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View Poll Results: Which would you rather have? 2012 MBA 11" or 2012 Mac Mini + iPad Mini? Post a Poll
A.) 2012 11" Mac Mini i5 1.7 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD ($929 Refurb) 17 24.64%
B.) 2012 Mac Mini i5 2.5 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD + iPad Mini 16GB WiFi ($998 New) 52 75.36%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:24 PM   #1
dmk1974
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Which would you rather have? 2012 MBA 11" or 2012 Mac Mini + iPad Mini?

I know there any plenty more choices and combinations out there, but for a balance of power and portability, I'm trying to assess which of these two specific choices is better.

Usage: Email, web browing, MS Office, light iPhoto and iMovie, minimal gaming, light engineering CAD work

I already connect my laptop to my 24" LCD monitor when at my desk so swapping it for a Mac Mini would be very easy. Also, per below, I would be installing a Samsung 830 SSD drive that I already bought last week for $70 and the price is reflected in it.

I do not want a 2011 MBA or Mac Mini because I like the USB 3.0 feature on the newer models.


Here are the choices and Apple Retail or Refurb store costs:

A.) 2012 11" Mac Mini i5 1.7 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD ($929 Refurb)

B.) 2012 Mac Mini i5 2.5 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD + iPad Mini 16GB WiFi ($998 New)


Thanks for your feedback!
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:36 PM   #2
thelead
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Depends. Do you need a COMPUTER on the go? If so, option A is your only option. If you do not need to work outside of your house then I would go with option B.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:42 PM   #3
dmk1974
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Originally Posted by thelead View Post
Depends. Do you need a COMPUTER on the go? If so, option A is your only option. If you do not need to work outside of your house then I would go with option B.
Thanks for the feedback. The laptop has left the house only a few times, but in the house I do find that I use it more than when I also had an iPad when on the couch, bed, kitchen, etc. I like having a light and portable, yet functional device.

However, when I need the larger screen for drawings or models, I do park it at my desk and connect to my monitor. The MS Office apps and browsing/email are fine anywhere. That is the nice thing about the 11" MBA that it is portable and powerful enough so for. But having a nice little and light iPad Mini would have its benefits as well.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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The mini has more power. The iPad has more portability. It would be a good combo.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:58 PM   #6
dmk1974
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The mini has more power. The iPad has more portability. It would be a good combo.
Thanks. Yeah, not that it's the only indicator, but the Geekbench score of the MBA is 6333 and the Mac Mini is 7323. 14% better which isn't too bad. The key I think is when I put the SSD into the Mini so those would then be equivalent from a disk speed standpoint.

One thing that irritated me on my previous iPad is lack of Flash in the web browser. Not a showstopper, but was annoying in some cases (like when I wanted to talk trash to my fantasy football opponents!
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 04:58 PM   #7
tann
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If you need to use the computer outside of a fixed location (on the move, at work/school etc.) then I would say get the MBA for SURE.

If you don't then I think the Mac Mini + iPad is a better combo. Mac Mini + 830 will be a nice and fast machine, it's more powerful than the MBA and has more usb's etc (minimal but nice). The iPad will be good to then browse the web and consume content.

If you don't need a portable computer, I would for sure recommend Option B. Especially since you already have a monitor. The mini can also support 2 monitors (1 over TB and 1 via HDMI - I THINK).
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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For me, that's actually a very tough choice. I have a Macbook and an iPad.

I really like the iPad, but I sort of need the Macbook.

(glad I have both)

But the Mini thrown in muddies it. I just could not make the call. Please, leave me alone
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:23 PM   #9
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the desktop is dead to me. i will never look back. get the air.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:34 PM   #10
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I have an iMac 24" (which is a bit long in the tooth now) and just bought a new MBA (11"), and will pre-order a mini tomorrow, which I think complements the MBA perfectly.

A good desktop/home machine with a nice screen is always a good thing (no matter how old, like mine, one is) - even though my MBA is much, much faster than my iMac desktop, I still use my desktop when at home. The MBA comes out at school, and with an iPad mini, I expect the MBA will not come out quite as much.

If the choices you offer are really the only ones, I'd suggest the Mac mini at home, and an iPad, either mini or full-sized, which would give you a nice desktop machine (assuming you connect it to a nice sized screen) plus the portability of a device with the iPad.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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I too struggled over this question.

Then after much deliberation, I bought a Thinkpad.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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I have had the iPad 3 since release and I found a good deal on a 2010 Macbook air at best buy. I loved the MBA and used it quite a bit at first. After about 3 weeks I found myself always reaching for the iPad and the MBA just sat there so I ended up returning it. I might get a Mac Mini when the refurbs come out but Im not sure yet. It really just depends on what you are using it for because the MBA can do some things the iPad cant.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 11:13 PM   #13
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Well, I think I'm going to at least order an iPad Mini and then see if I can get by without using my laptop away from my desk.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 06:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dmk1974 View Post
Well, I think I'm going to at least order an iPad Mini and then see if I can get by without using my laptop away from my desk.
Enjoy
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:25 PM   #15
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Well, after almost 2 weeks with my iPad Mini, I don't see myself parting with it. I have primarily used it around the house and at work. I very well may be able to get along with a Mac Mini since I've been using my MacBook air only when at my desk with it plugged into my monitor except for a couple of occasions. I may try to justify keeping the MBA along with the iPad Mini, but we'll see.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:28 PM   #16
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The latter I think. Assuming there's a decent monitor for the mini.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:35 PM   #17
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Notebooks are dead to me. Too much compromise.

Powerful desktop for gaming and Boinc projects.

iPad mini for everything else.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:35 PM   #18
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I currently run with a 2011 21.5" iMac and an iPad 4 (would like to add an iPad mini to that as well for everyday on-the-go use). But whenever the opportunity presents itself (the iMac dies, I happen upon huge sums of money) I'll be switching out the iMac for an MBA. With AirPlay mirroring, I may not even worry about a monitor.

While my iPad does everything I generally do day-to-day, the functionality of a MBA that I could use at home most of the time, but also take with me on the rare occasions I need a laptop on the go is extremely appealing.

I don't game on the computer so the extra power/storage isn't an issue for me in going from a desktop to an MBA. TBH, my future setup will probably be an MBA and a retina iPad mini - the iPad will just be around until it dies, but I wouldn't update it.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:37 PM   #19
WilliamLondon
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Given those two choices, I vote for neither.

I'm someone that just bought an 11" MBA and an iPad mini, which I think is the perfect complement of two excellent devices. Admittedly, I have a desktop (5 year old iMac), but I still think that the MBA (11") and mini combination is a real winner if you're all about portability.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WilliamLondon View Post
Given those two choices, I vote for neither.

I'm someone that just bought an 11" MBA and an iPad mini, which I think is the perfect complement of two excellent devices. Admittedly, I have a desktop (5 year old iMac), but I still think that the MBA (11") and mini combination is a real winner if you're all about portability.
I have a Mac mini, Macbook Pro, iPhone, 2 iPads, iPod Touch so I'd take the Macbook Air 11" and Mini please.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:39 PM   #21
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I have a Mac mini, Macbook Pro, iPhone, 2 iPads, iPod Touch so I'd take the Macbook Air 11" and Mini please.
That'd just about complete the lineup in your collection, and I'd be very jealous!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:05 PM   #22
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I'll most likely be selling my 13" MBA and getting by with my Mac Mini server and an iPad. While I was in school I used the MBA on a daily basis. Now that I've graduated the iPad can handle most everything I want out of a portable device. My reason for keeping the Mac Mini over the MBA are.
- Mac Mini - more powerfull, particularly since I threw in a SSD in place of one of the HDD's
- more disk space
- more USB ports
- Ethernet port
- I can get more for the MBA then the mini
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:10 PM   #23
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I bought Choice B actually... but I got the i7... WAY better buy. It's the ONLY Quad-core with Turbo Boost AND Hyper Threading of the entire non-BTO Mac line up this year...

Besides the entry level rMBP... which has the same exact processor at $2199....
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmk1974 View Post
I know there any plenty more choices and combinations out there, but for a balance of power and portability, I'm trying to assess which of these two specific choices is better.

Usage: Email, web browing, MS Office, light iPhoto and iMovie, minimal gaming, light engineering CAD work

I already connect my laptop to my 24" LCD monitor when at my desk so swapping it for a Mac Mini would be very easy. Also, per below, I would be installing a Samsung 830 SSD drive that I already bought last week for $70 and the price is reflected in it.

I do not want a 2011 MBA or Mac Mini because I like the USB 3.0 feature on the newer models.


Here are the choices and Apple Retail or Refurb store costs:

A.) 2012 11" Mac Mini i5 1.7 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD ($929 Refurb)

B.) 2012 Mac Mini i5 2.5 GHz/4GB RAM/128GB SSD + iPad Mini 16GB WiFi ($998 New)


Thanks for your feedback!
Well you already have a monitor so why would you buy another one? better specs and a bonus iPad mini seems easy to me. B!
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:35 AM   #25
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That'd just about complete the lineup in your collection, and I'd be very jealous!
Pretty much. But I still wouldn't have a retina Macbook Pro.
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