Question Mac Mini vs Macbook Air - which to buy?

PCDevil

Prominent
Aug 9, 2021
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Hi.

Up until now I have always had Windows computers, but I've decided to switch to Apple. Having looked at specs, prices, common issues and opinions, I am still not sure which is the best option. It will be replacing a desktop PC and laptop, although I do have a tablet for a portable option.

I will use the computer for Photoshop and Lightroom and Microsoft Office (or an equivalent software). I sometimes have fairly large Photoshop documents open with many layers, but I can do less layers per document if needed. Not likely to have anything else open at the same time or use it for much else.

I am considering the Macbook Air. Either M1, 16GB, 512GB SSD or M2, 16GB, 256GB SSD.

Or the Mini. M1, 16GB, 512GB SSD, or possibly even the 1TB SSD.

I like the idea of it being portable, but if I had the Air I would be mostly attaching it to an external monitor. I know the Air doesn't have fans or vents so worry it would get too hot running Photoshop for hours, even with smaller files, or just being on all day.

I like the Pro, but it's out of my budget sadly. Aside from having fans, I'm not sure I'd gain any benefit anyway with the M2 Pro (16GB, 256GB) over the M2 Air, but it would cost more.

Based on spec and cost/value for money, the Mini seems the clear winner, but I know it does have a few issues (e.g. Bluetooth connection).

Is the Mini the best option for me? Would the M1 or M2 Air be better?

Also, are there any UK stores that have the 16GB computers? I can only seem to find 8GB everywhere other than direct from Apple.

Thanks.
 
Whether or not to get a laptop or a desktop really depends on one thing: do you need portability? Or will you use it enough to matter?

Regarding the thermals, I don't think it's a problem per se:
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Air-2020-M1-Entry-Review-Apple-M1-CPU-humbles-Intel-and-AMD.508057.0.html#toc-6
 

PCDevil

Prominent
Aug 9, 2021
6
0
510
0
Whether or not to get a laptop or a desktop really depends on one thing: do you need portability? Or will you use it enough to matter?

Regarding the thermals, I don't think it's a problem per se:
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Air-2020-M1-Entry-Review-Apple-M1-CPU-humbles-Intel-and-AMD.508057.0.html#toc-6
Thanks for replying.

I don't truly need it to be portable, I can use my tablet, but it would be useful to have an Air at times.
 

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