bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,304
354
Canada
Hey. I currently have an Early 2011 MBP but am selling it due to financial reasons. I'll likely regain a Mac later this year. But I've seriously considered going the Mac Mini route with a 40" (or so) HDTV. I haven't had a "desktop" in years. Has anyone else gone from laptop to desktop? Also how many of you use your Mac Mini in the living room? The only downside I see to the Mac Mini is the Integrated Graphics. But I'm not a gamer so it may not matter.
 

Dorje Sylas

macrumors 6502a
Jun 8, 2011
505
344
I went from a PowerBook to a MacPro about 5 years ago, so laptop to desktop transition. I've also used a MacMini as a living room decide.

What your going to find is that integrated graphics card will not be super fun if you try to do anything heavly graphical, but if all your doing is wed surfing and using office type programs you'll likey only notice some small speed/ rendering difference. If you use a MacMini on TV at distance be ready to have to use various tricks to zoom the size of your text/images. Even on a TV setup I still suggest some kind of desk and chair arrangement over trying to work from a couch and your lap. I use create some kind of lap table arrangement since your used to a laptop.

The other issue is mouse and keyboard. If you don't have them you'll need to them. This means either playing for Apple Wireless ones or trying to go cheaper and get some 3rd party ones (either wired or wireless). If you go Apple and wired thats an extra 100 dollars, 140 for wireless.

Because you're going out the HDMI port to the TV you don't need an adapter, but may need a extra HDMI cable if don't have one free.

You will also need an external Superdrive as the Minis no longer ship with an optical drive, you can skip that if you watch DVDs another way.

The biggest thing you're going to miss is computer access anywhere. Being locked to a single room is the first hurdle people transition off laptops have to overcome. That and other reasons eventually drove me to an iPod Touch and then to an iPad as my 'mobile' option.
 
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glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,619
2
Ft Lauderdale
I'm selling my loaded mac air as I don't travel any more, and it's just closed up acting as a desktop. I use my 2 iPads for portability.

Got the base mini and adding the 16GB memory to it. Less than 100GB storage needed. MS Office and web user here...nothing fancy - no need for super computer ability here.....
 

roow110

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2011
110
26
Your question completely depends on how you plan to use it.

If you are using it as an entertainment device, a Mac Mini hooked up to a 40" TV is great. It would be ideal for playing video games or movies in the living room.

If you plan on using it as a stationary everyday work computer, I would consider getting a computer monitor. 40" is too large to use as a work monitor as I like to sit at least relatively close, I use a 27 inch monitor at home and that is ideal. Any bigger would be too much.

If you need something portable, go with a MacBook obviously.
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,304
354
Canada
Your question completely depends on how you plan to use it.

If you are using it as an entertainment device, a Mac Mini hooked up to a 40" TV is great. It would be ideal for playing video games or movies in the living room.

If you plan on using it as a stationary everyday work computer, I would consider getting a computer monitor. 40" is too large to use as a work monitor as I like to sit at least relatively close, I use a 27 inch monitor at home and that is ideal. Any bigger would be too much.

If you need something portable, go with a MacBook obviously.

Well I considered going with the Mac Mini as part of a HT set up. I would just add a blu-ray player along side the Mac Mini and I'm good to go. I'm also thinking cost cause a MM is cheaper then a MBP. Even after you add in the monitor (or TV depending on price), keyboard and mouse. I love having a MBP do to it's portability but it will take me much longer to save for a new MBP as opposed to a new Mac Mini.
 

QWERTYMac7

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2012
157
14
FWIW - My last computer was a laptop, I still have it (Windows XP) for some presentation work (as a backup incase someone's presentation computer 'dies').

I have a 2011 Mid range MM with a dedicated AMD graphics processor - last week they were available from the Apple Refurb Store for $549.

I DO take my MM with me on occasion using a 15 foot power cord sourced from Amazon < $9.00 and a 16" USB powered AOC monitor < $95.00. The setup fits in my laptop case including a Logitech keyboard and mouse. I do not mind plugging in the MM as I have virtually always plugged in my laptop when mobile.

I look at the Mac Mini as a very unique computer - semi portable, lots of memory capacity and the ability to have two internal hard drives. It's a tucked-away 'tower' style computer running two 24" HDMI monitors when in the office, and a very nice portable computer driving a 16" monitor when mobile. And less expensive than a 13" MBP if you do not get toooooo crazy on the extras.;)

Good luck to you!
 

sostoobad

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2011
155
0
Boston
I have a July 2011 Mini and it s great, I load a lot of pics and have tons of space available. It is small so if you need to transport with it you can.

It's fast and has worked perfectly out of the gate.

I went with a 20" Acer monitor and wired keyboard and wired mouse all tolled in around $750.00

A great product that is stinging with value...can you tell I really like mine:D
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,304
354
Canada
I have a July 2011 Mini and it s great, I load a lot of pics and have tons of space available. It is small so if you need to transport with it you can.

It's fast and has worked perfectly out of the gate.

I went with a 20" Acer monitor and wired keyboard and wired mouse all tolled in around $750.00

A great product that is stinging with value...can you tell I really like mine:D

The thing is that I have a 15" MBP (early 2011) right now. But I'm in a financial position where I may have to sell it. I've been completely on the fence about selling it so I don't really know what to do. I like having a laptop but the Mac Mini as part of a small home theatre setup really intrigues me. It's very rare that I will take my MBP anywhere but it's nice to be able to use it anywhere in an apartment. Being portable is not a need for me. However I would prefer something with a dedicated graphics card which the MM does not have. I'd like my Mac to last as long as possible and given that the MM only has an integrated graphics it wouldn't last as long as a 15" MBP. Tough decision.
 

BookEmDanno

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2010
266
199
State of ~Aloha!~
Hey. I currently have an Early 2011 MBP but am selling it due to financial reasons. I'll likely regain a Mac later this year. But I've seriously considered going the Mac Mini route with a 40" (or so) HDTV. I haven't had a "desktop" in years. Has anyone else gone from laptop to desktop? Also how many of you use your Mac Mini in the living room? The only downside I see to the Mac Mini is the Integrated Graphics. But I'm not a gamer so it may not matter.

I too have (and still using) an MBP (mid 2009) with 8GB ram. My plan is to supplement this with a Mac Mini (my first) for the power and speed. I've been lugging my MBP between home and office and decided to use the MM as my primary. The MM is small and light that I consider it portable. This forum has been very helpful with deciding what specs to get. I wasn't really for looking a HTS media center nor am a gamer, but was looking for a server that can hosts multiple VMs and development tools as I am a SW developer. So based on great advice from very knowledgeable folks in here, I decided to get the Quad Core i7 with 16GB ram and Fusion drive upgrade.

Good luck and regards.
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2008
693
134
I just went from a 2008 MBP to a 2012 i7 Mac mini. My MBP spent 99% of its time in clamshell mode, connected to an external monitor. I like the option of portability, but when I looked at my actual usage, I couldn't justify the extra cost of an i7 MBA, let alone a MBP. The mini is great. The HD 4000 graphics adapter is fine, unless you're a serious gamer or do heavy video editing or 3D modeling. I had the same concern, but I noticed in my research that the people who said it isn't good enough hadn't actually used it, whereas the people who had it and were using it for Photoshop, FCP, Aperture, etc., said it's just fine. It is, in my opinion. As for portability, I use my iPad. I haven't decided whether to sell my old MBP while it still has some value, or keep it as a backup.
 

mslide

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2007
707
2
But I've seriously considered going the Mac Mini route with a 40" (or so) HDTV.

In a living room environment where you are sitting like 10' away? That's fine for watching movies and whatnot but sucks for normal computing. 40" is way too small for that IMO. Even 50 - 60" is too small IMO. You'll wind up having to blow up the font size and zoom a lot. I have a home theater with a 120" screen and an HTPC and even with a screen that size I hate using it for things like surfing the web. Using an iPad or laptop is just so much better for me (and yes I have good vision).

Honestly, if you're in a tough financial situation (and I completely understand what it's like to be there), perhaps a Mac isn't the best option. I'd go with a cheap PC. For the price of a Mac Mini, you could get a more powerful PC with dedicated graphics. If you're looking for an HTPC, a windows version can be built for well under the cost of the base Mac Mini, especially if you're willing to stick with integrated graphics. Head over to the HTPC section of avsforum.com if you're interested in that route.
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,304
354
Canada
In a living room environment where you are sitting like 10' away? That's fine for watching movies and whatnot but sucks for normal computing. 40" is way too small for that IMO. Even 50 - 60" is too small IMO. You'll wind up having to blow up the font size and zoom a lot. I have a home theater with a 120" screen and an HTPC and even with a screen that size I hate using it for things like surfing the web. Using an iPad or laptop is just so much better for me (and yes I have good vision).

Honestly, if you're in a tough financial situation (and I completely understand what it's like to be there), perhaps a Mac isn't the best option. I'd go with a cheap PC. For the price of a Mac Mini, you could get a more powerful PC with dedicated graphics. If you're looking for an HTPC, a windows version can be built for well under the cost of the base Mac Mini, especially if you're willing to stick with integrated graphics. Head over to the HTPC section of avsforum.com if you're interested in that route.

I would never buy a MS Windows PC ever!! I wouldn't even take one for free. No matter how powerful one is hardware wise it's still running MS Windows. That alone is a no sale for me. Maybe I'll pick up an old Macbook or iPad on Kijiji for cheap. Just something to get me by for a while.
 
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