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#45439 - 06/28/17 10:13 AM Which portable Mac?
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Hi, to save me telling the entire back story on a public messageboard, which portable Mac would you recommend now?

Man who is used to Macs and Snow Leopard;
Has been gravely ill but in enforced retirement has decided to study for a degree;
Must have a keyboard - and mouse!
Budget no object within reason;
Will use it for writing, research, email - nothing heavy duty.

Preliminary research (it has been a while since I bought new Macs and they were IMac desktops) leads me to MacBook Pro? That's a question.......

He would need his new Mac to be as familiar as possible to the existing iMacs: keyboard, large screen, easy to navigate, but the world has moved on.

Many thanks in advance for helpful advice.

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#45441 - 06/28/17 10:39 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
If the new Mac must be a laptop and screen size is of paramount importance, a 15" MacBook Pro is your friend's only alternative. I'll qualify that, though, by saying that because of their much improved screen resolution, the new 13" models have satisfied people who thought they couldn't live without larger screens.

But be advised that regardless of which new machine he buys it will be 6 incarnations of OS X/macOS removed from Snow Leopard, and there will be an awful lot of catching up for him to do.

On the other hand, if he's not up to the "learning experience" he may be best off buying a used or refurbished MBP that can run Snowy.

(A laptop with a free-standing keyboard and mouse? confused )
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#45445 - 06/28/17 12:59 PM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Or even a laptop with a free standing keyboard, mouse/trackball, and 21 or 27 inch monitor so he would have everything he formerly had plus portability. Another alternative I have seen several college students at the universities around here using is an iMac on the desktop and a 12.5” iPad Pro in the classroom, library, coffee shop, etc. with the data files in iCloud so they may be freely accessed on both.

Whatever solution he chooses, a must have app is Evernote. It is invaluable for keeping data and notes organized.

Personally I agree with Artie the changes in MacOS will be the steepest slope of the learning curve on his new machine.
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#45448 - 06/28/17 03:34 PM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Bensheim]
freelance Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: London, UK
I just bought a MacBook Air with a 256Mb SSD. I liked the fact that it had USB3 connections and a SD slot. I've only been using it for that past week, but it's a nice machine. My previous laptop was an early 2009 MacBook. Actually, the processor in the MacBook was faster: 2.2 GHz vs 1.8 GHz and it had a SSD in it. But the new machine seems quicker.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual-2.4 GHz, 10.13.6, 24 Gb RAM, 250 Gb Samsung EVO SSD/Velocity Solo PCIe card, 2x3Tb Seagate HD, 1x3Tb Hitachi HD, Dell 2408WFP; Canon PIXMA iX6550; CanoScan 8800F; MacBook Air 1.8 Ghz, 8 Gb RAM, 10.14.3, 256 Gb SSD; Vodafone Home Hub/BT Wi-Fi Extender.

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#45455 - 06/29/17 05:29 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
On the other hand, if he's not up to the "learning experience" he may be best off buying a used or refurbished MBP that can run Snowy.


I would caution against staying with such a comparatively old operating system. There could be sites or applications (e.g., Evernote) involved in the person's study and research that require a newer operating system.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#45456 - 06/29/17 05:46 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Ira L]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Many thanks for the replies. Ira is absolutely correct: a preliminary look at the University's website showed that a new computer must be bought, their system requirements for Mac is OS 10.7 or later for one course, 10.8 or later for another course.

While you are there, and apologies if this is a stupid question, can a 10.6.8 iMac be upgraded? I'll supply tech specs if you need them. Many many thanks.

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#45457 - 06/29/17 06:18 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
While you are there, and apologies if this is a stupid question, can a 10.6.8 iMac be upgraded? I'll supply tech specs if you need them. Many many thanks.

The definitive answer depends on the specific iMac model number, for example iMac 14,2 (Look in Apple Menu > About this Mac > System information > Hardware Overview.) and what you mean by upgraded. If you mean…
  • more memory the answer is Yes unless it is already maxed out,
  • more storage the answer is a qualified yes, but it is not a DIY project unless you go with external drives
  • upgraded processor a definite NO
  • a newer OS X/MacOS release then probably No but it may be possible
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#45458 - 06/29/17 06:31 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: joemikeb]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Hi Joe,

I meant to upgrade to 10.7 or higher......

Here's the hardware overview:
Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac12,1
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Boot ROM Version: IM121.0047.B1F

It was bought in 2012.

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#45461 - 06/29/17 07:36 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It sounds like your friend's current iMac is a 21.5", Mid 2011 model which, according to Mactracker, can run Apple's latest OS, 10.12, Sierra, and I've read that all Macs that can run Sierra will be able to run Apple's next OS, 10.13, High Sierra.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#45465 - 06/29/17 10:42 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
As Artie says our friend's iMac can run MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) and 10.13 (High Sierra) but I would add the caveat that 4GB of memory is marginal at best. I would strongly recommend upgrading the hardware to 16GB which in the U.S. would run around $121 USD (93.4£ or 126€). It could go up to 32GB but that would double the cost and would be overkill unless he will be doing serious graphics, audio, or video work.
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#45466 - 06/29/17 10:54 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: joemikeb]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Many thanks, with some trepidation (an understatement) I have to ask, how would someone upgrade from Snow Leopard to Yosemite, for instance? (I've written the iterations down, 10.6.8 > 10.10)

If it's any help, there are four iMacs here, all running 10.6.8. Why? Because there seemed no need to upgrade further, plus I used to run what is now called Legacy (?) software which was ruled out by further upgrades.

Our lives have changed. I no longer need such old software, but they (these iMacs) all work. There is a back story here which I don't want to post on a public messageboard........

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#45472 - 06/30/17 12:04 AM Re: Which portable Mac? [Re: Bensheim]
freelance Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: London, UK
If your iMac will run Sierra, you can upgrade directly via App Store. But, Yosemite is no longer offered. My early 2009 MacBook will not run Sierra and I had to take the torturous route through all the OS's to finally get to El Capitan (10.11.6). I did it to run the latest browsers.

I would have preferred Yosemite, which was as good as Snow Leopard to my mind, but my old Yosemite installers are no longer verified by Apple and can't be used. Nor can it be found among my previous purchases in the App Store. Good luck with that one...
_________________________
Mac Pro dual-2.4 GHz, 10.13.6, 24 Gb RAM, 250 Gb Samsung EVO SSD/Velocity Solo PCIe card, 2x3Tb Seagate HD, 1x3Tb Hitachi HD, Dell 2408WFP; Canon PIXMA iX6550; CanoScan 8800F; MacBook Air 1.8 Ghz, 8 Gb RAM, 10.14.3, 256 Gb SSD; Vodafone Home Hub/BT Wi-Fi Extender.

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