iPad only but still need a Mac

Couple of years ago I sold my 2015 MBP and went iPad only first with Air 2 and then 10.5 pro, Smart Keyboard and pencil. Love it but the family still had a 2010 iMac and I used that for things I just can’t do on iPad. Main thing - file management. Still seems slow on the iOS to shift around lots of files in iCloud.

Daughter went to university this September and she wanted a Mac. Wasn’t sure about the laptops so gave her the iMac.

Now I would really love to have a Mac working in the background. Perhaps loaded with Hazel and Keyboard Maestro - but which one? Maybe run it headless.

Can’t really afford almost £800 for a Mac Mini. Do I get an old mini? Seem underpowered but does that matter for what I want? Or do I get the old iMac and get daughter new MacBook Air? Help!

I am in the same boat as you: iPad for most everything, but still keep an iMac for more intensive file actions and for heavy duty spreadsheet work. My guess is there will be a lot of used Mac Mini’s showing up on eBay over the next couple of weeks as folks scramble to upgrade to the new model introduced yesterday. I would think a 2012-2014 mini would be pretty affordable and do what you needed.

Depends on what you need. I have a 2012 quad-core i7 mini currently running High Sierra, manually upgraded to 16Gb RAM. You can buy them on ebay for $500ish, probably less after yesterday’s announcement, I bet. Absolutely fine for web browsing and light computing (Photos, Numbers, Pages) and as a home server for movies and music. Too slow for me for heavy use of Lightroom/Photoshop, however.