Is a Mini + Monitor so I can work from home a good solution?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by unregbaron, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. unregbaron macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2002
    I use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop for my job where I have a 21" iMac and smaller external screen.

    75% of my work over the year is WordPress, remainder is InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop in that order (no real video work or heavy use of filters/rendering but I don't especially want much lag either).

    I want to be able to work at home, especially over the next few weeks until mid-April this year when a big InDesign + Illustrator project needs to finish.

    I don't want to buy a new laptop next week if the retina MBA is coming in June, but I need something for the next 8 weeks.

    So - will it work for me to get the mid-market Mini 8gb ram and a new 23" monitor, so if/when the retina MBA arrives I can use it with the external monitor?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It will work, but it may not be as quick as the MBPs (at least the 15" MBPs).
  3. unregbaron thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2002
    - thanks, do you think it's a good solution, I suppose I need to wait until Tuesday's announcement but unless the retina MBA is announced I should go for the mini + monitor option.

    (I already have a spare keyboard and mouse)
  4. tobenisstinky macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2002

    If you are thinking of a short term solution, what about renting or leasing a machine for the time being? You don't mention other needs; budget or portability for example. What about an iMac? More powerful than a mini and includes a excellent display. I mention this as if you are looking for a interim solution you will be tempted to buy the cheapest monitor you can get, and with your graphics work, you may not be happy with an inexpensive monitor. (low rez and poor colour). Just some thoughts.
  5. Chanabbott macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2013
    pros and cons

    the best thing about a mac mini is that it is a cheap mac, but it is still a mac. For $500, you are getting a $1000 machine, you just have to add your own display, keyboard, and mouse.

    The only problem is that one of the big benefits to an iMac or macbook is that you have one cord( the power cord), everything is apple branded, the apple keyboard/mouse look look together, and are completely wireless. With the mac mini, you have a power cord, a display cord, a non matching apple display, a keyboard cord, a mouse cord (unless you do a wireless keyboard and mouse). So if the mac mini is going to be recessed behind a tv for example, you'll be fine. But it looks goofy sitting out by itself with five different cords and non matching parts
  6. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    I have a mini and yes, there's lots of wires. But honestly, once you start connecting peripherals to an iMac you end up with .....wait for it.... a lot of wires.

    You can use a BT keyboard and mouse with the mini which avoids some of the desktop clutter and the rest of it gets piped into the back of the screen and any attached drivers, printers, scanner etc. It isn't that bad. The big advantage for me is back when the mini G4 first came out, I was looking to get a PowerMac but couldn't afford the full kit and didn't want to buy the all in one iMac so I got the mini G4, a 20" ACD, keyboard and mouse and it was really nice. Then a few years back, the G4 was too old and slow so I got an Intel mini and everything else stayed exactly the same. I did have to get a FireWire 400-800 adapter so I could keep using my iSight camera but other than that, everything else works just the same but it is nice and quick. Bumped the RAM recently and stuck an SSD in and it got even better. Never did get the PowerMac and while I'm tempted to get a MacPro at some time if I can put it through my business, my rMBP and the old mini are both serving me well. I can't say the mini feels a whole lot slower than the rMBP either despite there being five years of CPU development between them but that's the benefit of an SSD.

    Of course, if I do get a MacPro, I'll just pull the mini out and stick the MacPro in and the rest of the gear can again keep going. It is like a regular PC, but a Mac! Yes, I've had an iMac 27" at work and I loved that machine but for my own personal use I really like the flexibility of having all separate parts. A little disappointed that the current mini has soldered in RAM so if I was buying one now I would likely max the RAM just to be on the safe side.
  7. unregbaron thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2002
    Thanks folks for the replies, I also realised I have a monitor (not that good) attached to my iMac at work.

    I think my plan will be:

    1. If no new MBA retina on next week I will buy the cheap Mac Mini and use the existing monitor / spare keyboard + mouse.

    2. If there is a new MBA retina I will see if I can possibly afford it, presumably around £1000.

    Down the line I will get a new monitor, this one seems to be favoured on wirecutter at £200: Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24 inch LCD TFT Monitor (16:10, 1920x1200, 300 cd/m2)

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