I still think it's worth the cost of an Apple product. Most people who don't own Apple products don't understand that -- but once you are in their ecosystem, it's hard to get out.
     
  19. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Oh I totally understand, and I feel for ya. I'm just glad I didn't jump on that boat, It's a true money pit IMO (especially for what you get (or don't get) for the high premium prices!) . :)
     
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  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Yep. We've got two Macs, two iPhones and three iPads. (The black sheep is the HTPC.) it's much easier for me to remain with macOS. And however bad iTunes and iPhone syncing are on a Mac, everything I see and hear is that it's even worse in windows.
     

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