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Is there a better way to make yourself mobile? Our guide to Mac and iPad for the remote creative user

We know lots of businesses have had to reconsider the way they work in recent months; there’s no denying it’s been a tough time for the creative industries! But by adapting the way we work, some businesses are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. In many cases, that has been helped by taking a fresh look at technology needs.

Everyone knows and loves iMac, and it’s been the desk-based favourite of designers for years, but with souped-up mobile options and iPad biting at the heels of many non-Apple laptops, it might be time for a shift – especially if in a post Covid-19 world you’re facing a day-to-day of mobile working.

Which Mac or iPad is for you?

MacBook Pro (The heavy lifter)

We’re here to talk about notebooks, so let’s kick things off there. MacBook Pro is the obvious choice and has been since its release. For anyone who has needed power on the move, it’s been able to handle video, animation, 3D graphics and anything that requires more intensive processing.

The current model can be configured with a processor right the way up to 2.4GHz (with a Turbo Boost of 5.0GHz). You can also cram in 8TB of SSD storage, 64GB of memory and the latest AMD Radeon Pro graphics. Essentially, whatever you’re used to doing at a desk (except for really high end processing and rendering), MacBook Pro will handle it on the move. Avid, Resolve, Adobe and Autodesk tools are all compatible and work seamlessly, and you’ll even have plenty of screen real estate if you opt for the 16 inch model.

Take a look at our options here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/apple/mac/macbook-pro

MacBook Pro - The heavy lifter

MacBook Air (The lightweight mobile worker)

The MacBook Air is lightweight in kg but it can be far from lightweight in performance. It’s come a long way since the days of it being marketed purely on the thickness (well, thinness) of the device.

So who’s it good for? Really it depends which of the specs you opt for. At the lower end, it’s perfect for the non-creative users who need mobility between home, the office, Starbucks… But in recent years, the higher end models have become genuine desktop replacements for some creatives. While we would always recommend a MacBook Pro for heavy duty creative work, for anyone who spends portions of their time in Photoshop and InDesign (although our head of design has been using one for the past four months at home with no problems!), it’s a great choice and meets the minimum tech specs of Adobe. Pair it with a display in the home office and one in the work office, and you’re rolling.

In terms of those internals, there’s a healthy range to go for depending on the user needs. An entry level processor of 1.1GHz right up to a Turbo Boost of 3.8GHz, storage from the slimline 256GB SSD to 2TB SSD on top end models, and up to 16GB of memory.

Take a look at our options here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/apple/mac/macbook-air

MacBook Air - The lightweight mobile worker

iMac (The designer favourite)

Photographers, image editors, animators, video editors, graphic designers the world over have loved the iMac for years. And so they should! Aside from looking the part, it’s been a faithful supporter of design tools and workflows for years, and don’t expect that to change.

While it may not be the most mobile friendly (trust me, I’ve tried to carry an unboxed one on the tube before – don’t ask and we absolutely don’t recommend it…) that’s not to say it can’t feature in a multi-site workflow. Especially where it’s paired with either a Mac notebook or an iPad Pro. Right now, for example, our design team are working away at home on their notebooks and their iMacs are in the office for the days they do return. As long as you have the system side of things set up for seamless working between two devices, it’s a flawless experience.

If you’re working in design, you’re really not going to need to worry about the tech specs too much as even the lower end models can handle creative tools, but you can go up to 3.2GHz 6 core processors, 32GB of memory and 1TB SSD. The key thing to consider here is, do you need more than the above? Because, if so, you need to take a look at this next beauty…

Take a look at our iMac options here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/apple/mac/imac

iMac - The designer favourite

iMac Pro (Even more to love)

A few years ago, Apple introduced the iMac Pro into the line up, to cater for those power users who still wanted the stunning design and all-in-one functionality of iMac. Do you need it? Well, just remember that there’s far more to iMac Pro than the space grey colour.

Let’s break this down. It takes iMac’s max processor and flings it to one side replacing it with an 18-core 2.3GHz option, it has Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics capability, 256GB memory and up to 4TB SSD storage. If truth be told there’s very little it can’t handle. OK, so if you’re demanding that kind of power, chances are you need it all the time and it can’t be part of a remote workflow, but it felt wrong to not mention it.

Take a look at our options here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/apple/mac/imac-pro

iMac Pro - Even more to love

Mac Pro (Incredible power)

Mac Pro is Apple’s offering into the power user space and is built and configured with really (really really) intensive processing in mind. In fact there’s little on the market right now that can compete with it. It’s about as remote friendly as a tank (even with the optional wheels) but if you’re a creative user who is rendering, animating, editing incredibly high definition work all day every day, this is the machine for you and you’re probably going to need to look at ways to virtualise a remote workflow instead. Thankfully that’s where our Via24 services come in https://www.jigsaw24.com/solutions/via24.

Back to the Mac Pro, expect 28 cores of 2.5GHz processing power (yes, you heard right), up to 1.5TB of memory, two MPX modules with up to four GPUs and 8TB storage.

Find out more about Mac Pro here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/mac-pro

Mac Pro - Incredible power

iPad Pro (The high performance tablet)

In some ways we have left the best until last. That’s because iPad Pro has shot up in recent years to become a great addition to the creative arsenal. With support for some pretty intensive photography apps, Adobe mobile apps (check out the latest Photoshop and marvel in its functionality), animation, video and even layout, iPad Pro is a great choice if you know you’ll need to be out and about working.

The software created to date isn’t quite up to desktop standards, but it definitely feels like it won’t be long. For now, picture it as the perfect tool to use on the journey into the office, or equally as the device you use to work on ideas when you nip into the office leaving your iMac at home.

Take a look at our options here: https://www.jigsaw24.com/apple/ipad/ipad-pro-11

iPad Pro - The high performance tablet

Keep an eye out in the coming months for more on remote creative workflows. We’ll be taking a look at how technology can help you stay remote and also stay in budget. For now, if you have any questions, call us on 03332 400 888 or email DandP@Jigsaw24.com.

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