Weekly Poll: What Mac Do You Use?

Today’s question is a simple one, but I thought it would be really interesting to see where we all fall on the Mac lineup. I use a MacBook Pro personally, and have been thinking about upgrading at some point over the next six months or so. My dilemma is whether to stick with a notebook, or opt for one of the 27″ iMacs.

I really like the idea of a portable computer, but in reality I very rarely use it for that purpose. Maybe my investment would be better made into a Mac that also comes with a gorgeous screen.

While we’re at it, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what the very first Mac was that you ever bought. Mine was one of the first Mac Minis – the day they were announced, in fact! Up until then, Mac hardware had always been slightly too expensive for me to make the jump.

I’d love to hear when and how you switched to the OS X platform, as I expect many of you made the move long before I did. Big points go to any dedicated readers that were die-hard Apple fans right back in the 1980s!


  • Brandon

    After seeing how much I was using my iPad in portable situations (client meetings, travel, etc) I bought a new tweaked out iMac for exactly the same reasons you articulated. I was findng the use of my MacBook Pro to mostly be at my desk. I’m very happy with the decision, the iMac is very powerful and looks great obviously. I still have (and love) my MBP when I do need powerful portability, but for the most part it is just getting a longer rest which hopefully helps extend it’s overall longevity.

    Mac-mini was also my first foray Asa Mac owner for the same reasons. Once I played with the OS more I realized I wanted to switch and hot my MBP.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Sounds like we’re very similar! Interesting to hear how you’re liking the iMac setup.

  • http://www.stevenboothdesign.co.uk Steve

    I’ve been using Macs everyday since 1989! my first being a Mac Plus with just 1MB of RAM and an external 20MB hard drive (Yes that’s MegaBytes not GigaBytes). I can distinctly remember running Photoshop off a 800k floppy disk.

    Over the years I’ve owned numerous Macs, both portable and desktop and until recently used both a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro. I now use the 8 core MacPro desktop as main design machine, and I manage perfectly well with my iPad and iPhone as portable devices when away from my desk (all be it only for web, email, and admin purposes).

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      That’s awesome, Steve! If only Photoshop was still 800k now :-)

      • http://www.stevenboothdesign.co.uk Steve

        I’ve just being thinking back to all the different Macs I’ve owned and used (in order) over the years…

        1. Mac Plus
        2. Mac LC
        3. Mac IIcx
        4. Quadra 700
        5. Powerbook G3
        6. G4 Tower (Quicksilver)
        7. Powerbook G4 12in
        8. Powerbook G4 17in
        9. MacBook Pro 17in
        10. Mac Pro 8 core

        It’s been an amazing relationship I’ve had with Apple products spanning over two decades, and I’ve loved using everyone single one of them. Although, I must say… I don’t miss the System 7 ‘bombs’ that occurred almost a daily prior to OSX.

  • Greg McAusland

    I’m currently on a 20 inch iMac, one of the older white ones, intel though… It’s been my baby for a few years after switching!

    I feel I’m in the same dilema, I like the idea of running a macbook pro with external monitor as my primary system since my laptop died, however I am fearful of it lacking the power of the cheaper and gorgeous 27″ iMac..

  • Ihab Hosny

    As a convert from Windows, I went straight to iMac and I love it. I regret all the years I have spent rebooting my slow or locked or crashed Windows. I’ve since bought a Mac Mini and use it as a media center.

  • http://Www.dontshitme.com.au Don

    I’ve got a MacBook Pro 17inch, I think from 2007. I have a 30inch cinema display to go with it which is magniificent, I recently moved this to the office and make do with the notebook screen at home. Unfortunately I have to run windows purely for Visio and the three year old MBP is starting to struggle. Plan is to get a new spec’d up MBP 17 once I sell my car and get a cheaper one and have some leftover funds, looking forward to it, read there may be new models in the next month or two, so will wait.

    First Mac maybe 4 years ago was a little white MacBook, my mate, a long time Mac specialist had bugged me for years to move over, I should have listened. The next was a Mac Mini for the TV.

    I think the new apple tv will be a purchase soon, I think it will become an Apple gaming console and your controller will be your iPhone, Touch or iPad.

  • wildwolf

    Die hard apple fan since the 80′s! At the moment i have a 21″ iMac. Like you – i debated on whether or not to go for a notebook, but i am so glad i didn’t. The ergonomics of using a full keyboard and a beautiful screen really improve the user experience – it really makes sense if you are mostly using it at home.

  • http://www.whitespace.nu tykho

    I’m on a Macbook Pro that I use both at home and at work. At home I usually plug it in to my 24″ widescreen monitor. It’s my first mac I’ve ever owned, but when I was a kid my family had a couple of macs (like the mac se 30, our first one).

    Even though it’d be nice to have a desktop mac at home, it’s not really an option right now due to my shitty economy since moving to a new place, and it’s not like I need a desktop mac anyways. My macbook pro is powerful enough for what I do.

  • http://andrewburgess.ca Andrew Burgess

    I actually only switched to the Mac about 6 months ago; before then, I was one of the more dedicated Windows users you ever met. However, In mid-March I met up with a girl in a Starbucks in downtown Toronto to buy her iMac from her. It’s been a great 6 months!

    However, just last Friday, I purchased a MacBook Pro, because – although I loved the iMac – I wanted something mobile (had been using my old Windows laptop). This MacBook Pro has got to be the most incredible piece of technology I’ve ever purchased!

  • http://www.marcelboast.com/badboteliminator/ Marcel

    I love my Mac, I was just thinking about it this morning… how awesome the Mac experience has been for me. I bought a 15′ MBP & a Mac Mini for my secretary in Dec 07. I’ve bumped up the ram to 4GB recently, bought a new battery & charger & am about to slap in a new HD. 3 years down the line & it’s still going strong, I think I should be able to pull it through to the end of next year, thats when I’ll buy a new 15′.

    It’s not just that everything work, it’s enjoyable too, which was never something I could say when I was working on Windows #justsaying

  • Jasper Rijkeboer

    When I had a PC, I always found myself using my Mac Mini instead.
    This week I finally took the plunge and upgraded to a 27″ iMac. I love it to bits!
    There’s nothing like playing an FPS at 2560 x 1440, it blew me away!

  • http://computerSuck.com ngenty

    I currently have the same thought, my MacBook has served me well, but I do not use it that much outside. My next purchase will be a more powerful iMac 27. The limitations of the MB are felt and the power of a iCore7 will benefit me. I am more and more my iPad appointments, much lighter than the MacBook, and sufficient to show my projects to my clients.

  • http://polyresin.stanford.id.au DrGroove

    I have a 17″ MBP from/for work (graphic design); but I think I’m rapidly heading down the same path: 27″ iMac at work, one at home too, and iPad for everything portable. So rare to need actual grunt on the road.
    If only the iPad could drive a projector for presentations…

  • http://adamtal.com/ Adam

    Got an iMac & a macbook, so I can’t accurately answer the question ;)
    Fixing the survey might get more accurate data I think.

  • Wez

    I was a lifelong Windows user until i built my first Hackintosh a couple of years ago.

    I fell in love with OSX but got fed up with the hassle of running a hackintosh (updates, kernel panics etc..) so since then i have purchased a 13″ Macbook, a 27″ i5 iMac, 2 iPhone 4′s, 2 Magic mice, 1 magic trackpad, 1 Apple TV2 and a whole heap of software – and excuse the cliche but it all “just works”. I could never, ever go back to the untold grief of running Windows.

  • f1ght4fun

    Bought my MacBook Pro 17 just a month ago and already totally in love with the device and mac culture….Got rid of all *crappy, cheap manufactured* laptops I owned, which eventually broke one after another.

  • http://digitalformula.net/ Chris

    David – I have a 15″ Macbook Pro and a 27″ iMac. Instead of picking one over the other I’d recommend a similar setup if possible as there are a ton of awesome apps and utilities for OS X that allow you to sync the important parts. Plus it makes working at home/in the office pretty damn cool when you’re using the beautiful 27″ display … then you get to have the same power when you take your Macbook Pro on the road.

    I had never used used a Mac until the end of last year and now my house is all Mac & iPhone 4 … maybe it’s Apple that should be holding a funeral for Microsoft instead of the other way around (http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-workers-celebrated-windows-phone-7-rtm-with-iphone-hearses). :)

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      I think they might just be living in their own little dream world. I must admit, I enjoy how hundreds of Microsoft staff performing a Thriller rendition garners far, far less attention than an “open letter” from Steve Jobs.

  • gouv

    A 24″ iMac + a MacBook Air when I’m on the road.

  • Dr. P

    How disappointing to see the survey covers only Intel Macs. I’m still using 2.3 GHz, dual-processor G5. It still does everything I need it to do, perhaps a little slower than the latest, but the point is: whereas PCs HAVE to be replaced about every 3 years, or they just won’t work, Macs go five, six, seven years or longer. By the way, my first Mac was the original 128K. I got to upgrade to the “Fat Mac” at work.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Sorry about that Dr. P! You’re absolutely right – we should have gone back a little further and included some of the PowerPC models.

      Maybe we’ll run another poll in the future asking people whether they own any older (I hesitate to say “antique”!) Apple gear…

  • http://audiojungle.net/user/unseenbattle?ref=unseenbattle John

    I use a 13″ macbook pro (11 months old now). I use it with a high-end 24″ Dell monitor at the house for composing in Logic Pro 8 (definitely need the larger screen for Logic).

    I got sick of all the plugging and unplugging of cables and bought a dock for it http://hengedocks.com/ … it works well, though over time (about 6 months) the dock needs adjustment of the cables. Other than that it works great.

    I also need to upgrade to 8GB of RAM because with some new plugins I’ve been using in Logic the 4GB is starting to be pushed to the limit.

  • Ezequiel Lancelotti

    I been using mac since 1994. My first one was a Power Performa 630 and since then i used all PowerPc gama, G3, G4, eMac and iMacs!!!!

  • http://www.appforthat.de Julia Altermann

    You should have let us select multiple options! ;)

    Macbook 13″ (2006), home
    iMac 20″ (2009), now at work
    iMac 27″ (2010), home

  • Nadinengland

    Convert since 2007 with the Original Aluminium iMac’s. Only problem I’ve ever had with it is the mouse but my Magic Mouse will soon sort that out.

  • KC

    My dad brought home the original Macintosh (now called the 128k) in 1984 when I was 6. He had me on it right away (with supervision). I grew up using a variety of Macs, including the Macintosh SE, the Macintosh Classic and the Macintosh Color Classic. I had a Performa 4400 in college. Later, I had a “Snow” iMac DV, an iBook G3 and a PowerBook G4. I currently have in my home a MacBook Pro, a 27″ iMac and a Dell Mini 10v Hackintosh.

  • http://log.tuananh.ws Tuan Anh

    upgrade to iMac late 2009 last year. Quite happy with it.

  • http://www.ramp-music.net/ Irfon-Kim Ahmad

    I’m currently in the exact same boat that you’re in — I’m using a 2006 MacBook Pro and have been waffling over to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro or a 27″ iMac. I’ve pretty much decided on the latter, in tandem with an iPad for portable use. The iMac will give me significantly more power for my studio, and the iPad will satisfy my needs for travel or checking IMDB from the couch while watching a movie. (I already have the iPad, which makes this easier.)

    My very first Mac was a PowerMac 6100 running some flavour of linux. I used it as an FTP server and to shell into to play interactive fiction games, read USENET and chat on IRC. I got it free from work. My very first Mac that I actually used as a Mac was a PowerMac 7200 running Mac OS 8. I didn’t use this for very long, but it did get me interested in owning a Mac. I got this free from work also. It’s worth noting that in both of these cases the machines were already VERY old and underpowered by the time they came into my possession. My workplace runs machines into the ground before they dispose of them.

    The first Mac that I purchased was the first generation “toilet seat” style iBook, running Mac OS 9, and I loved it. However, the expandability got to me, and I upgraded in about a year to a used PowerBook G3 (Pismo). I still think this was the real love of my life as far as computers went. If I could stuff current hardware into a Pismo chassis, I would do it in a second. That was an incredible machine, from a design standpoint, and it served me really well. It was also the point at which I migrated to the Mac platform for real rather than having a Mac as a side machine with a PC as my “main” machine. This was primarily occasioned by Be Inc. going under, as I had been running BeOS on my PC and didn’t really want to switch back to Windows when it became clear that it wasn’t going to be a viable platform.

    From there, the journey’s been pretty short. I sold the Pismo to a friend and went whole-hog, serious, full-time Mac with a purchase of a dual 1GHz G4 PowerMac, completely maxed out, for a seriously unfathomable sum of money. They lasted me ages. Eventually when it came time to upgrade, I switched to the aforementioned 2006 MacBook Pro. I’ve recently installed a few upgrades, but am looking at moving to the iMac sometime next year, probably toward the end of the summer.

    It’s been a great journey and a switch I don’t regret one bit.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Thanks for sharing your story! I’m impressed with how long you made the G4 PowerMac last :-)

      I think you’ll be amazed at the performance jump moving to an iMac (or even a 2010 MacBook Pro, for that matter). Will you be maxing it out along the same lines as you did the 1GHz G4?

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com redwall_hp

    The early-2008 black plastic MacBook.

  • http://luissalvador.net Luís Salvador

    I have a Macbook Pro 15” since April 2010 (older version, 2009), but I love Apple/Macs for years…

    It’s my baby :P

  • http://sharpwebsolutions.com Damon Sharp

    MacBook Pro 17″ w/ 24″ cinema display. Best of both worlds for travel and home office use. My wife just bought me an iPad for my birthday, so I have that option as well. Mac OSX just works intuitively for me. Can’t see myself going back back to windows.

  • http://www.perfectronics.co.uk g

    macbook pro and the cinema screen is the best of both worlds.

  • http://designbyeri.ca Erica

    My first Mac (that I can remember) was a Macintosh Performa in the 5200 series, but I don’t remember the exact number. Then I got an iMac in 1999, iBook G3 in 2001, iMac G5 + PowerBook G4 in 2005, and a Macbook Pro in 2008. Most recently I got another Macbook Pro from work, this year.

    I started using Photoshop back when it was version 5, on the first iMac.

    I’m also a whopping 23 years old. :P

  • http://djorgi.de Dan

    I’m a Mac user since mid 90s. My first Mac was a Power Macintosh 7200 running MacOS 7. Since than I had a couple PPC Macs (one PowerMac G3, three PowerMac G4) and a MacPro 8-Core I’m using right now.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mrmckay Brit Mckay

    I run a Hackintosh on 10.6.4.

    I originally built it with the intention of using it for getting more experience with OSX, but then I kept using it. Now I can’t go back to windows. /shrug

  • http://pinoyteens.net Kevin Paquet

    On my Macbook Pro 15″ 2.66gHz (2009) Model. My first. ^^,

  • http://www.ragunaru.com Ragnar

    I picked MacBook Pro cause I’m using it most of the day at work – but I do have a 2008 24″ iMac at home, too – which I use for home use.

    But even if I’m at home I still use my MBP for most of the serious stuff like coding, designing and making music. Mostly cause I only got the iMac only like a month ago and I’ve been either too lazy or too busy to set all the apps up – and I do have to re-buy all the licenses and stuff for apps, too.

    I turned Mac in April this year, never looked back. My old bad bad Windows laptop died and I’d been drooling over Macs for so long. And one of the other main reasons was that I just got very fed up with the entire instability of Windows.

    It has been the happiest and satisfying 5 months of my computer-using life.

  • http://lookingsideways.co.uk Kevin Ansfield

    This poll really needs to be multi-choice! I primarily use two 24″ iMac’s side-by-side using teleport to share a mouse and keyboard between them but very often I’ll be using my MacBook Pro, either when I want a change of scenery in the house or when I’m out and about.

    There really is no way I could go back to using windows machines now!

  • nesf

    Go with an iMac, you’ll still have the MacBook Pro for when you absolutely need mobility. Then as an iMac user I’m horribly biased by the good looks and wonderful display.

  • Sannyd

    Macbook Pro April 2010 17″ back in april. its my first. ive been an admirer for so long as its my dream machine but was always confined to PCs. Got it back in April and i dont knwo how i did without it. i really realized when i went back to school for graphic design the advantages of a mac and then i fell in love.
    i come from a iphone family but im the first to get a mac..im trying to convert my parents to gettin imacs

  • Jason

    I wish you would allow more than one option to be checked…I use a Mac Pro at work and a 20″ iMac & Mac Mini at home. Now…how do I tell your poll that? How do I choose between these three that I do love so?

  • http://www.btko.ca Brendan O’Brien

    I’d say get an iMac (20″ or 27″ depending on preference) and an iPad for the portability factor. I used to have a PowerBook g4, but after it died I went to the iMac and I rarely miss having a notebook computer.

    Now that the iPad is out, it’s a cheaper, lighter, smaller, option than a full-blown notebook but still has all of the power I’d really care for when on the road.

  • Dan

    I too was disappointed with the selections and wasn’t able to choose any response. If anyone thinks that G5 owners are stubborn, look at my reliable collection of PowerPC machines that “just work” :

    - PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz “Hi-Res” Dual Layer SD 15″, 80 GB, 1 GB RAM
    - iBook G4 1.42 GHz, 60 GB, Combo CD-RW/DVD
    - eMac G4 1.42 GHz Dual Layer SD, 160 GB, 2 GB RAM
    - PowerBook G3 “Pismo” 400 Mhz, DVD, 40 GB, 768 MB RAM
    - iMac G3 600 Mhz Graphite “Summer 2001″, 40 GB, CD-RW, 768 MB RAM

    My oldest machine, the Pismo is now 10 years old and works fine for email, older OS 9 games/emulation, and for light web browsing (no video). The iMac G3 is right behind it in age, does many of the same things, but can even handle low res YouTube vids (not bad for a 9 year old machine).

    The G4 machines can do everything else I need, including Photoshop (with CS2 or CS3). The Hi-Res PowerBook G4 can even run 720p video on its 1440×960 screen and output digital optical audio to my home theater equipment. I have everything hooked up in one way or another throughout the house, and can interact with any machine in the house with whatever Mac I am using at that moment courtesy of Chicken of the VNC.

    I control the iBook and Hi-Res PowerBook remotely with a Dinovo Edge while they are hooked up to HDTVs over DVI/VGA since these machines are equipped with Bluetooth. When I want to use them as standalone laptops, I just unplug the cables and run of battery or plug in to a spare power supply.

    Home computing for me really doesn’t get much better, or more affordable with the set-up I currently have. I can run iTunes in any room and play music from any library on any machine courtesy of iTunes sharing. I can play iTunes video, work on publications, and can even run some decent games on the G4s.

    In 2-3 years, maybe the time will be right for me to make a move, but I am perfectly happy where I’m at right now! Long live the Mac (literally). They just work and last a long time! I’m living proof to this testimony.

    - Dan

    Even though things will eventually move away altogether from PowerPC as Universal Binary, Tiger and Leopard support disappear, I have to appreciate the fact that every one of these machines is in good to excellent condition, and most importantly – THEY ALL WORK!

    I can see myself getting a new Mac Mini eventually, but I’m in no hurry. Hopefully Apple re-releases the Cube so that there is the possibility for expansion and customization in a compact, elegant solution.

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  • http://www.octwelve.com Luc

    I just bought my first Mac. http://octwelve.com/2010/10/10/my-first-mac/
    I switched coz I’m curious why most designers use macs. I have to find out myself why. I bought a 13″ MacBook Pro but it’s mainly for blogging and light graphic designs. I haven’t tried it for heavy PSDs yet. So far, i really like the OS. I had a meeting today and let my client try my macbook. They were so amazed :)

  • http://annieandersonblog.com Annie Anderson

    I have a MacBook Pro which I bought about 4 years ago. It’s an Intel version and I love it. I initially got the laptop because I was often wishing I could take my computer with me. Now, it’s the opposite – I don’t really need to take it with me most of the time since I have a phone that handles much of what I need when out and about.

    My plan is get an iPad and an iMac in the near future and give the MBP to my daughter. I think that will suit what I need rather perfectly!

  • http://michaelrijsdijk.nl Michael`

    I bought my first Macbook in 2008 when I started working and had some money to buy something better then a “build it yourself el cheapo pc”. I had the “craving” for an mac os system for a looong time.

    Early this year I bought an Mac mini for my desk work and I love both. Couldn’t switch back if I had to…

    I work on windows at my job, but I pretty much hate it… It all works ok, but I have at least 2 “oh #@$@#” moments an hour with stupid non consistent events.

  • Meg

    My first Mac was the Power Macintosh 7200/120 PC Compatible, in 1996. Since then, I’ve also bought the white iBook G3, an iMac G5, and two MacBook Pros. I do truck my MBP around quite a bit, but I also loved the large monitor of the iMac. If I could afford a second computer, I’d buy an iMac again.

    At work, I’ve been using Power Mac towers since G3 to the current Intel Quad-Core Mac Pro.

    Between my partner and me, we also have 3 generations of iPods, an iPod Touch, an iPhone, and an iPad. I’ve also re-gifted an iPod mini and an iPod shuffle.

    Yeah, we’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

  • Jake the Conqueror

    No love for PowerPC people? I use a PowerMac G4, so I voted Mac Pro, because it’s closest product-wise. I wish I could upgrade to a newer Mac, but I seem to have lack of riches.

  • Rom

    I have a full Vanilla Hackintosh, and I just love running my Mac OSX on a $4000-like MacPro for less than a QUARTER of the price. Without a glitch ;). The best of both worlds – without any excess gimmicks.

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