Which home mac?

I am a backend developer (mostly Java) and use a Big Boy 15” MBP with six cores and 32gb ram at work, and when I need to work from home or I need it for something I’ll take it home.
However I almost never take it home on weeknights, and have been using a chrome book whenever I just want to surf while watching Tv or something.

Recently I’ve decided to either replace or add to the chromebook with a Mac, and my first thought was the MacBook Air 2018. As I said if I really need power, it’s available to me at one days notice.

But then this Mac mini episode comes along and gives me doubt. I already have a full set up for the work machine with several screens, keyboard, mouse and all that Jazz.

I don’t need a home server, I have a FreeNAS box which serves Plex and all kinds of other stuff already.

And then Of course I slide from the Mac Mini to the iMac, because wouldn’t a 5K screen be nice, even when working from home?

The end game is that since I don’t really need power, a used 5K is actually not that much more expensive than an Air, though of course it is more expensive than a mini. Of course I will have to keep using the chrome book on the couch, but that’s really not that bad.

I’ve looked at 5K displays, and they just suck compared to the iMac, so if I get a 5K that’s how I’m gonna get it.

Oh, and I have a ps4 for games, and I do some Paradox strategy games on the mbp, but not enough for it to have any influence on this decision.


For getting work done in a home office setting, nothing beats the 27" iMac IMHO. The 5k screen is so nice, plenty of real-estate to view large sets of data / documents / detailed photos or illustrations… (I guess the iMac Pro would be even better, but out of my budget.)

I started out with an early Intel MacMini back in the “switcher” campaign days, then got a 27" iMac that lasted me 8 years. Great machine with a good lifespan. Hoping this 5k model will last for a long time too. My current opinion is that I will probably replace this one with a new iMac when the time comes.

I also use the iPad Pro 12.9, so that is my go-to for anything when I’m not in front of the iMac.

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iPad is a good idea for replacing the Chrome book. Since I will now have a desktop with a fully functional keyboard (chromebook has an OK keyboard, but the ctrl, alt and cmd keys obviously do not work as I expect) I can always get off my fat ass and walk over to the desk when I need to write that email or whatever it is.

Good thoughts on the iMac. I feel like I’ll feel(!) the same way when I get it, but until then the price is a bigger factor.

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I’m in a similar situation: I have a 15” MBP that travels home with me every day (and weekends). I have a TB3 dock and a 4K + secondary display in both locations, so if I want to do work at home, I have a very good environment. However, I’ve found that I also enjoy doing work on the couch, and when I travel, the iPad just doesn’t cut it as a sole device, so I’ve opted for a small notebook (12” MacBook) as my secondary computer.

It’s up for replacement in the late spring, and I’ll probably go with a new MacBook Air.

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It doesn’t sound like you really need a Mac at home. You can take home the MBP if you need macOS. But if you’re talking about movies etc then I’d suggest the powerful-enough, bog-standard 32Gb iPad; right now Amazon, B&H and Costco have it for $299, and Apple sells it refurbished (with as-new warranty) for $279

You’ve completely misread my post then.

I missed the bit about keeping the Chromebook for on-the-couch work too :slight_smile:

Meh, I could have written it better, but English is not my first language and I wrote it on the bus.

Your English is better than my every other language :slight_smile: (Except maybe C, python, javascript, java, and a few others too obscure to mention)


  • If you are replacing the Chromebook, you certainly would want a MacBook Air to get the portability. That would rule out the mini or iMac
  • If you are keeping the Chromebook, and want a way to work at the desk, the iMac is the way to go.
  • I don’t see any reason to look at using a mini since you would want a good display and you particularly like the one in the iMac.

(Note that I use a 27" iMac daily, a MacBookPro infrequently, and have several minis. I’m also retired so don’t have a work environment to consider.)

Yes! You’re right! This is the correct view of the decision I have to make… And since I’m already using the Chromebook, I think a used iMac is the correct choice! Now I just have to find one with TB3 (because I have a lot of accessories from work) at a good price…

Thanks everyone :sunny:

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