For content creation, I need a new Mac! What should I buy

 For content creation, I need a new Mac!  What should I buy

I work at my desk 80% of the time, but absolutely need to be mobile when I travel as well. Two machines seems expensive, but I’m not sure there’s a good way to dock the laptop? And I don’t want some clunky, space-eating dock solution that’s a pain to dock/undock. I want a modern DuoDock. I think? Or a decent desktop and cheaper laptop? I’m not sure.

Welcome to the first part of Gizmodo’s “What Device Should You Buy?” series, in which we will assist you, our dear readers, in selecting the best gadget for your needs. We’ll get things started with a timely request from a content creator who is upgrading his macOS devices. Jason Torchinsky, an auto blogger and former Jalopnik editor, is in need of a new desktop and laptop, or anything that can serve as both. Jason wants to stay in the Apple ecosystem, so he’ll need Macs that can run Photoshop, Illustrator, 3D applications, and dozens of browser tabs while connected to several monitors.

Highlights

  • The MacBook Pro 14 has several advantages over the cheaper models besides its M1 Pro chip being considerably faster than the M1. Where the Air and Pro 13 support only one external monitor, the MacBook Pro 14 with M1 Pro can connect to two external displays with 6K resolution at 60Hz via the HDMI and Thunderbolt ports (no dock required). Another boon for creative pros is the SD card slot, a convenient feature for when Jason is editing photos or videos on the MacBook Pro 14’s glorious mini-LED display.

  • Mac Studio Teardown Suggests SSD Storage Is Upgradeable but May Be Blocked by Software. Tile Adds Anti-Stalking Feature to App and You Should Download It Right Now. This Modded iMac G4 With an M1 Chip Is My Dream Computer. Klipsch is well-known for their excellent reference speakers, used in mixing rooms the world over, due to their crystal-clear sound, untinged by overly-heavy bass lean or tinny treble bias. I’d pick the MacBook Pro 14 with an M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Jason can purchase one from Amazon for $1,749, leaving enough room in the budget for a monitor, external storage, a hub, and accessories.

If Jason prefers owning two systems–one portable and one stationary–his best option is to purchase a Mac mini and MacBook Air. Specifically, a Mac mini with 16GB of RAM (don’t go with 8GB, Jason) and a 1TB SSD for $1,299 (or $1,399 with 10-gigabit Ethernet). The mini desktop has two USB-A ports and the M1 chip is quick enough to run creative apps. It isn’t perfect: 16GB of RAM isn’t much for a desktop, the M1 chip is weaker than the M1 Pro, and connecting multiple displays–while possible–requires you to use both HDMI 2.0 and USB-C ports.

What Jason will need is a hub or dongle for USB-A inputs to connect to external storage solutions or peripherals. And a monitor isn’t supplied here so Jason will need to be clever about how he uses the rest of his budget, assuming he doesn’t already own a monitor. But when he’s traveling, Jason can use Sidecar to turn an iPad into a second monitor or connect to a portable monitor, like this one from Asus.

What’s nice about this option, however, is that it leaves about enough budget for a MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM so Jason can have a stationary home setup and an on-the-go travel laptop. He will need to cough up more cash for monitors if he doesn’t own any (forget about the Studio Display), and the budget is stretched thin at this point. Jason might be frustrated by the MacBook Air’s port selection–two Thunderbolt inputs–so he may as well add a port-filled hub to the bill.