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Reader Comments: Configuring the 2018 MacBook Pro as as Desktop Replacement

Get Apple iMac 5K and Apple MacBook Pro at B&H Photo and see my Mac wish list.

The 2018 MacBook Pro is Apple’s most powerful laptop ever, rivalling desktop systems when properly configured. See my in-depth review of the 2018 MacBook Pro. It has been out about 6 weeks and already is up to $300 off—see my discussion of what to get for a student.

See my video presentation of using the 2018 MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement. Unless laptop functionality is needed, MPG still recommends the iMac 5K or iMac Pro.

A 2018 iMac 5K should be in the works soon, so unless laptop functionality is needed, paying a premium for a small-screen laptop which just sits on a desk isn’t the optimal move.

Robin K writes:

Nice video. Some observations...

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my wife’s new 2018 MBP 13 seems much zippier than my 2013 Mac Pro 6-core. Hmmmm.

As a result I’m considering replacing my 2013 Mac Pro with a 2018 MacBook Pro 15 at 2.9GHz. But I wonder about potential compatibility with the rumored Apple Display. Of course, I am curious what Apple may have in store for a new Mac Pro.

I do a lot of financial modeling on my Mac Pro, currently using my trusty 30” Apple Cinema Display. Love the fact that it is not glossy as the iMac 5K. I’d love to find a good 30” 4K monitor. 27” is not quite large enough for my purposes. By the way, I don’t need the color accuracy you require for you photo work.

MPG: there are lots of large 4K displays at reasonable prices if one does not need professional color management: 30-inch and larger 4K displays.

Thing is, the 2017 iMac 5K display is really superb and with more working room (5120 X 2880 vs 3840 X 2160 for 4K). The glossy aspect is mostly a non-issue these days (much improved).

If going with the 2018 MacBook Pro, the LG Ultrafine 5K is a no-brainer—very nice display which I just tested and liked a lot. The image quality is very similar to the 2017 iMac 5K.

The best overall value is the 2017 iMac 5K or the iMac Pro: the iMac 5K (at least the entry-level model) can be thought of as an excellent display with a free computer inside.

For most or all of the 4K displays, something like the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock will be needed in order to have a Mini DisplayPort video-out, which no Thunderbolt 3 Mac offers.

Continues below...

CLICK TO VIEW: Displays for 2018 MacBook Pro

Continued...

I should have mentioned that an important reason for replacing my desktop Mac Pro is that I know live part time in two locales about 100 miles apart. I’ve been struggling with how to take my computing environment with me. USB drives and re-synching is getting really old.

A desktop class laptop is the ideal solution. I suppose that I could rely more on iCloud, but I am firmly averse to having confidential data not under my sole control.

On a completely different topic I’ll look forward to joining your mirrorless camera area once the new Nikons (probably Nikon Z6) are available and I make a decision between Nikon mirrorless and Sony mirrorless. Love that competition.

MPG: I just put my iMac 5K into the about $199 Gator Cases Creative Pro 27" iMac Carry Tote (see Travel Bag for iMac 5K — Works Great) and take it with me in my Sprinter van.

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