It’s coming up on the holiday season, and it’s time to start thinking about gifts for family and friends. It might also be time to look at upgrading your hardware to something newer. Being the Apple fanboy that I am, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the current Apple line and where it might best fit for your uses.
What Are You Using This For?
It is important to take into account what you will be using your hardware for. Programmers will have a much different need than the video people out there.
Designers, we need to focus on color quality, resolution, and system memory.
Developers, getting the best machine for the budget, and making sure you are going to be able to test in your environments. Which most environments are easily accessible on a Mac!
Video editors, speed, HD space, screen quality, and audio is important.
How Do You Best Work?
I work all over the place. I love going to coffee shops to get work done, sometimes I need to work at a church office, or in my home office. This type of life style changes what type of machine I will purchase. For me, I value portability over power. So desktops are out. How do you see yourself working?
On a tight budget?
The Mac Mini is the perfect small desktop computer for the designer or developer who doesn’t need a portable computer. The Mac Mini has a small footprint and can fit on any desk.
I would recommend upgrading the hard drive to the largest you can get since the HD bays were not designed to be user upgradable. The only upgrade you can do on your own is the RAM. You can connect the Mini to a variety of displays, and it is the only Mac to be shipped with an HDMI port.
Starting at $599, this is a fantastic system to get you started in the world of Mac.
The Mini also doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive, so if you need to install applications via physical media, you might want to look at getting an external drive for this machine.
Perfect for developers and designers, or anyone looking for low cost Mac.
For the person who travels a lot.
If you spend a lot of time in airports you know how annoying it can be to lug around your laptop everywhere. The new Macbook Air is the perfect computer! Apple recently added the newer i5 and i7 processors, which can handle most things that you throw at them.
One of the best upgrades is the addition of the backlit keyboard. Previous models didn’t have the backlit feature, and if you do any work in low light situations, this is a must.
An important note, is that the Airs don’t ship with a any type of CD/DVD drive. While for most people, this won’t be a big deal, you might want to look at an external drive when purchasing. I make all my software purchases via the App Store now anyway, so not really a big deal.
This is perfect for the full time developer, or even for a designer who doesn’t mind the smaller screen size.
Balance of power and portability.
If you are looking to be mobile, while still maintaining a lot of power, look no further than the Macbook Pro line.
Some people might be surprised that I picked the 15″ Macbook Pro, but as a 17″ owner, I have to say that the 17″ just feels too big. The 15″ has the perfect balance between screen size and portability.
Starting at $1,799 the 15″ Macbook Pro comes with a 2.2GHz Quad-Core i7 Processor. It also have 4GB of Ram, which is a great starting amount for just about any type of pro level work.
Perfect for designers, developers, photographers, and for light video work.
For the user who wants an awesome screen.
Designers need great screens. And you won’t find any better screens than the ones Apple is creating. All the Apple displays are created using IPS technology, which gives your screen amazing color depth.
Beyond the screen, you can get the 24″ iMac with an i7 Intel processor, which just screams!
Make sure you look at your work area before getting this machine though! The Apple display doesn’t come in anything other than glossy. If your workstation is facing away from a window, you might have a nightmare of a time with the glare!
Perfect for the designer, photographer, audio engineer, or video editor.
Money is no object.
If money is really no object for you, I mean churches have unlimited money right? Then the best setup you can have is the Macpro desktop, partnered with a new Apple 27″ Display. The Macpro line starts at $2,400 for a quad-core processor, but why settle for the base model when we have so much extra money?
Pushing the Macpro up to two 2.66GHz 6-Core processors will only run you $4,999. The Macpro starts with 6GB of memory, but you can expand up to 64GB. If you are looking for an amazing machine for video work, look no further.
Now, since we are working with such a large budget, it is only fitting to add not only one but two 27″ Apple displays. The 27″ Apple display is one of, if not the best, display you can buy right now. Price for one display is $999.
That brings the total price for our new setup: $6997.
All joking aside, the Macpro setup will be a machine you will have for a long time. It is expandable, you can upgrade just about every part of the computer, and the displays will give you amazing colors for any video or photo work you need to do.
Perfect for anyone working with large files: video editors, audio engineers, and some photographers.
What do you think?
What type of machine are you rocking right now? Are you asking for an upgrade for Christmas?