Mac Mini vs. Macbook + External

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Andy348, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Andy348 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2009
    Currently, I have:

    White MacBook
    2.1 Ghz, 4GB RAM, 120GB HD
    21" Screen (not widescreen)
    Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse
    VGA Adapter
    USB Keyboard

    I have to say that at some points, the 13" screen doesn't do it for me, and at times (like when I'm doing school work), I wish it would be a bit bigger. I like my MacBook being portable though. So I came to the idea to hook up my external monitor. I hooked it up last night, yet had a couple problems. My first being that the VGA adapter doesn't connect to the screens cord directly and those little screws were too small. Second being IDK how to close the screen. Now it worked okay, yet if I moved the cords at all the screen would become blue. So I figured I'd need a new 21" Widescreen. Approx price? IDK

    Then, I'd need a USB hub. I'd like one that stands up because I would like to connect:
    -Somehow a printer
    -USB thumb drives
    -iPod dock
    -Blackberry Dock

    So I'm thinking that thats a lot coming out of my MacBook. To clarfiy, that'll be:

    - USB hub
    -Perhaps a mic

    All of the slots will most likely be filled. Right there, its a lot of "crap" connected my MacBook, and to undo all of it just to move is a bit annoying.

    Then comes the Mac Mini. Being fairly cheap, I could get one at a decent price (off of eBay) and just use it for school work. The things that bother me about this is:

    1. It may be a waste - I might use the desktop all the time or never at all, do I want to spend $$ to do it?
    2. I still would need a widescreen display

    Yet I wouldn't need to unhook all the stuff.

    So is $300 worth not plugging/unplugging all the stuff? IDK.

    PS: Any good deals on an external monitor?!?
  2. phatlipboardz macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Kind of some similar talk we've been discussing in this thread, although you already have your macbook.

    I'd say go for the mini. I'm leaning towards that myself, and later adding the MBP. I would be in the same boat you are in with requiring a USB hub. I think these little machines (minis) are a "bargain" for what you get.
  3. cz3ch macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    I'd like to chime in here. I started off with a Mini because I wanted a small footprint machine that actually did more than just surf webpages. I use mine for work/home activities and have a simple desk setup. (Ipod dock, wireless key/mouse, external HDD, etc). it works really well.

    I was fortunate enough to be given a 13" MB at work for my sysadmin tasks. It serves me well at work since I'm up from my desk quite a bit helping people out and in the server room. While I'd like to have a larger screen that is easily "docked" it doesn't bother me that much. Most of the stuff I do that requires a bigger view is at home (videos, movies, games, photoshop, etc).

    Now how do you tie it all in?

    For me, it's all about data sync. I've been using Dropbox for a couple of years now and it's really done the trick. I like the fact I can open a doc on the Macbook and save it and it's instantly updated for access on the mini. No crazy configs/etc it just works. I use Dropbox to sync my bookmarks and all personal settings (this is a bit trickier than mobile me but free).

    Now if you want more than 5gb that dropbox's free account offers, I'd suggest paying for more or going with Mozy. Not sure how Mozy works as a sync solution but Dropbox has been a godsend for me.

    Let us know how things turn out!
  4. Andy348 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2009
    Sounds great!

    I'm still undecided...
  5. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    I have to agree with the others. For you it seems that a Mac mini would be the best thing for you. You want a desktop experience. You need to dock a phone and iPod, print, and use a flash drive. You would be better off going that route.

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