When it comes time to pick out and purchase a Mac, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether you want to get a desktop computer or a laptop computer. This is an example of a laptop Mac. Laptops are also often referred to as notebook computers, which is the term Apple uses on their web site. Notebook computers are designed for portability, often weighing less than six or seven pounds, and they have the monitor, keyboard, and mouse-pointing device built-in. So you usually don't have to plug in any other accessories to use the computer. This is an example of a desktop Mac. Now the term desktop can mean different things when you're talking about computers, but in this context, desktop refers to all computers that either sit on or next to your desk, or workstation.
Unlike notebook computers, desktop computers are not designed to be portable or carried around a lot. But how do you decide which type of Mac to get? Well, for the most part, you should only select the notebook if you genuinely need the portability. The Mac notebooks today are nearly, if not just as powerful as the desktop counterparts, but you're going to be spending more money on notebooks for the same amount of power you can get from a desktop computer. Desktop computers usually also have the advantage of being more upgradeable, but just about all of Apple's computers are very easy to add additional memory or larger hard drives to. The Mac Pro desktop is going to give you the most expansion capabilities and external ports for adding peripheral devices.
Just bear in mind that if you go with a Mac desktop, you'll also have to purchase a monitor, so be sure to consider that item in your budget with the exception being the iMac, which is a desktop computer with the monitor built-in. The MacBook and MacBook Pro also offer the ability to connect second monitors, which many people find useful when they're using their notebook computers at home and would like a larger screen to work with. Now you might have heard of a third type of computer from Apple, called the iPad, which is considered a tablet computer. The iPad features a touchscreen display and you operate it by touching and typing the screen with your fingers; however, I wouldn't recommend the iPad as your only computer.
It's not nearly as powerful or capable as doing professional work. So if you need a computer for school or work to do your word processing, photo management, video editing and so on, you want to go with a full notebook or a desktop Mac.
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