Spec-wise, they have the same processor and RAM. I'd prefer to have an SSD drive inside the machine for the OS and an external larger hard drive for media files. Figure to add an internal SSD to the Mac Mini costs about the same as an external USB drive for a MacBook Air. So ultimately, if choosing between the base model of each, while the MBA costs $269 more from Apple (via their refurb site), you also get a built-in screen, keyboard and trackpad. AND portability. While many of us may already have existing peripherals to use, some need to buy those items and it can easily add up to that difference. Anyway, especially with the elimination of user upgradeable RAM, isn't this base 2014 Mac Mini a complete dud? I'd think the choice is to find a cheap 2012 Mac Mini or just get the base 2014 11" MBA.