Creating the best Apple Setup for any budget

Over the last week or so, I have been seeing more and more posts about creating the “best Apple Setup” based on certain budget levels. This all started thanks to Chris Wilson over at iPadGuild, but has since been done by Andy Nicolaides, Matt Birchler, and Greg Morris. So I figured why not jump in on the train and see what I could put together.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • You cannot use any other items, if you have a Mac Pro lying around your home, I don’t care.
  • the prices are based off Apple’s website.

One thing that I’ve learned is that there’s a lot of variation in what you can do with these different price points.


  • iPhone SE – $399
  • Apple Silicone Case – $35

Total: $434

This one was tough, because I was trying to decide whether to go the iPhone route or swing for an iPad. But the iPhone SE is just too good of a deal right now to pass up on. Plus, you’ll need a case to keep that glass back looking good. 


  • iPhone SE – $399
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – $199
  • 10.2-inch iPad – $329

Total: $927

With this setup, you’ll get that much closer to the entire Apple ecosystem with the iPhone, Watch, and base-model iPad. The fact that you can get all three of these for less than a thousand bucks, absolutely blows my mind. Especially considering that Apple has had the stigma of being over-priced for years. Apple’s making the right moves to get these great products into the hands of more people.


  • 11-inch iPad Pro – $800
  • Smart Keyboard Folio – $179
  • Apple Pencil – $130
  • IPhone 11 – $700
  • iPhone 11 Smart Battery Case – $130
  • AirPods Pro – $249
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – $200

Total: $2388

It’s time to sit down and go Pro with the $2500 budget. Kicking off with the 11-inch iPad Pro, this is a great deal as the base model will be more than sufficient for most of your needs. And snagging the Magic Keyboard will give you that “laptop” feeling. Plus, the iPhone 11 is a fantastic device, and it will be paired with the AirPods Pro and the Watch Series 3.


  • iPhone 11 Pro (256GB) – $1149
  • AirPods Pro – $250
  • Apple Watch Series 5 – $399
  • iPad Pro 11-inch Wi-Fi Cellular – $949
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro – $299
  • Apple Pencil – $129
  • 27-inch iMac (Base model) – $1799

Total: $4974

This is the one. With this set up, you’ll get everything great that Apple has to offer, including the iPad, AirPods Pro, and even an iMac. Although many have moved to the iPad-only lifestyle, having a desktop Mac can come in handy. And in the same vein, we went with the base-config iMac instead of a Mac mini because then you’d have to find the “right” display to pair. With the iMac, you get everything, including a mouse and keyboard.

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