MacBook Pro or Mac Mini/iPad combo?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by RKilbane20, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. RKilbane20 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Right now I have a 2010 13in macbook pro. I have a desk in my room with a 24in LG 1080p HDMI monitor, magic mouse, and apple wireless keyboard. When I'm just sitting around my house watching and not on my desk I'm usually just browsing the web, watching youtube videos. At my desk is where i play SC2 or Counter-Strike and other games, Use Final Cut X and After Effects.

    I'm debating to sell my Macbook Po and buy the 800 dollar Mini and had 8 gigs of ram for just my desktop use and an iPad for me just sitting around the house or taking it to class.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I too own a 2010 MBP and thought about doing the same thing but decided against it.

    I just cannot comfortably use an iPad, I don't think any mobile device can replace a laptop for me.

    Why not just keep your MBP and save up for the Mini? In fact, I'd sooner have a MBA before owning an iPad.
  3. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2009
    since I had all three.....

    I just sold my MacBook Pro 13" and got a mac mini 2.5 i5 and I already have an iPad 2. I'd have to say the mini/ipad solution gives more flexibility, here is why.....

    MacBook Pro is great and powerful but I did not carry it anywhere, it stayed home on my bed.

    my iPad 2 however, I commute with all the time. When I need more comuting power, I remote into the mini (using logmein) and over 3G (tether with my iPhone) works very fast. In essence, I got the best of all worlds.

    I do not use the cd/dvd much so I am not missing it. Speed is great and portability cannot be beat. I might buy a low end Air if I really need to do some writing (although I do have a wireless keyboard / mouse / trackpad). My mini is used mostly as home theature feeding three AppleTV's in the house and hosting about 15,000 iTunes tracks.

  4. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    That's a pretty nice set up you've got there.

    How did you find the transition from a tactile keyboard to a virtual one? I'm a forum whore ... I do a lot of typing and I must say, while the iPad's keyboard is indeed intuitive, I cannot comfortably use it for extended periods of time.

    My initial thought was to sell my 13" 2010 MBP and pick up a MBA, but then I looked at how much money that setup would cost me and I decided against it.
  5. pizzafootbal macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010

    If you want a desktop go for the baseline iMac, but since you probably have decided against it, I'd go look at the Geekbench scores and see what you'll be getting. One thing to note is that the MacBook air is closer to a mobile device, and IMO would be similar to an iPad in a way, but still a well powered computer
  6. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2009
    typing on the iPad 2 is a bit difficult but not too bad, I can type on it pretty quick now, just have to look at your spelling.

    I may get an Air for those times when I actually want to just be in bed writing (I would not write a document on the iPad but I would use the wireless keyboard and mac mini if the kids are not watching anything on it).

    If you want the perfect scenario it would be mini with wireless keyboard and mouse, Air and iPad 2. Pricey yet but you can compute literally anywhere.

  7. Motliest Crue macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    New England
    I have a 2010 MBP, bought an iPad 2 about a month ago and a new Mac Mini 1.5 weeks ago. I haven't used my MBP since I bought my iPad only turning it on to sync my phone with iTunes.

    As soon as a transfer all of my docs onto my new Mini I will be selling my MBP.

    Also I use the 799.99 Mini for SC2 and it runs great on high
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Why not just pick up an Apple wireless keyboard and connect via BT to the iPad when you need more typing power. Small profile and footprint, great battery life, and pretty good flexibility--don't need the keyboard one day, just leave it home.
  9. mahdibassam macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    So ...

    So Iv decided to Sell my Macbook pro and get an iPad 2 + i5 Mac mini...

    What are peoples thoughts? considering 1.5 years has passed since the start of this thread?
  10. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    haha, nice bumping :cool:

    Anyways. I'm doing the same thing. I just sold my Macbook Pro, Macbook White, iPod Touch, everything except my dear iPad and iPhone (and the Apple Wireless Keyboard.)
    I gotta say, if surfing web, emails, light gaming, and plus all those apps, iPad is really a useful portable device to have around. I too doubted having iPad + Mac Mini/iMac as a replacement for my Macbook Pro, since I thought MBP had the portability and the power, but now that I think of it, all I did heavily on my laptop was playing SC2, Motion, Movie editing, etc, which a Mac Mini/iMac will handle significantly better.

    For now, I've been living with ONLY my iPad+Bluetooth Keyboard for a week, and I can tell you for sure that all basic things you do on comptuers can be done on the iPad.
  11. CoolmaxMini, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    CoolmaxMini macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2012
    I have an original iPad with a Kensington case which has a built-in BT keyboard. It's essentially a MB Air, light functional and productive and I use it A LOT. I also have a Macbook Core 2 Duo and a Mac Mini Core i5 both of which stay at home. I rarely use the Macbook anymore or take it on trips; now relegated to watching TV with EyeTV and Elgato Turbo H.264 and for rendering movies quick with the same and as an AirVideo server for the iPad. For more horsepower and remote access, I use SplashTop on the the iPad to access my home based macs. This is was also the sole factor of what I did not buy a Macbook Pro to replace the older Macbook, rather opted for the Mini instead.

    For documents, I use Pages and for spreadsheets I use Numbers and if I want to print Google Maps to my iPhone as PDF, I use Web to PDF on the iPad and send it over to my iPhone and use a PDF reader like GoodReader to manage my PDFs -- very useful if I'm in a foreign country and don't want to carry stacks of papers that make me look like a tourist. I also have a SD card reader for both the iPhone and iPad for those times I want to email some photos off my camera. I even have an external portable battery for the iPad and iPhone which I use extensively for GPS map travels which can last a few days. The whole package is still A LOT lighter than a Macbook. I'm sure Macbook Pro is a bit heavier.

    Hope this helps.
  12. Silver Eagle macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2011

    I have an iPad 2 and MacMini 2010 combo and I really like it.

    I bought the iPad2 a few months ago to replace an older Toshiba laptop that finally died and at the time I went back and forth whether to get an Air or the iPad. I couldn't get rid of the Mini because I need something that stays in the house to serve content up to the three Apple TVs that we have.

    As far as mobility nothing beats taking my iPad places to keep my busy during the various swimming lessons and activities that I run to with my daughter. I would hate having to drag a laptop to those places. And the battery life it is capable of wins out. Case in point would be at my daughter's swimming lesson the other night when I looked over and saw a woman plugging her laptop in so she could use it balanced on her lap waiting for lessons to be over. I looked down at my iPad and thought to myself, "Yup I made the right choice."

    The only app I use different is I use ReaddleDoc for managing my PDF files. I liked it better than GoodReader.

    The only question I ask myself now is what next. I would like to upgrade my Mini with this years refresh. The only thing I ponder is if I should just keep my current Mini to use as a media server instead of selling it when I buy the new one. Which then if I have it around the house to serve content up should I maybe buy a 13" MBP or Air, instead of a new Mini, for use on my desk as my main machine to give me the freedom to work at the kitchen table or breakfast counter when I felt like it.
  13. CoolmaxMini macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2012
    If you are upgrading from your current Mini and want something with Macbook Pro oomph, look no further than the Macbook Air Core i7 with 256Gb SSD. When my cousin paid us a visit from Australia, he has the Air with Core i7 and I was really impressed with the speed it could do with Photoshop, Indesign and stuff and runs comparable to my Core i5 Mac Mini. And it is lighter and thinner than the MBP. If you wait for the Ivy Bridge MB Air which should be coming this year's refresh, then it will be eve better I think.
  14. Silver Eagle macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2011
    Thanks for the info. I'll keep that in mind when I compare the two. I wonder sometimes how much snappier my mini would be if I dropped a SSD drive into it and moved my data storage onto an external drive instead of the 1TB internal that I put in it last year.

    I think I will wait for Ivy Bridge to be available since I am really not in "need" to upgrade as much as a feel like I want to. I'll probably lean more to the Mini side because when I really want to work on things I usually want to sit at my desk than anywhere else in the house. Especially when the kids are running around playing and I can close the door to my office area. (Well you know, the imaginary door and drywalled walls that I picture being there one day when I finally get the office area completed instead of the roughed in 2X4 look I have now.) The only reason I even entertain the thought of getting a laptop is the ability to sit somewhere else every now and then. I would still use my iPad for the majority of my random uses through the house and all my on the go needs.

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