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Reader Question: Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max vs Desktop

A consulting client writes:

As you may recall we had a session back in May about my Mac computer issues. A quick recap, includes that I have an iMac with a 2017 iMac 5K 27 inch screen with 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 and 32GB memory.

You suggested replacing my Drobos with 8TB OWC Thunderblade and 48TB OWC Thunderbay 4, which I have done and which sped up my system and works pretty well.

2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"

I also have a 2014 Macbook Pro that I needed to replace for when I travel. Despite the fact that the then existing Macbook Pros could be desktop replacements you cautioned to wait for the next generation of Macbook Pros that were expected this fall. Of course, they've landed. I've ordered a 16" Macbook Pro with the M1 Max, 64GB of unified memory and 4TB SSD.

Your recent posts seemed to suggest waiting for the next generation of iMacs with the M1 (or later chip), but then I'd have to upgrade my laptop too. So the price between the two would still be hefty. So do you recommend going ahead with the order I've placed, or waiting until sometime next year (we hope) for the upgraded iMacs? If you think this needs a new paid session to discuss, let me know. But if you have an off-the-top-of-head recommendation on the order I've placed (still cancellable), please let me know.

DIGLLOYD: don’t buy a laptop unless you need one for travel or similar. But if there is a real need for a laptop, the 16" Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max can also do desktop duty by attaching a display, keyboard, mouse, peripherals. Do so, and just pretend that it is a regular desktop computer. Unplug it and go for travel—no expensive 2nd machine, and none of the hassles of keeping two machines in sync.

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CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

But I only recommend this approach *if* you actually need a laptop. Otherwise, go with the the iMac 5K solution for its wonderful built-in 5K display, for which the laptop screen is no competition in size/pixels. But... you really should get the iMac 5K M1 Max, which does not yet exist.

CLICK TO VIEW: 4K and 5K external displays

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