Portability of mac-mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pgseye, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. pgseye macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Wondering if I can get some peoples thoughts...

    I've currently got an early 08 mbp which has been great and still seems to be going pretty strong (put in a Seagate Momentus which really gave it a new lease on life).

    Looking at the new mac-minis just by chance, I didn't realise that they actually now seem to have a fair bit of grunt and are a lot cheaper than a new mbp. I use my computer at home and work - really the 2 main places - and I've got a monitor at both that I connect the laptop to (so use it as a desktop in these places anyway). What do you think of the viability of transporting a mini around - they seem fairly compact, or not practical?

    I could use my mbp or ipad when I need real portability. One thing I've wondered about - I like the idea of having one machine, so that I'm not having to concern myself with transferring files etc between them (and also have to buy multiple licenses for software). Is it possible to keep two machines completely in sync (ie user accounts) - not just certain folders in Dropbox for example? Otherwise how do people out there manage multiple computers?

  2. feeth macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    I don't see why not. The only downside might be wear on the alumimun case since you would be transporting it. Another power cord for the office would make it easier too.
  3. Sdevante macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2008
    IMO, it would be easy to lug around a Mini if you don't need to bring along peripherals. The only problem I foresee is that you can't buy cases for it like you can a laptop, at least to my knowledge. But if you already carry a brief case or back pack, problem solved.
  4. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    This seems totally feasible to me. Especially when 3rd party vendors start making thunderbolt enabled hubs. You'd just have to plug in the power and the 1 thunderbolt cable for the monitor and whatever peripherals you had at either location.

    At 2.7 lbs, it's way lighter and smaller in size than anything else. And there are a few companies that make a case for the mini if you think you'd need one.

    I agree, another power cable could definitely make it a bit more convenient so you don't have to go crawling around under desks to plug/unplug from the wall a couple times a day. As long as you're not doing anything really graphic intensive, the mini seems like a great option for your needs.
  5. Poluks macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I was about to buy a Mac mini (the server one) but I saw your post, what's the problem for intensive graphic design with the mini ? I was hoping to use it for Photoshop / illustrator / after effects.

  6. slyseekr macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Creative Suite performance shouldn't be of any concern. I run Photoshop, Illustrator and Aperture on my 2.5 i5 mini, and it handles it like a champ! Not sure about video editing/creation, but then again, would you buy a Mac Mini as a primary system to handle such tasks efficiently?

    To the original poster's question: I can imagine that managing a portable computer system is a bit more complicated than a laptop, though not an incredible inconvenience...

    - Powering on/off would be an absolute requirement. Anyone who has a laptop probably takes this for granted. Thankfully, Lion can power back on in a saved state, so any need to re-setup your desktop in somewhat minimized.

    - I'd personally want to keep two sets of keyboards and mice/trackpads to save the hassle of packing and transporting those peripherals.

    That said, there are a few case options for minis (kinda cool!): http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/guide/bags.html
  7. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    It'll be perfectly fine for design. I think that poster was referring to gaming.
  8. Poluks macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I plan to use it as my primary system at home, I'm tired of my Windows machine and I don't want to spend too much money in it. if you handle the creative suite easily, i might go for the base model.

    Tanks !
  9. manicwinter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2011
    I have been using my mini at work and home for about a year. I just bought an extra power cord for a few bucks to make it faster to hook up at work. I used to bring a macbook to work but I never used the macbook's screen so when it came time to upgrade I decided to get the mini since it's cheaper, smaller and is easier to use with an external screen.

    I use my iPad when I need something portable.
  10. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    If you're just transporting the mini itself, it's really quite portable.

    Having a monitor/keyboard/mouse/power cord at both home and work makes for a pretty simple transport arrangement.

    It's nice to have all your files/settings/ect with you. No forgetting files at home if you brought your whole computer with you to work.
  11. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    I used to do this with my first mini. It was pretty easy other than needing to carry around the power brick, which I eventually got around by buying another one. Just plug in the screen, keyboard (mouse was either connected through that or Bluetooth), and power cable, then power on.

    With the new one it should be even easier since they use the simple power cords now.
  12. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    13" Macbook Air: 2.96 lbs
    mini: 2.7 lbs
    mini server: 3 lbs

    It's lighter than a 13" Macbook Air (not counting the screen, mouse, or keyboard).
  13. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Jul 28, 2010
    Big monitors and small/silent/no-heat computers are the way to go!

    This is what I do everyday with my mid-2010 mini. I have an SFbags bag for my mini. I got an extra figure-8 power cord to avoid having to carry anything other than the mini. I have matching monitors at home/work and of course a keyboard and mouse at each location. I also keep my private files on a USB external drive at home. I back up once a week to a separate USB drive.

    I got matching 1920x1200 monitors a few years back, and I did not see any laptops that could output that resolution, so I was using a small AOpen PC before getting the mini.

    Put an SSD drive in there, and your boot up times will be very fast. I run Windows 7 via Bootcamp. I have 2 user accounts, home and office. It keeps my Opera browser open tabs and Outlook e-mails separate, and I only have to install/update programs once and both users benefit. It's also better being able to drag-and-drop files into the other user's account, whereas before when I had 2 PCs for home/work I had to e-mail or burn a CD to transport the files (could have gotten a USB stick though).

    Bottom line, if you like your existing monitors (mine are Dell non-glossy) and don't want or need to use your mini other than at a static location at each place, then the mini is great for that, and you don't have to carry a small monitor around all the time (the built-in screen on a laptop).

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