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Thread: 20" iMac or MacBook+ external LCD

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Germany, Aalen
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    850

    20" iMac or MacBook+ external LCD

    Hi,

    I am about to get a new 20" iMac with 4GB RAM. But as there might be a possibility that I could get a laptop (and I would go for MacBook with max possible RAM) at work, I would that buy only the 20" Mac display and keyboard+maus. That would saveme quite some money, so here I am asking wheter one of these solutions is considerably better than the other one.

    Indeed - I have the Photoshop CS3 as the main application in mind (OK, AliROOT as well, but that does not belong here :-) ). The increased mobility that comes along with the MacBook is not that important to me from the photography point of view (I shoot more film than digital anyhow).
    Matus

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
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    4

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    Matus,

    Amazing, I'm thinking this through also. The iMac should give you 5 years where as laptop, best say 3 years? iMac screen glare is a disadvantage, but the 2nd monitor outweighs this. Laptops are great, but they get moved around a lot, and as much as you avoid it, they do get bumped and those hard drives are sensitive. I think there is a firewire connection in the iMac which has been pitched in the new Apple laptops? If you're doing a lost of post edit then a fixed station is a must. And you save a lot of cash. I would, however, go for the biggest screen possible and the fastest processor you can afford, and you're already going for 4GB Ram.

    If you're shooting commercial work in a studio, then a laptop has benefits, especially if you're working with Capture One etc, but a iMac can easily be sited on a wheeled trolley etc.

    My vote is iMac.

    Tim

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
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    7,797

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    As Tim pointed out, some (all ?) of the new Apple laptops come without a FireWire port.

    If so, make sure your (older) scanners and printers can be used with the new machine.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Switzerland
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    1,279

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    "Matus,

    Amazing, I'm thinking this through also. The iMac should give you 5 years where as laptop, best say 3 years?"
    Hi Tim
    What did I wrong wit my IBock its atleast 5 years old now!
    Its slow and I only use it for emails in WWW but still works!

    Cheers Armin

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    94

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    I'd go with the laptop and a Dell monitor.

    Cinemascreens are overpriced, and they use the same panels that Dell's higher-end (ie. widescreen) monitors use.

    I'm not a fan of all-in-one computers, I view them as a waste of money. In x amount of years when you're going to upgrade, you now have a monitor tied to a near-worthless computer, whereas if you go with a computer + monitor, you now have a computer you can stick in the basement to use as a server and a monitor so that, a. you don't have to get a new monitor, or b. you now have a second monitor.

    If you're computer savvy, I would recommend that you just build your own PC and Hackintosh it.

    Oh, and I seriously recommend not getting a Mighty Mouse. Its DPI is really low, and the scroll-ball breaks quickly and gets clogged with dirt and debris. Logitech makes very, very nice mice.

    (I'm also not a fan of the new Mac keyboard, I would be happier with this keyboard: http://www.matias.ca/tactilepro/ or http://matias.ca/tactilepro2/index.php )

    Oh, also, if you are going to be paying for your Macbook, get it with the least amount of ram then get more off of Newegg and install it yourself. You'll save a fortune.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Germany, Aalen
    Posts
    850

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    Thanks. No - I would not be the one who would be paying my MacBook. I would be paying only the monitor (or the iMac of I go that route).

    You say that Mac LCDs are overpriced? I would like to get a "reasonable"LCD screen for photoshop work - what would be your suggestions in 20" or 24" wide-screen sizes?

    Also - If I would manage to get the MacBook - my PSD files would be anyhow sitting on external hard drive and the scans and final adjusted images burned on Kodak GOLD DVDs for savefy and back-up. SO if the laptom dies I should not loose much (Photoshop-wise)

    I am more inclining towards the MacBook solution, I just have to see wheter my boss things the same (I would get a PS3 from my work as well - the University seems to have a group licence - a nice touch indeed)
    Matus

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    94

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    I use newish Macbooks (the ones right before the refresh), and I like them. I WISH there was some way to use that rediculously simple two-fingered scrolling on my Windows desktop.

    If I were to get a sub-$1,000 monitor right now, I would get this: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...4&sku=320-6272 I have a 2407 right now, and I love it.

    Regardless of what monitor I would get, I would get a Pantone Huey or a Colorvision Spyder3 as for perfect colors, you should calibrate your monitor when you get it, and ever 6 months to a year. I don't have one, but the colors on my 2407 are still pretty decent. For 20", probably this: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...4&sku=320-6252 but I don't know how good the colors are.

    The new MacBooks lack a firewire port, but the new 15" MBP does have a Firewire 800 port. External HDDs over USB are very, very slow...The MBP also has an expresscard slot, so you can stick an eSATA card in there for even faster external use. Honestly, I'd try for a MBP (maybe pay the difference over the MB yourself?). But the Macbook is still a great laptop.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,639

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    I got a 13" Macbook 2ghz, 2gb ram - will be upgrading to 4gb in the spring. It's perfect because I use macs whilst sat on my bed. I prefer this since 2005 using an iBook G4 and not suffering the same discomfort I'd had for 7-8 years previous when I had a desktop pc needing to sit on an office chair at a desk.

    There is a 20" mac screen and A4 graphics tablet in the other room for serious photo editing if I need it.

  9. #9
    Tech Support, Chromix, Inc.
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    109

    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    About the iMac,
    Almost all of our customers are finding that it is too bright (even when the backlight is turned down all the way) when you're trying to match your display to your printer output. If you need this display to printer match, you would need to get some additional monitor calibration software or get a different monitor.

    http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/My_Printer_Is_Too_Dark
    Pat Herold
    CHROMiX Tech Support
    www.chromix.com

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Germany, Aalen
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    Re: 20" iMac or NacBook+ external LCD

    Here I am back again :-)

    So - it seems that I would go with the MacBook + external LCD screen. Now - As the MacBook will cost me some ~1100 (in Germany) so I am considering of getting an 20" screen instead 24" just to save some money. So my question of now would be:

    What are decent wide screen 20" monitors for around 300 - 400 euro ? I hava heard that "TN" monitors are to be avoided for color accuracy but how is the reality?

    P.S. I do have a EyeOne 2 tool for calibration.
    Matus

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