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2017 Complete Apple Buyer’s Guide

  • SVALT D2 High-Performance Cooling Dock with MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina display Apple Thunderbolt Display Apple Wireless Keyboard Workstation
  • SVALT D2 High-Performance Cooling Dock with MacBook Air 11-inch display Apple Thunderbolt Display Apple Wireless Keyboard Workstation

Dreaming about all things Apple, but can’t figure out what to buy?

Well that’s not surprising because the variety of Apple device types and model configurations available for professionals and consumers to choose from can be overwhelming. Plus, many of the devices have overlapping functionality, so it can be challenging to determine which combination of devices will best meet your needs. While Apple continues to improve syncing between devices, there's still extra hassle, energy, time and expense associated with each additional device added, so it’s worthwhile to consider options before going with whatever is the latest release. Deciding what devices to buy, upgrade, keep or sell mostly comes down to the applications that you use for work and where you work.

The following list starts with work that requires macOS at the office, and then gradually steps down to the most minimal mobile only requirements. Some people will push to be at the top of the list in order to have the most capable hardware possible, while others will strive for efficiency and move to the middle, while others still will push to bottom of the list for the lightest and most minimal setup possible. There isn't a right or best approach, so go with want allows you to achieve maximum productive with the least stress.

Office Intensive + Mobile Intensive
This setup is for someone that requires the most powerful desktop device to run macOS apps along with a laptop to run macOS apps out in the field:
  • Mac Pro, iMac Pro or iMac = Heavy office productivity with macOS apps. Since the Mac Pro has not been updated recently and the update isn't likely until 2018 or 2018, and since the iMac Pro will not be available until the end of 2017 or early 2018, then that leaves the recently update iMac as the likely best candidate.
  • MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or MacBook = Additional mobile productivity with macOS apps. This means that multiple Mac computers will need to be maintained with current software and document updates, so the extra hassle should be justified by requiring more performance than what the most power 15-inch MacBook Pro can provide, or because carrying a 15-inch laptop isn’t practical. There's a huge range of laptops to choose from, and your selection will depend on weighing performance verses mobility requirements. See our Laptop Buyer’s Guide.
  • iPhone Plus = Communications device that can also be used for a variety of ultra mobile tasks. Since a laptop is challenging to use unless resting flat on a table, your lap or something else, a larger iPhone can be useful for ultra mobile productivity when standing, laying down, or using in tight spaces.
  • Watch = Since the iPhone Plus might be too large to fit in pockets and therefore might not be as readily accessible, a Watch can help with notifications and determining when the iPhone will need to be accessed.

Office + Mobile Light
This setup is for someone that requires a desktop device to run macOS apps only at the office and does not need to run macOS apps in the field, but does require some mobile productivity through iOS apps:
  • Mac Pro, iMac Pro or iMac = Heavy desktop productivity with macOS apps. Since the Mac Pro has not been updated recently and the update isn't likely until 2018 or 2018, and since the iMac Pro will not be available until the end of 2017 or early 2018, then that leaves the recently update iMac as the likely best candidate.
  • iPad Pro or iPad = No macOS apps required outside of office, but mobile productivity required.
  • iPhone = Communications device.

Office Only
This setup is for someone that requires a desktop device to run macOS apps only at the office and does not need to run macOS apps or iOS apps in the field:
  • Mac Pro, iMac Pro or iMac = Heavy desktop productivity with macOS apps. Since the Mac Pro has not been updated recently and the update isn't likely until 2018 or 2018, and since the iMac Pro will not be available until the end of 2017 or early 2018, then that leaves the recently update iMac as the likely best candidate.
  • iPhone Plus = Communications device that can also be used for a variety of ultra mobile tasks. Since a laptop is challenging to use unless resting flat on a table, your lap or something else, a larger iPhone can be useful for ultra mobile productivity when standing, laying down, or using in tight spaces.
  • Watch = Since the iPhone Plus might be too large to fit in pockets and therefore might not be as readily accessible, a Watch can help with notifications and determining when the iPhone will need to be accessed.

Office & Mobile Intensive
This setup is for someone that requires maximum workstation flexibility and productivity while running macOS apps at the office and in the field:
  • MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or MacBook w/ display and keyboard desktop workstation = Heavy desktop & mobile productivity with macOS apps, along with maximum flexibility. The SVALT Cooling Dock was developed to provide the best of both worlds, with a single computer solution that meets high productivity demands at the desktop while allowing for quick transitions to mobility. Apple’s official support of eGPU will help make laptop workstations even more powerful. There's a huge range of laptops to choose from, and your selection will depend on weighing performance verses mobility requirements. See our Laptop Buyer’s Guide.
  • iPhone Plus = Communications device that can also be used for a variety of ultra mobile tasks. Since a laptop is challenging to use unless resting flat on a table, your lap or something else, a larger iPhone can be useful for ultra mobile productivity when standing, laying down, or using in tight spaces.
  • Watch = Since the iPhone Plus might be too large to fit in pockets and therefore might not be as readily accessible, a Watch can help with notifications and determining when the iPhone will need to be accessed.

Mobile Intensive Only
This setup is for someone that rarely works at an office or the same desk, and instead works in different and mobile locations, while running macOS apps:
  • MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or MacBook = No desktop required, only mobile productivity required with macOS apps. There's a huge range of laptops to choose from, and your selection will depend on weighing performance verses mobility requirements. See our Laptop Buyer’s Guide.
  • iPhone Plus = Communications device that can also be used for a variety of ultra mobile tasks. Since a laptop is challenging to use unless resting flat on a table, your lap or something else, a larger iPhone can be useful for ultra mobile productivity when standing, laying down, or using in tight spaces.
  • Watch = Since the iPhone Plus might be too large to fit in pockets and therefore might not be as readily accessible, a Watch can help with notifications and determining when the iPhone will need to be accessed.

Mobile Light Only
This setup is for someone that does not need to run macOS apps and that rarely works at an office or desk, and instead always works on the go:
  • iPad Pro or iPad = No desktop or macOS apps required but mobile productivity required.
  • Phone = Communications device.

Ultra Mobile Only
This setup is for someone that does not need to run macOS apps, that never works at an office or desk, and that requires maximum mobility:
  • iPhone Plus = Communications device that can also be used for a variety of ultra mobile tasks.
  • Watch = Since the iPhone Plus might be too large to fit in pockets and therefore might not be as readily accessible, a Watch can help with notifications and determining when the iPhone will need to be accessed.

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