Do people carry their Mac Mini between places?

bookspinner

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 23, 2013
36
4
I currently own a 2012 Mini and things I like about this little machine are:

- Easy to setup, with only power cord (no brick!!!) & HDMI cable and you're good to go
- OSX with Bluetooth peripherals are very easy to pair and connect to, no cables are needed
- The small speaker inside is really really important if you do not happen to have any speakers around

Recently I was tempted to buy a notebook because of its portability (13" MBA or rMBP), but their price seems expensive compared to a Mac Mini. One special thing about Mini is that you can choose to use your own keyboard, mouse, and monitor. To me this is a plus as if one of them is broken, you can just easily buy another one. However if something is broken with your notebook, you probably will have to send them back to Apple. Not to mention that you can upgrade its RAM and HDD pretty easily.

So I was wondering, do people actually carry their Mac Mini between places (like from home to office)? Or is it actually better to just own a macbook because it is also can be easily docked into a monitor but you also get the portability of a notebook?
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
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Other than size, all of your points about the Mini apply to any other desktop, as well.

Might just be me, but it doesn't make sense to me to buy a desktop machine for the purpose of taking it place to place. Too many other peripherals are needed to use it properly. Makes more sense to buy a laptop.
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
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Kilrath
Other than size, all of your points about the Mini apply to any other desktop, as well.

Might just be me, but it doesn't make sense to me to buy a desktop machine for the purpose of taking it place to place. Too many other peripherals are needed to use it properly. Makes more sense to buy a laptop.
I've carried it on trips where I'm driving and know there's an HDTV. Makes using my movie collection easier since I no longer have a Mac laptop. I always have BT mouse and Kybd with me so they work well on the mini while on the go.

Cheers,
 

squirrrl

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2013
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San Diego, CA
I am looking to buy a mini for the reason that I want to be able to bring it from work to home. I could buy a laptop, but for my work, I like having a full sized keyboard with the numericals when I'm entering numbers. Also, I work off of two screens usually and a laptop screen would not be adequate for much of the work that I do. The software is expensive so I like that I can just bring the whole computer with me with files, software, etc. and not have to transfer files between my home laptop and work computer.

So I really think the answer to your question is really person specific and it depends on what you are using your computer for.

That said.... Can I hook the mini up to my macbook and use the laptop as the screen and keyboard? or am I being crazy and that wouldn't work.
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
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Kilrath
I am looking to buy a mini for the reason that I want to be able to bring it from work to home. I could buy a laptop, but for my work, I like having a full sized keyboard with the numericals when I'm entering numbers. Also, I work off of two screens usually and a laptop screen would not be adequate for much of the work that I do. The software is expensive so I like that I can just bring the whole computer with me with files, software, etc. and not have to transfer files between my home laptop and work computer.

So I really think the answer to your question is really person specific and it depends on what you are using your computer for.

That said.... Can I hook the mini up to my macbook and use the laptop as the screen and keyboard? or am I being crazy and that wouldn't work.
Apple laptops don't have a target display mode.

AW 17" & 18" laptops take HDMI input but I'm not aware of any other brands that do so.

Cheers,
 

paulrbeers

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Dec 17, 2009
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So I was wondering, do people actually carry their Mac Mini between places (like from home to office)? Or is it actually better to just own a macbook because it is also can be easily docked into a monitor but you also get the portability of a notebook?
It's fine if you are just taking it from desktop to desktop, but I take my computers to meetings, out on the road, etc. etc.... I don't want to have to take a monitor, keyboard and mouse as well. Not to mention, the Mac Mini has no battery, so good luck at your favorite coffee shop! :)
 

QWERTYMac7

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2012
157
11
I take my Mini for the occasional outing.

We enjoy it.

Purchased a 15' cord and a 16" USB monitor from Amazon.

The Mini and it's associated components fit into my old laptops carrying case.

It's remarkable that more folks do not take their Minis on the road, so to speak.

I could not be happier.

Best,
 

jcbhammond

macrumors member
May 3, 2010
32
1
I have taken mine with me to places, but not on a daily basis. Normally, I only take it when visiting family on extended visits, who I know have a place to hook it up to. The fact that I could carry it around with me somewhat, was one of the reasons I chose it in the first place. If required, I could take it and plug it in anywhere there's a monitor or TV, library, hotel room, etc. Inconvenient? Yes, but I would only do that if that was the only option, like when the Internet at home goes out for a week:mad::mad::mad:

I have looked into taking an old 19" Dell monitor and attaching it to the lid of a hard cased shell, like a brief case. Then put the Mini in the bottom with a powerstrip and the keyboard. However, most places nowadays have access to an HDTV and it hasn't been necessary, and my iPad covers most of my needs when away from home.


Similar Idea for a "Portable" Desktop
 

squirrrl

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2013
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San Diego, CA
I have taken mine with me to places, but not on a daily basis. Normally, I only take it when visiting family on extended visits, who I know have a place to hook it up to. The fact that I could carry it around with me somewhat, was one of the reasons I chose it in the first place. If required, I could take it and plug it in anywhere there's a monitor or TV, library, hotel room, etc. Inconvenient? Yes, but I would only do that if that was the only option, like when the Internet at home goes out for a week:mad::mad::mad:

I have looked into taking an old 19" Dell monitor and attaching it to the lid of a hard cased shell, like a brief case. Then put the Mini in the bottom with a powerstrip and the keyboard. However, most places nowadays have access to an HDTV and it hasn't been necessary, and my iPad covers most of my needs when away from home.


Similar Idea for a "Portable" Desktop
Image
add a battery pack and you have the most ghetto laptop available.
 

Micky Do

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Aug 31, 2012
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An island in the Andaman Sea.
Transportable, not portable suits me.

So I was wondering, do people actually carry their Mac Mini between places (like from home to office)? Or is it actually better to just own a macbook because it is also can be easily docked into a monitor but you also get the portability of a notebook?
I do from time to time. It only takes a couple of minutes to unplug my Mini at home, and then to hook it up to a projector or monitor on campus. It is light and rugged enough to carry easily on my bicycle or motorcycle….. actually probably easier to transport than a MacBook.

I don't want a machine to take with me and open up every time I stop somewhere. I don't have a smartphone, and seldom even carry my basic $25 Nokia. Away from my desk, I like to be off line.
 

macbookguy

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2006
232
124
Columbus, Ohio
Part of the work I do is livestreaming events. I've found that taking my mini for the purpose of livestreaming is wonderful. I run the BlackMagic software on it and Wirecast or Livestream Producer on it (depending on which place the live stream is being broadcast). It is powerful enough to do what I need, and it frees up everything else I have for live blogging, press releases, website updates, etc.
 

bookspinner

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 23, 2013
36
4
Thanks for the replies guys, I agree that the word "transportable" is better to describe Mini compared to "portable".

It does not surprise me that some people actually bring their Mini from one place to another, as I frequently move my Mini from home to college. I will probably buy an extra power cord and a display cord, so that I can just take my Mini without bringing any more cables.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
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I moved from laptop to Mini. I work in 2-3 places, sometimes a hotel room or different firm, so there is always a much better than laptop screen.
It is easier to carry, no power bricks, lighter than the AIR, more powerful than the AIR. And I can have all the files with me as it offers plenty of storage.
 

bookspinner

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 23, 2013
36
4
I moved from laptop to Mini. I work in 2-3 places, sometimes a hotel room or different firm, so there is always a much better than laptop screen.
It is easier to carry, no power bricks, lighter than the AIR, more powerful than the AIR. And I can have all the files with me as it offers plenty of storage.
Now this is an interesting point I've never heard before, I always thought Mini is heavier than the air :p
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
I can't say I've ever seen a person carry a Mac Mini around to be used like a laptop. There's really no way to carry everything you need easily, including the monitor.
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
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11 inch Air: 1.08 kg

Mac Mini: 1.22 kg

13 inch Air: 1.35 kg
Now include chargers.
Splitting hairs really. My point was that the Mini is a little heavier than the smaller Air, and a little lighter than the bigger Air. They are all within a few hundred grams of each other, and none weighs much, even if you add a couple of bits and pieces.

However, the Mini's shape makes it easy to toss into a bag, even including a mouse and small form keyboard. It is probably more rugged than the Air too.

And keyboards.

And screens.

Oh, and a pointing device.
Well, yes, if you need to take that sort of stuff along. If you have to do that often, a portable would be a better proposition. But occasionally transporting a Mini to where a projector or monitor and other peripherals are available, it is not an issue.

It takes me just a couple of minutes to set my Mini up in a room with a sound system and a projector……. no longer than it would to hook up an Air.
 

QWERTYMac7

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2012
157
11
I can't say I've ever seen a person carry a Mac Mini around to be used like a laptop. There's really no way to carry everything you need easily, including the monitor.
I do. Have a 16" AOC USB monitor.

Keyboard (Logitech K760), mouse and monitor fit easily into my (old) laptop bag with the Mini.

Added a 15' cord for ease of use.

It's slick!
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
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Well provided that there are monitor, keyboard, and mouse around not being used.. :D
Well, yes, if you need to take that sort of stuff along. If you have to do that often, a portable would be a better proposition. But occasionally transporting a Mini to where a projector or monitor and other peripherals are available, it is not an issue.

It takes me just a couple of minutes to set my Mini up in a room with a sound system and a projector……. no longer than it would to hook up an Air.
I've worked in many offices in my life - I've never really noticed a trend of workstations with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse just lying around waiting for someone to bring in a desktop box to plug into them. Whenever such a spare workstation like this exists, it generally has a desktop machine already hooked up to it.
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
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I can't say I've ever seen a person carry a Mac Mini around to be used like a laptop. There's really no way to carry everything you need easily, including the monitor.
Not used like a laptop….. used as an easily transportable desktop for me, the OP and many others, I guess.

I for one, neither need, nor want, a laptop. I do want a computer that I can transport easily on a bicycle or motorcycle, from time to time. When the Mac Mini was released in 2005 it matched my needs so I bought one, my first computer.

My second is the Mac Mini I am using now. My third, when the time comes, is likely to be another Mac Mini. It suits my needs just fine.

Then, of course there are some who do use their Mac Mini like a laptop…….

I do. Have a 16" AOC USB monitor.

Keyboard (Logitech K760), mouse and monitor fit easily into my (old) laptop bag with the Mini.

Added a 15' cord for ease of use.

It's slick!
I've worked in many offices in my life - I've never really noticed a trend of workstations with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse just lying around waiting for someone to bring in a desktop box to plug into them. Whenever such a spare workstation like this exists, it generally has a desktop machine already hooked up to it.
I have not worked in many offices, so I don't know.

I do most of my office work at home. I teach on a campus where most of the classrooms had sound systems and projectors installed last year, but few have a computer.
 
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