Newbie needs advice on suitable Mac equip


I’m a newbie, to both Apple and DEVONthink, as will become obvious. I’ve spent my life in Windows. Went to Apple store, and came out overwhelmed. May I request suggestions on the equipment I should buy, please.

I know I want portability of laptop or tablet (is Air a tablet, or another variety of laptop?). Was looking at 15" screen in laptop and Air. Became stimied by the unknown. By reading Kissel’s Take Control ebook, I’m pretty sure DEVON will format itself to a 15" screen, but would it be better to dock the portable computer to a larger screen for “heavy lifting” sessions (truthfully, I don’t even know what I mean by that cleaver phrase) in DEVONthink.

Hope I have posed an at least somewhat reasonable question. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions.

Thanks for any help. Bill

Bill, I’d suggest going back to the Apple Store and make an appointment with a rep at the Genius Bar. Explain what worked and didn’t work for you in the Windows world, and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your new Apple kit. There’s no better advice, in my opinion. When you’ve made a purchase, use Apple’s One to One service to transfer your files from your old computer and get basic training on the new Apple.

I wouldn’t get too hung up on which model would be best for running DEVONthink, although a minimum screen resolution of 1440x900 (13" Air and 15" MBP) and a minimum of 4GB RAM would be my starting point. Personally, I believe a well-equiped 13" Air or any of the 15" MacBook Pro models are the sweet spot of the entire Mac lineup, and the rumored 15" Air for 2012 could just be the sweetest yet. I have a 2011 MacBook Pro and it’s the finest computer I have ever owned, and I started with the original 128k Mac in 1984.

You did not mention your budget, which would be important in deciding which to choose. Whatever that number is, I would suggest not to scrimp on RAM. Get the full 4GB if you go with a 11" Air, as it cannot be upgraded later. The MacBook Pro can be upgraded to 8GB at any time, so starting with 4GB will not lock you in. I bought mine with 4GB and added another 4GB immediately for around $80.

The SSD drives are sweet also, but still pricey-especially when purchased from Apple. I’m just about to the point where I’m going to move my HD to the optical bay and add a SSD drive. Lots of RAM and a SSD drive will really let DEVONthink sing.

As for docking to a larger screen for ‘heavy lifting’, I do not think this is considered as valuable as it once was-but it depends on the work you do. Lion and its full-screen mode is optimized for the smaller portable Mac displays. I’m not sure that the need for external monitor makes much difference in which portable model you choose now. It’s not like a 1680x1050 display (optional on the 15" MBP) is going to be a tipping point where you would no longer want for an external monitor. However, the 1920x1200 screen of the 17" MBP might be, but then you are carrying around a boat anchor if portability is important. Buy the Mac model that makes the most sense for your portability needs, and add an external monitor later if needed. The Macs do work with non-Apple monitors, so you are not locked in to the Apple display.