I currently use a 2016 15" Touch Bar MBP, a 2018 13" Face ID iPad Pro, a 44mm series 4 Apple Watch and now a n iPhone 11 Pro Max. There’s a bit of a rotation to my Apple tech updates. Simplified, I approach planning my finances to allow one of these devices to be updated on an annual basis. Or there about.
I have a need of a static Mac. That is one that’s not battery powered and that can sit with wake on network activity enabled to serve a couple of needs:
- Media Server,
- The host for Time Machine storage.
I’m also going to want to upgrade the MacBook Pro in the next few years.
There are two approaches I could take to my future Macs that I can see:
- Keep the MBP a while (I have no pressing need to replace it) and get a Mac mini in the near future — eventually replacing the MBP with a new MacBook,
- Get an iMac to replace the MBP — removing any reason to buy a mini.
Cost is a consideration, but not to the degree that it makes the less expensive route (iMac) a clear winner. A mini is cheaper in the short term, and I’m in no hurry to replace my primary Mac; the MBP. I do absolutely value the freedom of a portable Mac (I’m reclined on the sofa with my MBP right now poking around in Catalina). It’s also fair to say that I use the iPad Pro far more than I use my Mac these days.
So I’m curious to crowdsource some thoughts from my fellow Mac nerds. I’ll take everything from the rational “take the least expensive option that meets your needs” to any oddball consideration. Maybe a less expensive iMac and a future MacBook Air has some advantage I hadn’t considered.
I guess that a Mac used to serve media and serve as a backup target for other Macs in the house has no strenuous performance requirements. An iPod touch is about powerful enough for this task, if it had the capability! I do sometimes need some horsepower though — I do make use of the processor and discrete graphics hardware of my MBP. A well specced iMac could obviously handle both sets of requirements.
None of this is particularly urgent.
What would you do?