MacMost Now 100: Which Mac Is Right For You?

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at the six different types of Macs and which ones fit which needs: The iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 100: Which Mac Is Right For You?.

Hi. This is Gary Rosenzweig bringing you the one hundredth episode of MacMost Now. Let's use this opportunity to take a look at the complete line up of all Mac computers and see which Mac fits which lifestyle.
So first up we have the iMac. This is the primary computer used for most people at home and at work. It's used by graphic professionals and is a family computer. Its main advantage is that it has a display built in but that's also its main disadvantage. When you upgrade to a new iMac you have to get a whole new machine with a whole new display which can make it a little more expensive to upgrade. But it's a pretty stylish looking machine and it can work for just about anyone from a video professional all the way to just a casual user. On the one side of the iMac we've got the MacMini. Mac Mini's a great tiny little machine, low cost but still a lot of punch. It costs as little as $600 which makes it ideal as a second computer, say to match the more powerful one you have at the office, or as a family computer or if you don't like the whole iMac thing of having a built in display. Its main disadvantage is it can't really be upgraded very much. But it has a lot of life span as when you upgrade to a faster machine you can probably still use your Mac Mini in some other room of the house or for some other purpose.
On the other side of the iMac we've got the Mac Pro. This is the big workhorse of all the Macs. This is the one you want to get if you're a video professional or someone that just needs a lot of power. You could upgrade this machine pretty much any way you want. It has tons of monitors, tons of memory, tons of hard drives in it and it certainly has the most options of any computer and the most chances of upgrading it and keeping it around for a long time. But it's also the most expensive machine by far.
So that was a look at all the desktops. But more and more popular these days are laptop computers. And there's three laptops in the Mac lineup. The first and the main one is the MacBook. This is the main one used by most people. It's not the most powerful laptop but it does have a lot of punch and it's pretty light. It's a good compromise. It's great for students, it's great for people that travel a lot, it's great for people that have a lot of different tasks that they do on their computer. You can do video editing on it; you can do casual use on it. It's just a great all around machine in a nice, light package that you could bring with you anywhere.
Now at the top of the line for laptops is the MacBook Pro. Now this is ideal for somebody that only wants one computer but it needs to be portable. This thing's got a lot of power in it. It's as powerful if not more powerful than any iMac out there. It's a great machine; it's the one I use and I've got it hooked up to a 30 inch monitor and a keyboard when I'm at work and then at home I use it as a regular laptop.
Now somewhere in between or to the side of the MacBook and MacBook Pro is the MacBook Air. This is not a machine because it's super lightweight and it's pretty powerful but it's missing some key features like the optical drive or a fire wire input so it's not a very good machine for video editing or doing any kind of heavy lifting but it's an ideal machine for somebody who travels a lot and only does casual use on it. This machine is going to get more and more popular with the launch of mobile me which allows you to sync up a desktop and a laptop machine much easier. So you're going to find a lot of people, maybe even myself, who are going to have a very powerful desktop machine and then have this very lightweight MacBook Air as their portable machine.
So which one is right for you? Well, if you can't quite figure it out you're not alone. A lot of people have trouble deciding between which Mac to get. Apple's doing a really good job of covering all the bases which means that an iMac or MacBook may be right for you and it's really hard to choose between the two of them.
I'm a big fan of laptops though. My recommendation to just about anybody that asks is always to get one of the laptops, say a MacBook, and then for home or the office, wherever you use the machine most, get a pretty inexpensive LCD display and get one of the cool new Mac keyboards and set it up as a desktop machine there. And then take it with you wherever you go. That's what I do and I think it works best no matter what your needs. But then for somebody on a budget it's hard to resist the MacMini. I mean, $600 and you get a lot of power in a machine. Plus of course you get Leopard, you can iLife, you can edit video on it, you can do all sorts of things on it and with LCD's and keyboards being so cheap these days it's not that expensive to fill out the entire machine and have something that will serve you pretty well and last you a few years. With that all said my next machine's probably going to be an MacPro because I do a lot of video and it's going to be nice to have a machine that has tons of hard drive space and fast processors so that I can edit the video quick. But man those MacBook Airs are so cool. I really want one of those too. So you see even I have a hard time deciding.
Whatever Mac you use I want to thank you for watching MacMost Now, leaving comments and sending me email. I think we've built a great little community of Mac enthusiasts here at and I'm looking forward to the next 100 episodes.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 100: Which Mac Is Right For You?”

    11 years ago

    Congratulations on 100 episodes!
    This was a good way to celebrate it by covering the different types of Mac’s out there.
    Thanks or all the cool tricks and tips, on MacMost and on twitter!

    11 years ago

    Congratulations Gary
    … on the 100th show. I have only been a watching for the last few months (switched about a year ago) but always enjoy.

    I bought a MacBook Pro as my first foray into this Mac world but have since added the iMac. As I tend to travel with the MBP I am thinking of maybe soon, selling that on and getting the MacBook Air as my second/travel machine. So many choices or should I say “so many good choices”?


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