11" MBA instead of Mac Mini + laptop/iPad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by docprego, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. docprego, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I can't make up my mind between these 2 computers. My goals are to use the machine about 50-50 between home and the road. If I go with the mini I get more hard drive space, a faster processor, and a non mobile setup so I'll need to get a laptop or iPad. If I go with the MBA I get none of the above but a machine that feels a LOT faster to me and is mobile. As a bonus an MBA would be a lot cheaper than a mini/laptop-iPad combo.

    My primary uses are web browsing, iTunes related activities and other general computing tasks. I'm starting to think an MBA would be my best option because its portable and faster feeling than a mini. Would the machine feel as fast to me connected to a 23" LED display as it does on its own screen?

    Help me make some sense out of this.
  2. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    The key to choosing the right solution for you is to prioritize your usage then select accordingly. These are two very different products you're considering.
  3. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    True but my use for both is very similar. At least half (probably more) of the time the machine will be hooked up to a 23" LED display for home use. Then I need a portable solution the rest of the time. The MBA intrinsically offers this, the mini does not.
  4. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    As someone with an ever-increasing number of various machines (iMac, MBP, MBA, iPhone, iPods etc.) I'm starting to wish for more simplicity in my set-up. I think if I were to start out from scratch, I would just get an MBA 13, a Cinema Display and iPhone. It becomes somewhat of a hassle trying to keep things synced between multiple devices (especially if you're somewhat neurotic about such things) when you keep throwing more and more stuff into the mix. My advice: Keep it simple as possible.
  5. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    funny you say this.

    I went with a mac mini + MBA 11 combo. I'm truly loving it.

    It was a rough start but i'm loving my mac mini as my HTPC.
  6. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    I use my Air connected to my 42" Full HD TV for watching a movie and as a laptop. It is great at it and it plays HD content lovely.
  7. Appleind macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2010
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    Go for a MBA and an iPad. If you have a HDTV you can connect ur MBA to it. If you have some extra bucks go for a cinema display
  8. Corax, Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010

    Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    Yeah, my setup! By the way, when the MBA is connected to the HDTV you can use the iPad as your "remote"!
    Last weekend I sold my iMac, bought an external Apple SuperDrive to put on my desk,
    was also looking to other eDVDRW devices, but those were cable-wise not practical in use with an Air, because the Air has 2 USB ports which are also each on the other side and those brands used up 2 USB-ports and the cable was to short to connect the both.
    So I decided to buy Apple's SuperDrive, which only uses 1 cable. :)
    So far I do not miss my iMac, but it's still to early to say...
  9. iCole macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    Why don't you go for a 13 inch macbook pro? I got one, does everything it needs too, a bit less mobile than either iPad or MBA but still very light and hooks up to an external display.
  10. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    Not light enough, and not everyone wants to drag an optical drive everywhere with them, when it's used so little. The very rare moments I use it, is at home.

    I sold my MacBook 13" alu unibody and iMac 21'5" because the Air can fill al my needs in the present setup.
  11. doctordrumdude macrumors newbie

    I did exactly what you are considering!

    How are you

    I went from Mac mini 2.4 Ghz/4GB Ram/M320 + 16GB Wifi iPad to
    11.6/1.4/4GB ram/64SSD macbook air.

    I do not regret one bit.

    I initially had the 11.6/1.4/2GB Ram, but it lagged a bit during games such as Left 4 Dead 2... and Logic 9 recording. With 4GB of ram, they run decent enough.

    When the air is hooked up to my 23" monitor, it won't make a difference from the Mini for everyday use.
    For HD space... you can get an external one... or erase all those movies and files we all hold onto.... (but don't REALLY need to hold onto).

    I did love the iPad, but thought it could be better with camera and more ram.
    I sold the iPad for 90% of the original purchase price, so I ended up saving a couple hundred bucks in the end by switching.

    I will probably get 2nd generation iPad though... it is such an awesome machine for watching movies/ reading school notes in bed!

    anyway, hope that helps.

    thanks for reading
  12. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    Or as your remote to the Air connected to the TV...:D
  13. chonia macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Same with you
    I have both mac mini + MBA 11
    And I found that I seldom use the mac mini now, as I could use MBA 11 now in bed or elsewhere.

    I have also tried to connect my MBA 11 to my 23" monitor, using this combo to work with documents and even play Starcraft 2 with medium settings. When I use it at work, I run parallels + win7 with some other programming tools. I admit that it is not really instant response when all applications are loaded but it is still very fast in my point of view.

    I believe you won't regret to buy only the MBA if you won't have heavy graphic work. However, it is a good idea to have also a mac mini at home for HTPC or using as a server.
  14. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    Thanks for that. I'm considering a similiar swap. The only thing holding me back is I love sitting on the sofa with the ipad reading books etc.
  15. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I wouldn't trust something like the MBA as my only computer. I always like having at least 2 computers I can use in case one breaks down. At the moment I have a MacBook Pro 13" and an iBook G3 for backup:)

    I think you should get a 13" MBP for your only computer. They are pretty light, and are powerful enough to be your one and only machine :)
  16. doctordrumdude macrumors newbie


    no problem-
    yeah I know what you mean... iPad + sofa = lovely

    ah:) thanks for the great idea!
    I will try that when I get my iPad 2nd gen! :)
  17. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    By that time check out 'Mobile Mouse' for iPad (named Air Mouse for the iPhone).
  18. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    The 13" MBA might be better for an all-in-one with the better processor options, and you'll probably want at least 128GB on the SSD either way given its your only machine, even if you keep a lot of data on external storage.

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