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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2020
Hi guys,

I’ve long been an Apple ecosystem user. I’ve got a late12 Mac mini (i5, HDD, 4gb ram) which I originally bought for using Logic, and completing tasks I cannot on my iPad because of the OS. In the last 2-3 years I barely used the desktop as I enjoyed using my iPad pro 10,5 with the iPadOS.I honestly loved the portability and zippiness of it, and was planning to buy a keyboard w a trackpad for it, as I liked the idea of mouse support. Unfortunately my iPad was stolen a month ago so for now I’m in a desperate need of a portable solution. I have like 1000 EURs to buy some new stuff. In my country I’d be able to sell my old mini around 180 EURs

My first idea was to buy a 2020 Air (i5, 256gigs, 8gb RAM) which would cost me 1100 EURs, and sell the mini, so the Air would serve me as my main computer, and also my portable device. I’d be using it for basic stuff, and for Logic and Garageband sometimes. It might not be as portable as the iPad itself, but would come handy as it’s got its own magic keyboard, and I could wave hello to the few frustrating iPadOS caveats.

The second idea was to keep the mini for a while, switching for SSD and some more RAM, and buy a new iPad Air+a keyboard w a trackpad(Logitech or the magic one). This option would cost me around 900 for the iPad and the keyboard, and 150eur for the SSD/RAM, 1050eur total. It might also allow me to wait and save for an ARM Air/Pro, so later I may switch the iPad/Mac mini combo to it.

What would you guys recommend? Would the Air be zippy/portable enough for someone who’s used to the iPad? Would it be able to serve me for several years? Or just pack the mini with new stuff and get a new iPad?


macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2015
I have both a MBA and an iPad, and I find that for myself they have very different uses. If you have barely used your desktop in the past few years, I feel you'll probably be better off with an iPad. The 10.5" Pro you had is a fantastic device, if you want something newer there's the new Air, or possibly a 2018 11" Pro.


macrumors member
Oct 27, 2020
Have you made any decision? We have a 2018 11" iPad Pro, 256GB. I got it the week it came out. It might be my favorite Apple product. The Pro Motion display is phenomenal. The sound is incredible. It's ultra-portable. I also use the Pencil on it frequently. Just this week I bought a 2020 MBA (i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) to test drive. (I've got till 01/16/2021 to return it to Best Buy, so this trial run should last through the first wave of Apple Silicon announcements. That could change my calculus considerably.)

So far I like the keyboard/typing better on the Air. I had a Logitech Folio Touch for a while for the iPad, but it didn't turn the iPad into a "laptop". The screen comparison is difficult because the the MBA is 13", while the iPad clearly has better stats, like P3 vs sRGB even though I can't really tell a difference yet. Both are retina displays so my eyes think they're both excellent.

[One strange thing I've noticed is applying auto-touch ups in Photos is near-instantaneous on the iPad but it takes b/t 1-3 seconds on the MBA. I think that has to do with the chipsets on these machines, but it's an interesting fact I'm going to research more.]
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