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Mac Mini, iMac or MacBook? Or maybe iPad?

Anonymous asks:

I've definitely decided to switch, but which computer should I buy? Mac Mini, iMac or MacBook? Or maybe iPad?

That's great. You really have made the right decision. Apple really does make superior hardware - your computer or tablet will serve you well for many years and will have a greater resale value should you decide to upgrade later. You are going to be very happy about this in years to come. But yes, what to buy?

Let's get the tablet out of the way first. For many people today, an iPad really is all they need. You can browse the web, get email, edit your pictures, create spreadsheets and so much more. You can print to most new printers and quite a lot of desktop software is available as an iPad app. But you do have to be careful about some things. For example, if you do on-line banking, you'll probably find that you can do that with your iPad. But not all banks have that ability, so you had best be sure of that before deciding to forego a real computer. Also, iPad apps that duplicate desktop programs sometimes are missing features - if those are features you need, you need to know that.

Next, laptop or desktop? This isn't necessarily just a matter of not having a big screen or a full sized keyboard, because you can attach both of those to a MacBook when you are sitting at your desk. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, that's definitely an option worth considering. Of course that would be more costly, too.

The Mac Mini is small. It takes up little desk space and is portable if you have a screen at wherever you are takg it. It's no toy, though: these are real computers with plenty of power.

The iMac? Well, it's just awesome, in the true meaning of the word. Gorgeous and powerful. It's luggable, but only clumsily. This piece of art is going to stay on a desk mostly. It's also much more expensive than the Mini.

Does that help narrow it down? Notice that I did not get excited about processor speed differences. Unless you are a serious gamer, any of these are plenty fast enough. If technical details like that matter to you, you probably aren't going to need much help from me anyway, right?

Got something to add? Send me email.

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