Mini or Ipad 2

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Meatman, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Meatman macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    I am thinking about getting either a mac mini or an ipad 2 for school.
    I am taking online classes as well as my fiancee and we already have a MBP.
    I would use whatever primarily for doing homework online and writing papers.
    I think having the mini would be cool but it would be alot more than the ipad
    Here are the pros and cons I have been thinking of
    Limited abilities?
    have to get a new data plan for 3g? (I was wondering if I could take my iphone sim card out and stick it in there)

    an actual computer
    more uses
    Way more expensive
    not portable (not that big of a deal)

    Anyone have any ideas and to what would be more appropriate? I do have to money for the mini but it would be cool if I didnt have to spend as much.
    Please list your pros and cons!:p
  2. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    How much are you willing to spend?The base mac mini costs the same as the 32gb iPad 2. Although if you don't have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse the price does go up a significant amount. If you already have a portable machine than I don't really see the point of the iPad 2. I think the mac mini would be better, typing on a keyboard would be much better than typing on a touch screen.
  3. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    I have both a mini and an iPad, I would not want to have to rely on an iPad only to do schoolwork. Bur I'm not a student anymore. I've seen refurb minis at for $479 for last years model. A 3G iPad2 could easily cost more than some minis. And no, you can't use any other sim in the iPad.
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    The Mini is a much more able device. In my opinion, you really shouldn't be buying an iPad for serious school work. Yeah, it's nice, but it's really not worth the cost. Get a real computer (even if it's not a Mac). The iPad is more or less a toy in regards to your studies.

    I know you feel that you are getting a better deal with the iPad since it's cheaper, but it's not a computer. They're two different things. A Mini is much more fit for your purposes. You'll get the iPad, and you'll still be using the MBP for school.

    A good point that someone posted is that the price of the money goes up when you add a keyboard, mouse and screen.
  5. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Here's a suggestion ...

    How about you figure out what you need, and then pick an appropriate device.

    I'm just not seeing how you narrowed it down to an iPad and a Mini.
  6. Meatman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thank you to everyone except Adam, you were all helpful.
    I think I will be getting a mini!
  7. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Good choice with the mini.

    I think the online classes would be dicey at best with the iPad. Some may work and some may not work at all.

    The mini is a great little machine.
  8. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    I take online classes as well, and an iPad alone will not cut it--and don't get me wrong, I DO use my iPad for schoolwork.

    Most online schools work similarly. You have a forum that you post in throughout the week, then either a special thread or site to upload papers to.

    1. You have no access to the iPad's file system. This is a non-issue until you use a website (i.e. your school) that requires you to upload a document. There is no file system for the site's uploader to access, so you're out of luck.

    2. Many schools may differ, but for mine, the forum experience sucks on the iPad. It's really tricky to use because it isn't formatted very well, and when you write a response it kills all of your line and paragraph breaks. This is certainly not the iPad's fault, it's out of date programming by the school, nonetheless an iPad alone won't cut it.

    I love my Mini. It's powerful, very versatile and can be easily relocated due to it's small size.

    If you already have a monitor, kb & mouse you don't necessarily need anything more than the Mini. If you're buying the base model--which I assume you are considering the pricing of your two options--you'll want to bump up to at least 4GB of RAM, which is cheap and easy to do on your own.

    If you need to buy all the attachments, then you may want to consider an 11" MacBook Air.

    Here's the math with student pricing (per Apple US website, if you're not in the US I'd imagine price ranges are still comparable):

    Mini - $579
    Apple Wireless KB - $69
    Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse - $69
    Decent Monitor - $175
    Adapters/Cables - $40
    RAM - $40 - $80
    TOTAL - @$970 - $1010

    MacBook Air 64GB with 4GB RAM - $1039

    So, for about $100 extra you get the portability of the iPad, with a computing structure similar to the Mini.

    Again, if you already have the attachments the price difference will be much greater, but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. Good luck!
  9. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Sorry for being honest with you but it was a stupid question.

    The two devices are just so different in application that the only places they intersect is browsing the web. If you consider owning an iPad over a real computer for school, chances are you've never been to school.
  10. P0stalTek macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011

    This is a great post, and really should be something you consider if you have to buy all the accessories. I have a Mac Mini and I love it but it is mostly a HTPC for me, and I do all my online schoolwork on my MBA 13".

    The MBA is an exceptional machine, and it will give you a bit more speed due to the SSD and virtually the same portability of an iPad not to mention similar footprint.

    I bought my MBA first, and it is a lot of the reason I even bought a Mini a couple months later! It is fantastic for all my schoolwork needs, and even capable of Parallels running Windows 7 Ultimate virtual machine so I can access a Windows environment when I need to for various IT classes I am taking.

    If it's out of your price range, no big deal, I get that totally, but if it's not you should seriously consider it, as I think you will be thankful you did!
  11. Meatman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thats pretty helpful, thank you. The only reason I was really considering an ipad was for reading my e-books for school on the go or writing papers when I am not at home but then I realized I hardly ever find myself wishing I was doing work when I wasnt at home. Mac mall has everything I need for about $900 minus the ram, which wouldnt be to expensive. $35 for 4 gigs yes?

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