Do the older ones prefer iMac vs MacBook Air

If she has an iPad, she might prefer the bigger screen in a computer. However, if she doesn’t have an iPad, the MacBook Air would be terrific. (I just bought one and while I wish I had purchased more RAM, it’s perfect, lightweight).

The screen seems large even as I’m accustomed to iPads. But I’m a rare sort that doesn’t care how big a tv screen is.

I actually was just fine with getting the 13 inch screen. In fact, it’s perfect.

What else would she be using it for?

I wear glasses for reading. As an aside, I had cataract surgery a couple of years ago and if anyone is on the fence about it– don’t be. It is like a miracle to be able to see well again and there was no pain whatsoever.

I find “When I’m 64” to be an endearing theme song!

And you’re a good guy to get your wife a present that can help her do so very many marvelous endeavors!


I strongly recommend discussing tech purchases with the recipient instead of deciding for them.

I switched from 3 iMacs sequentially over the years to a 15" Macbook Pro. Towards the end of the iMac years I also had an 11" Macbook Air. The Macbook Air was great because it could travel in unexpectedly small bags such as a camera sling. It had large bezels so the 13" MacBook Air is about the same size.

Although I liked the iMac, it was constantly frustrating not to have a travel computer, until I got the MBA. The MBA’s downside was lack of storage and generally underpowered. I know traveling is not much of a thing right now but it will be again. The freedom to move around the house with a portable computer is also useful.

My current arrangement is my MBP mostly lives on my desk and is connected to a display. I have a keyboard drawer and mostly use a keyboard, mouse and trackpad in that drawer.

I also use a work windows laptop which connects to the same multiway keyboard, the same display and I use a separate mouse for it.

Your eyesight really has no bearing on this decision; get the proper eyewear for the distance. Beware varifocals if they make you tilt your head back, as it isn’t good for your neck.


I will echo the others here that suggest talking with her about it.

Since you asked though: I’m on the far side of 50 and I have a 16" MBP that’s driving 2 28" displays in my home office and a 13" M1 Air. I find myself using the Air far more than the “desktop” setup these days, as I’ve become very tired of working in the same place all the time. With the Air I can work from anyplace in the house as well as out on the deck, which makes for a nice change of scenery.

I also have an 11" iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard that I used to use much more before the M1 Air, but the Air has negated nearly every advantage that the iPad had for the way that I use them.

If I were making the choice for myself, it would be the Air, but if I really knew that I would want to work only at a desk, then I’d probably get the iMac.


Another geezer here - 72! I gave up my iMacs years ago for 2 Mac Minis with 24” monitors. However, I did it to be able to take the Minis back and forth between my 2 homes. Worked great for 6-8 years.

However, when the new M1 came out, I purchased a MacBook Pro and a dock to be able to do the same thing. I’ll likely replace my wife’s 2019 Mini with an M1 in the future. I gave my old MacBook Pro to my granddaughter and replaced an old iPad Pro with an iPad Air. We’ll end up with 2 computers and an iPad replacing 3 computers and an iPad. And the 24” photo quality monitors at both homes are still plugging along.

As a side note, we now travel by air with just our iPhones. Since we’re retired, we can do without a laptop and even an iPad. If traveling by car, we throw in the iPad.


You travel!? :scream:

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Yep, some of us still have to - and not without a lot of new precautions and procedures.

I am certain you must be all excited about surprising her! Someone told me you can return them up to two weeks. And in your case, it would be an exchange of sorts. But don’t take my word for it. It’s just something you might conceivably want to look into.

If I were her, I’d be THRILLED no matter which model I got!

Travel? Not really lately. Two quick trips to visit kids and grandchildren in NY. And a recent “reward” trip to Santa Fe (between chemo treatments). Things appear to be shutting down again, so who knows when we will be traveling again.

In our case, I am the technical member of the family. I make recommendations to my wife, and she usually agrees. I just recommended purchasing an iPad Air to replace an iPad Pro. She resisted, but when I showed her that the Air had all the capabilities she needed, she agreed.

Is that anything like a 12 inch pianist? lol


I’m in my late 60s and quite nearsighted. I own both an iMac and a MacBook Pro. I tried progressive lenses and they gave me headaches, so I have trifocals instead. I find that the middle lens is perfect for computer use, whether on the iMac or the laptop. When working at my desk, of course I mostly use the iMac for the large screen real estate and performance, but I also use the laptop if I want to work elsewhere in the house or on the back patio on a nice day, and of course when traveling. If she’s only going to work at her desk, then definitely get the iMac. But if portability is a factor, then of course get the laptop.

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I’m 74 and have been significantly far-sighted all my life. I had my cataracts done in April. I’m still in bifocals for most things. I need computer glasses but haven’t ordered them yet, mostly due to laziness. However, without glasses I work on both my 27” iMac and 11” MacBook Air with little difficulty.

We’re all different so YMMV.

I agree, but there are days where over 50 feels every bit of ‘old’. :laughing: