Mini or Air for work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TWHH, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. TWHH macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Hi there,

    Am now 4 months into a new job and the PC's they issue us with are dire - they make a inherently poor Windows experience unbearable.

    I'm in the process of changing my computer set up at home and am likley to have a 'redundant' Mini (Early 2009 model).

    I thought about perhaps bringing this into work and using this isntead of my Win7 laptop. However, I often work at another site, and once a week I work from home, so I need to be able to move my 'main' computer around. Givent hat my existing Mini has hoooj power brick I'm thinking that perhaps it's not the best 'portable' device.

    So that got me thinking about the new Mini... and then I was in the Apple Store (for another reason) and the chap their sowed the seed in my mind about an Air instead (well he would do wouldn't he :))

    Each loaction I work in has monitors and keyboards present, and I have an iPad for catching up on Mail etc when I want to and can work on the move.

    Common sense would suggest the Mini makes is the route (financially), but having an all in one laptop would be kinda convenient.

    What are your thoughts on which makes the most sense - Mini or Air.

    I don't need the computer to do any real heavy lifting - I'll almost exlcusively use it to run Office and web browsing, ie no video editing and only minimal photos. But I would like it to run nicely and not slow right down if I'm working on multiple large PowerPoint decks.


    PS - If I do go down either route what's the best way to put my old Mini to good use?
  2. mst0192 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    i would either buy another 1-2 used power bricks (how many locations?), in case you can get them cheap, or go with an 13" air and sell the mini.

    the mini is still fast enough for everything but on the other hand the air would be the more comfortable choice.

    if you dont want to sell the mini, you could use it as htpc (plex!) / itunes-server.
  3. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Thanks for your answer.

    Having multiple power bricks isn't a route I want to go down as I couldn't be 100% certain one won't go walkies at some point.

    I didn't think my Mac Mini would have such a high resell value. The spec of mine is:

    2Ghz Intel Core Duo
    4GB RAM
    320Gb HDD

    Lower spec ones are going for nearly £200 on ebay!

    I'd be interested to understand more about why an Air is the suggestion here. I'm not disagreeing, just keen to find out more. Reason being that the following specs make the Mini look like much better value:

    13" Air - £1,099
    1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB RAM
    128GB Storage
    1.37 Kg

    Mini - £708 (inc keyboard & trackpad)
    2.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB RAM
    500GB HDD
    1.35 Kg

    Storage is less of an issue for me as there are more and more cloud options for storing stuff, but other specs suggest the Mini has more oomph for less cash.

    Many thanks
  4. mst0192 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003

    in my opinion having a laptop (=air) gives you much more flexibility. you are not forced to use an external display/keyboard/mouse.

    if you would never use the internal display and only dock it to the external displays all the time, then of course the mini makes more sense.
  5. Bioguy35 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    I'm making the switch to mac and considered the new mini as an economical, entry level "see if mac fits my work world" option. There are a couple of things I've discovered that may be of help to you. First, I believe that the new mini's have a built-in power source so you would be carrying a cord and not a brick (may be wrong about this, you may have to do some additional research). The other thing is that you will lose the "sleep" capability of a laptop. To move the mini from site to site, you will have to go through a complete power-down/power-up cycle. If the (relatively minimal) amount of time to do this is not an issue for you then fine, but it is something to consider if it may become an annoyance.
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I think that I would get the air to avoid so much syncing between Macs and PCs(I'm assuming you'd take the Windows 7 laptop out in the field).
  7. Jduncan0392 macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2011
    in terms of hardware, the mac mini is the better choice, although they're both pretty weak. If you wanted to get the $800 mac mini, you'd get a mid-low end dedicated gpu. If you got the macbook air, you'd get an integrated intel hd 3000, which lags even on flash games.
  8. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Thanks for all your thoughts and inputs.

    I can confirm that the Mini doesn't have a power brick - this is part of the attraction/reason for it being considered.

    Powering up/down isn't so much of an issue - I tend to work from home 1 day p/week, and from a 2nd office location 1 p/fortnight, so for the majority of the time my Mac would be in 1 place.

    I wouldn't need to be syncing between Win7 & Mac - main purpose of this purchase will be to rid myself of WinDoze. I'm hoping that all my 'in the field' needs (which are minimal) can be met with my iPad.

    The comment about the low power of either option worries me slightly - I can't really justify spending my own money on a work PC that costs as much as one of the better spec'd Mini's or Air's...

  9. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Gaming wasn't in the list of considerations. To the op I think that the air would suit you better, but it is very hard to argue against going with the option which wouldn't cost you any more money. So would use your existing mini. If you are buying a new computer though I'd get the air.
  10. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice and thoughts.

    Ditzy was correct, gaming on my Mac is not really my thing - I get my gaming fix on either my Xbox 360, iPad or iPhone.

    The requirement for this machine will be to run Office and Web, but quickly and allow me to work with multiple relatively large PowerPoint decks without slowing down or crashing - something my dreadful HP 'Elite' book (absolutely nothing elite about it!) does all too often...
  11. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    I thought that with the recent Air refresh/bump they'd discontinued the White MacBook..?
  12. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Well... Conundrum over. Work won't let me add my own computer to the domain. So if I had bought my own I'd had to worked out how to manage Exchange access on my Mac and the CorpNet stuff off my PC. All do-able, but not ideal.

    BUT turns out they do have a pilot Mac deployment going on.

    You have to apply to go on it - and I've just been accepted. Just got a mail asking me which Mac I want.

    So that's saved me £1,000

    Happy days :)
  13. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
  14. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008

    Now I need to work out what to do with my Mini - sell it or use it as a NAS. The latter appears to make more sense, but I'm not sure I have enough content for a NAS to make sense... Will start another thread on that

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