New Macs & Advice/Recommendations

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Hi guys, Im new here. I decided to signup since whenever I google apple or mac, this popular forum always on the search result. Im thinking about switching my laptop/pc to apple products. I am a Windows guy and I can say im pretty advance user when it comes to Windows. Im looking to buy apple products (laptop and/or iMac) cos I find it really cool to have :D and also my HP laptop is kinda dying now. I want your advice/suggestions/feedback on the products im thinking of buying.

I want to get a MacBook Air with this specs:
1.4GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
$1,099.00 + tax

and an iMac:
2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
$1,599.00 + tax

I really want a laptop for when im on the go, and a desktop for heavy applications. I chose MacBook Air against Pro because its cheaper and I’ll be only using the laptop when im travelling. Both have custom specs, 8gb memory for the Air and 16gb memory for the iMac. I chose the 2.7GHz against the 1.4GHz so that I can customized the memory to 16gb.

As of now, I am really decided to buy these machines unless really good suggestions and advice from you guys make me think otherwise.

1. Numbers of retail stores (bestbuy, etc) put “not customized” machines on sale. Are there any stores, websites, or any way I can buy these “customized” products cheaper compared to Apple store? Of course I want brand new ones.
2. When will the new models come out? If they are coming out soon, I would rather wait for it.
3. Basically, I really want to get the deal out there with the specs im aiming for.
4. As for my usage, I play a bit of online games which requires installation on the machine, office documents stuff, downloading/watching/streaming videos, I really want to be able to run Windows too (like bootcamp, etc.)
5. Please let me know things to keep in mind for a new potential Mac user like me which is switching from Windows. (no more optical drive for new Macs I heard)

Thank you guys!

Keen
 
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MacInWin

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Welcome to the forum.

Your questions, in order:
1. No.
2. Don't know, Apple never says in advance.
3. In the Apple world, there aren't really any "deals."
4. If that is all you want to do, what you've engineered may be serious overkill. You might want to scale back, maybe look at Apple's refurbished inventory (it changes daily). That depends on what "online games" you want to play. Graphics intensive games may require more horsepower, but what you've listed there isn't really demanding of a really powerful machine (online games possibly excepted).
5. Just keep coming here, read the threads, including the excellent stickies at the top of each forum. Put aside Windows and embrace OS X, it's a different world.
 
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Thanks MacInWin and S.SubZero for your replies. One thing I forgot to mention is that I reside in Toronto. Although I found macmall.com to have the deals that interest me, I don't think they ship outside US.
 
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chas_m

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1. Numbers of retail stores (bestbuy, etc) put “not customized” machines on sale. Are there any stores, websites, or any way I can buy these “customized” products cheaper compared to Apple store? Of course I want brand new ones.
2. When will the new models come out? If they are coming out soon, I would rather wait for it.
3. Basically, I really want to get the deal out there with the specs im aiming for.
4. As for my usage, I play a bit of online games which requires installation on the machine, office documents stuff, downloading/watching/streaming videos, I really want to be able to run Windows too (like bootcamp, etc.)
5. Please let me know things to keep in mind for a new potential Mac user like me which is switching from Windows. (no more optical drive for new Macs I heard)

Hi Keen, and welcome to the forum!

I may repeat a few things MacInWin said but I'll try not to. To answer your questions:

1. There are a few big retailers that can offer customization, but they are not cheaper -- since all they are doing is ordering the custom machine from Apple instead of you doing the same.

2. The iMac line just got refreshed, the MacBook Air I would expect to see updated around April (ie a year from the last update). There is a rumour that the next MBA will merge the 11 and 13 inch models into one 12-inch model, I don't buy it but who the heck knows.

3. Have you considered an iPad with a keyboard case instead of an MBA? Not that the MBA isn't completely awesome, but the iPad might do everything you need it to do on-the-go, and it's way lighter and cheaper than the MBA. If you do stick with a notebook, I'd suggest looking at Chronosync to keep files synced beyond what iCloud does for you.

4. Nothing you mention in your fourth question requires you to install Windows, so while you certainly CAN do it, on the MBA space is going to be at a premium and you may want to rethink that for that machine.The MBA and iMac can handle Office documents, streaming videos and many Steam or top-brand games without issue and without Windows.

5. Optical drives, if you really need them, are cheap and external. No good reason to include them built-in, really. As for tips, there's Switch101 on Apple's site (just search for "switch101" and you'll find it off any search engine), and the essay I wrote (a bit dated now but still 99 percent valid) in the link below.

Have fun!
 

Slydude

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Your Mac's Specs
2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 12 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Big Sur
Just a few other things to consider:

1. Have you considered getting the MacBook Air or Pro and connecting to an external monitor when you are not traveling. Depending upon which software/games you need to run that should be a viable option and cheaper than buying two machines.

2. If you opt for the MacBook Air seriously consider a drive larger than 128 GB. If you run Boot Camp that will eat some of the space in addition to the space needed for whatever games you will be playing.
 
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Thanks chas_m (I really like the guide for switchers) and Slydude.

I have tried an iPad for office tasks but I can't really get used to it as a laptop alternative. Connecting to an external display seems like a good idea. I will definitely get a MBA first and try it out, and see if I need another machine. And as for the drive, I dont think ill be using a lot of it since i always prefer to have large files in an external drive. I always want my storage clean and organize.
 
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Hi guys, I just bought a 13inch MacbookAir custom 8gb for less than $200 msrp, bestbuy and futureshop had boxing day sale. I really thought it was a good deal considering it was cheaper than the one i was aiming for, and of course bigger screen too. I hope I get it soon cos I only have 14 days to try it out before return policy expires.
 
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chas_m

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Yes, I hope you get it soon as well. That price is extremely fishy and I'm wondering how old that model is you've just been sold ...
 

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