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ssledoux

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
4,321
4,191
Down south
This is a little long. I apologize, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it, and help.

I just ordered an M1 MBA, but before I placed the order, I actually looked at the minis. I’ve had iMacs for a long time (actually, first Mac computer was eMac, and on from there), but earlier this year I sold my last iMac and went iPP only. My part-time jobs all ended pretty much at once, and I just didn’t really have a need for a computer.

FF to now, and I can pretty much do everything I need to do on my iPP (my computing needs just aren’t great at this point), with the exception of creating custom photo books from years‘ worth of photos. There’s an app that works okay, but it’s unfamiliar, and just doesn’t offer the options something like Shutterfly does (and they offer pretty much zero customization from the iPadOS platform).

Anyway, long story short, I decided to go with the M1 MBA so I could easily work on these photo projects. However, there is a drawback to having a laptop where I’m always looking down at the screen, so I looked at the mini. I just have no clue if I can get the mini, and the needed accessories, and still be close to where I am with the MBA. I don’t really want to go back to an iMac, because I just don’t want to spend that much for what I need to do.

The main issue is screen. I just have no clue what can be used, and how much that will cost.

I don’t need super fancy - just a nice screen, and not giant. I’m perfectly happy with anything in the 20” range, or even a little smaller (I mean heck, I use an 11” pro, and was fine to order a 13” screen MBA). I just have no clue how to go about looking for what I need.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I’ve been in the Mac game a long time, but my needs have always been fairly basic, so I just don’t know a lot of the details that don’t really apply to me.

I’m just trying to decide if I can get a mac Mini and its components down in the ballpark of this MBA, or if I should just stick with the Air.

I appreciate the help.
 

weaztek

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2009
418
225
Madison
I'm seeing a 24" LG for $90 and a 27" LG for $129 at Costco. Both include HDMI cables.

Those would be entry level monitors that maybe you could go look at in store to see what you think.
 

ssledoux

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
4,321
4,191
Down south
I'm seeing a 24" LG for $90 and a 27" LG for $129 at Costco. Both include HDMI cables.

Those would be entry level monitors that maybe you could go look at in store to see what you think.
So are they like TVs or specifically monitors? Don’t laugh - I told y’all I have no clue. ?
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2007
1,714
2,672
The cesspit of civilization
This is a little long. I apologize, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it, and help.

I just ordered an M1 MBA, but before I placed the order, I actually looked at the minis. I’ve had iMacs for a long time (actually, first Mac computer was eMac, and on from there), but earlier this year I sold my last iMac and went iPP only. My part-time jobs all ended pretty much at once, and I just didn’t really have a need for a computer.

FF to now, and I can pretty much do everything I need to do on my iPP (my computing needs just aren’t great at this point), with the exception of creating custom photo books from years‘ worth of photos. There’s an app that works okay, but it’s unfamiliar, and just doesn’t offer the options something like Shutterfly does (and they offer pretty much zero customization from the iPadOS platform).

Anyway, long story short, I decided to go with the M1 MBA so I could easily work on these photo projects. However, there is a drawback to having a laptop where I’m always looking down at the screen, so I looked at the mini. I just have no clue if I can get the mini, and the needed accessories, and still be close to where I am with the MBA. I don’t really want to go back to an iMac, because I just don’t want to spend that much for what I need to do.

The main issue is screen. I just have no clue what can be used, and how much that will cost.

I don’t need super fancy - just a nice screen, and not giant. I’m perfectly happy with anything in the 20” range, or even a little smaller (I mean heck, I use an 11” pro, and was fine to order a 13” screen MBA). I just have no clue how to go about looking for what I need.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I’ve been in the Mac game a long time, but my needs have always been fairly basic, so I just don’t know a lot of the details that don’t really apply to me.

I’m just trying to decide if I can get a mac Mini and its components down in the ballpark of this MBA, or if I should just stick with the Air.

I appreciate the help.
The wire cutter recommends this monitor for people in a budget. Or one of these others as close alternatives.
 
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Suzatlarge

macrumors member
May 4, 2008
90
47
Colorado
I replied to your older discussion over in the MBA topic, but here's my two cents.

You can always connect the MBA to an external monitor if you find its screen too small to comfortably do your photo work on.

As to "looking down" at the MBA screen, I think you can avoid that. Just put the MBA on a table, raised to a height where you are looking comfortably across (not down) at the screen. (A sturdy box would work to raise it up.) Then you can connect an external keyboard and mouse to it which you can use at comfortable wrist level. You can probably use the keyboard and mouse from your current computer setup; you'll probably need to connect them using adapter(s) for the MBA's USB-C ports. I've used that kind of setup for laptops when I had an extended work session, to avoid eyestrain, neck pain, or wrist torture, with success. :)

I have an M1 mini on the way, and when I ordered it, I had to think awhile whether to buy the mini or the MBA. Let us know how it goes once your new MBA arrives!
 

ssledoux

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
4,321
4,191
Down south
I replied to your older discussion over in the MBA topic, but here's my two cents.

You can always connect the MBA to an external monitor if you find its screen too small to comfortably do your photo work on.

As to "looking down" at the MBA screen, I think you can avoid that. Just put the MBA on a table, raised to a height where you are looking comfortably across (not down) at the screen. (A sturdy box would work to raise it up.) Then you can connect an external keyboard and mouse to it which you can use at comfortable wrist level. You can probably use the keyboard and mouse from your current computer setup; you'll probably need to connect them using adapter(s) for the MBA's USB-C ports. I've used that kind of setup for laptops when I had an extended work session, to avoid eyestrain, neck pain, or wrist torture, with success. :)

I have an M1 mini on the way, and when I ordered it, I had to think awhile whether to buy the mini or the MBA. Let us know how it goes once your new MBA arrives!

It’s not really screen size - I have no issue with my 11” iPad most of the time. It’s just that when I use my iPP, I’m always looking down at it, and I’d be doing the same thing with a laptop. I feel like if I’m gonna raise it up and have to use a different keyboard, or add another screen, and all that, what’s the point of the laptop? I already have an iPP for that portability and convenience. Yes, I’d be stuck always having to use it at my desk, but when I’m doing the things I really need the computer for, I’d likely be at the desk anyway.

I don’t have a keyboard/mouse or any of that right now, and honestly, if I’m gonna connect all that to the MBA, I might rather the mini. I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to having all those extras. It’s why I’ve always loved the iMac for the desktop - just self-contained. However, the idea of being able to just connect a pretty inexpensive monitor or TV to the mini is appealing, and keeps the cost of the mini down around the cost of the MBA.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
I replied to your older discussion over in the MBA topic, but here's my two cents.

You can always connect the MBA to an external monitor if you find its screen too small to comfortably do your photo work on.

As to "looking down" at the MBA screen, I think you can avoid that. Just put the MBA on a table, raised to a height where you are looking comfortably across (not down) at the screen. (A sturdy box would work to raise it up.) Then you can connect an external keyboard and mouse to it which you can use at comfortable wrist level. You can probably use the keyboard and mouse from your current computer setup; you'll probably need to connect them using adapter(s) for the MBA's USB-C ports. I've used that kind of setup for laptops when I had an extended work session, to avoid eyestrain, neck pain, or wrist torture, with success. :)

I have an M1 mini on the way, and when I ordered it, I had to think awhile whether to buy the mini or the MBA. Let us know how it goes once your new MBA arrives!
I used a $40 metal stand. Can be configured how you want, store items like SSD disks underneath.

 

4sallypat

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2016
3,507
3,318
So Calif
M1 Mini supports dual displays so if you do a lot with photos, consider getting 2 displays.

My eyes are not able to focus on small 13" screens anymore so my "smallest" laptop I used to use daily is a 16" MBP but giving to my wife as the M1 Mini now fits the bill with dual large screens for use all day without strain.
IMG_6679.jpg
 

ssledoux

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
4,321
4,191
Down south
Thank you all. I have actually decided I am not getting the mini. I tried to cancel and couldn’t but I’ll return it when it arrives. For the one thing I really need to be able to do that I can’t on my iPad, I’m gonna just work around it, and make it happen. I feel like I need to maximize the one device I have instead of buying another.
 

Suzatlarge

macrumors member
May 4, 2008
90
47
Colorado
Thank you all. I have actually decided I am not getting the mini. I tried to cancel and couldn’t but I’ll return it when it arrives. For the one thing I really need to be able to do that I can’t on my iPad, I’m gonna just work around it, and make it happen. I feel like I need to maximize the one device I have instead of buying another.
It sounds like you really went into depth on your buying decision, and made the right choice for yourself. Good luck with your photo projects!
 

ssledoux

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
4,321
4,191
Down south
It sounds like you really went into depth on your buying decision, and made the right choice for yourself. Good luck with your photo projects!

Well, they will probably wind up being a little more simplified than normal, but getting the photos printed or into books is my main concern, and I am pretty sure I can make that happen. If not, or if I’m not really pleased with how it works out, I’ll get an M1 iMac whenever those release.
 
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