What is your iDeal Work Setup?

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Sundays are good days for reflection. Tomorrow starts the first full week of the new year—and hopefully Do Not Disturb working again—sending a lot folks back to work for the first time in a while. I think it’s also safe to guess a lot of new iPads, iPhones, and other devices are going to be heading to work as well. All this makes me wonder about what the perfect device, OS, and machine set up is.

Most of the time I work on my late-2008 15″ MacBook Pro with a 22″ monitor as the primary screen, a Moshi Luna keyboard, and a Magic Trackpad. The MacBook itself sits a top a Griffin stand keeping it out of the way and at the right height. But you already know I love—sometimes prefer—to write on my iPad with an external keyboard. It’s a lot easier to wander to a different spot in the house, to a coffee place, or just anywhere I feel like with the iPad setup than unplugging and disentangling my MacBook from drives, cords, and connectors.

Since my MacBook is getting on in years, I always have an eye out for what will replace it. I waver between an iMac (probably a 21.5″) and another MacBook. Picking what is the right balance of power, price, and portability is a lot harder now than it was a few years ago. It wasn’t long ago that if you wanted power you picked a desktop machine. If you wanted to save money, you picked a desktop machine. If you really needed to carry a machine around, you picked a laptop, but knew that it would always feel underpowered. Now a MacBook Pro is quite a powerhouse on its own. Sure the top end iMac would probably smoke a MacBook Pro head to head, but in reality (and from many of the reviews I’ve read) even a MacBook Air performs more than well enough for most people.

Which brings me to the question for you:

What is your ideal combination of devices for power, portability, and performance?

I stress combination because I feel strongly that many of us find that we do need to work in various locations now and then. Maybe not so often that you need a MacBook, but maybe often enough that a tricked out iPad is the choice for your portable needs.

There you go, something to mull this late Sunday.

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