Hi everyone, I am seeking some help finding a future-proof solution in the midst of a transition to a Mac upgrade combined with my current life situation.
I currently have an aging MacBook Pro 13-inch from 2016. While it still is usable, it’s struggling more often than not, and I would like to give it away before it may die with all my data on it (no worries, I do have backups). That actually is a scenario I dread due to privacy and because I suppose this would be quite a hassle. I also don’t want to burden myself with a machine that may have to be repaired just to give it away. This way I’ll also get a bit of money for the new purchase. Now the question is only with what to replace it with…
Next to this machine, I also have an iPad Pro, which will stay in the mix.
Since the scenario (machine suddenly giving up) can happen anytime, I thought about investing in a Synology and keeping my data on there. I am aware that there will always be some data on the device, but at this point it’s about the mix: future proofing, mitigating risk and getting back a smooth and workable machine for private work.
So, what’s the issue?
I clearly differentiate between the work laptop I get from my employer and my private work laptop, since I like and have to keep things separate. While the majority of my time is on the day job machine, I also need the private machine to manage my life and work on the occasional side gig. This includes Figma, Affinity Photo/Designer, remote workshops including parallel usage of Miro, Keynote and of course the fun stuff such as Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, Obsidian, Devonthink and so on.
I thought about buying the new 14-inch MB Pro but the version I configured would cost about 3000 Euro. Since I currently would use this device only by about 20% I can’t really justify the cost right now. This might change in 8 to 12 months, but currently I can’t say for certain.
This is where the idea of the new M1 Mac Mini comes in. I really like the idea of it running alongside the Synology to handle all my files and being able to use it as an occasional work machine. I would only need to buy the Mini and some speakers since all the peripherals exist. In my mind, this would also allow me to mostly use the iPad Pro. So instead of spending 3K Euro for a new Laptop, I’d spend less than half for the Mini and could then add the MacBook Pro if I ever really needed to (and who knows what Apple has waiting for us then). Also, not worrying about battery life seems quite nice.
What I don’t like about the M1 Mini is the limitation of ports (might be irrational, though). Then, as these things go: I looked at the “smallest” Mac Studio, but that is already pretty expensive with about 2,5K Euro. Also, my mind then just goes: well, it’s “only” 500 Euro more for the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and I’m back to where I started
The only thought that could potentially justify the Mac Studio is that it would be absolutely future-proof and more than enough for my needs, and because if I am completely honest: I rarely made use of the portability features of the laptop over the years. After all, there is still an iPad Pro. Then again, I could go with the M1 Mini for now and upgrade later based on how everything unfolds.
The question I currently struggle with is: am I missing something? Is there a better solution? Am I still sane? As it is now, I am considering the M1 Mini option.
I’d really appreciate insights and your perspectives on this issue. How would you go about this?