Apple MacBook Pro purchase timing

You only have 8 gb of ram now? Is your MBP one of those where adding ram is less than practical?

The keyboard could just need cleaning for the S key, but I have no idea which keyboard yours has and if it can’t really take keys off. If you can’t, maybe trying blowing air into it - but that could just move any trash into a different area.

One thing you might think about, should you decide to wait longer - but worry that you wait a year, it still doesn’t have a big change, but you don’t want to wait longer. So you buy then and a year later the fancy new ones come out! That sucks, but otoh, would you have wasted any money? I mean, if you spend X amount now or X amount in a year, you still have spent the same money. The only loss is that you wouldn’t have gotten that extra year of using a better computer. But if, in that year before you buy, they make a smaller improvement, you still have a better computer to keep or sell.

If I went this route eventually, I’d probably be using an older Mac version for Tuneskit - Windows costs too much money for what I’d use it for. Unless something else I want only comes on Windows someday.

Sounds like a promo deal on a 16GB MBP would do fine. Have you checked out the new MB Air?

More ports on the pro, but you can get good deals on both if you keep the cpu and ssd reasonable.

Hmmm, MBP he has weight 3.46 pounds.

Mac mini weighs 2.9 pounds (plus the Luna Display) for output.

iPad Pro 12.9 inch weighs 1.39 pounds.

iPad Pro 11 inch weights 1.03 pounds.

So, depending on which ipad, total weight of the mini and an ipad ranges from 3.93 - 4.29 pounds. Heavier than the 2014 MBP, but only by 0.47 - 0.83 pounds (and if you don’t need a big screen at all, there is always the ipad mini which is just 0.67 pounds!

And what do you get in exchange for this extra weight? A darn powerful computer for starters! And lots of ports! Oh, add in 1.5 oz for the TB keyboard! But you could use any other one if you wanted.

I don’t think the weight issue would be that big of a deal. More likely the bigger disadvantage, depending on how you work, is that it would be a bit of a hassle if you tend to move from place to place with the laptop and only have to open it up and start typing. If you go to work (or back home) and just set it up for use one place, this may work well as long as you don’t need a real big screen (which you can also plug into if there is an available one at work or home).

But another plus with the Mini approach is you can always take the ipad separately when you can get by with just that as you move from space to space.

$800 for the base Mini. Add in $200 for 16 gb (unless you qualify for an educators or military/veteran’s discount - note the veteran’s discount is better). And you may already have an ipad you are satisfied with.

Even though I much prefer to use a Mac rather than an iPad, I don’t see myself ever buying a laptop again. I can at least get by with the ipad when necessary and you get more bang for the buck with a desktop system.

I have 16GB, but I would not want to go down to 8GB. One of the deals linked above was an 8GB machine.

This is intriguing — I could imagine traveling to an office where I need OS/X and setting up the Mac Mini with the iPad. But then when I need to roam to meetings or other offices nearby just grabbing the iPad and (Textblade or Apple Pencil) for that period of time. 75% of the time I’d be doing iOS stuff when roaming but if needed I could always remote back in to the now headless mini.

Does the mini have a big ugly heavy power adapter nowadays?

I wouldn’t want 8 gb either so that was one of the upgrades I did.

Remoting back to the Mini can be done via the Luna Display if you are on the same wi-fi. I haven’t done a lot with it, but maybe in that case, distance isn’t an issue. Otherwise, you may have to have some other remote method of connecting.

Mini just seems to have a plug - no brick. So you have to take a cord with you (or have an extra at work). If your laptop lasts long enough on a charge, you might not need it’s cord. But if you do, that requires the brick part of the charger (unless they’ve done away with that on models newer than mine).

I’m starting to take this option much more seriously.

Is there a reason to use Luna Display rather than software such as Jump which does not require a special adapter? With Jump I could use it on the same WiFi or even when I leave the mini behind and I travel to a different WiFi.

I’d need to finally research getting an actual mouse! I’ve been skimming all the mouse discussions thinking how interesting some of the devices are even though I would never need one for myself.

If you are doing something already to connect to a computer, then you are probably fine just doing that. I haven’t done that for years so I don’t remember much! I think it was LogMeIn when it was free. I used it so rarely that it wasn’t worth paying for later.

I haven’t compared ports on MBPs vs the Mini, but everything I’ve read about the Mini was that it is pretty generous with ports. An HDMI, 4 thunderbolt 3.0 (usb-c), Ethernet, 2 regular USB, even a headphone jack!

I’m just trying to avoid needing an extra piece of hardware to connect.

The ports seem very generous.

Now that I’m taking this option seriously, the biggest drawback I see is the shape/size. I’ve been evolving towards thin & tall devices (like an iPad), while the Apple Mini is short and fat. In the process I’ve squeezed everything out of my life that has thickness, even to the extent that I did away with the thickish plastic apple (wired) earbuds case in favor of a firm fabric zip case, and I’ve been refusing to buy the Apple AirPods because they come in the thick squat case.

At 1.5" thick this would almost triple my carrying thickness, while not taking up all of the length and width so that things would stack awkwardly instead of laying flat. I would have to be creative on the carrying geometry. Maybe somehow use the extra length and width space to carry accessories like mouse and cables.

Yeah, but for that sacrifice, you get a lot of power. Trying to be creative to find ways to combine things can be a challenge though!

In my case, if I had a need to transport it, I’d probably tend to have an extra power cord I just keep in the carrying bag (so I don’t forget it and also because I have so many cords on my desk, I’d rather not have to worry about untangling anything!).

But I’d need a different bag, probably. Usually I use a fairly thin bag. It has pockets, but the ipad has to in the main compartment and that wouldn’t work well when also carrying the Mini!

Just so we know how to make comparisons, what MBP would you have been considering getting?

It would probably be the current 13" Macbook Pro. Probably with the touchbar for the cool factor and for $200 worth of impressing certain people who like to see me always having cool things. :slight_smile:

A benefit of the laptop is that it would be one more screen than the mini. Using my iPad as my only OS/X screen would mean I’d swipe back and forth between OS/X and iOS (I just checked and it swipes quite well) with only the iPhone as an extra screen for cloud apps.

I don’t know much about the touch bar - other than a lot of people hate it, which initially seemed strange to me. But I’ve read there are two basic issues, at least. One is, because it changes, you have to look down at it to be sure of what you are doing (while using keys, everything is always the same place). The other seems to be the lack of a hardware esc key. Though I think I’ve read that you can set it up so it always has an esc in a certain place (not sure).

Did some checking on screen sizes - much to hard to find square inches. Those diagonal measurements are so affected by the screen ratio that they get confusing.

Anyway, assuming my sources are correct:

iPad Mini = 29.6 square inches
10.5" iPad = 53.2 square inches
11" iPad = didn’t find yet
12.9" iPad = 80.3 square inches
13.3 mbp = 79.49 square inches

So the large iPad is fractionally more screen size than the MBP. But, as you say, you would only have one screen. So it depends on your needs - how much you need to see at one time.

Of course, there is always the option of buying a Mini - mostly for home use - and leave the laptop at work. Only taking the Mini in when you need extra power. Then when the new Apple cpus come out in a couple years, you get one of those and use the Mini as a server!

@cameron you mentioned using the Propoint mouse for travel. Do you think this mouse could be used as a single primary mouse and also for travel, or do you feel there are compromises that make it not suitable to use as a full time mouse?

If you’re presenting to clients, the space grey mbp is probably the best way to go.

Since it’s self-powered on batteries, you don’t need to do any setup to show your screen to a client. No cables needed, whereas mini must get connected to power and monitor.

For a primarily stationary setup, dbk’s mini + LG 4K is hard to beat. But your use case is different.

If you go to a client conference room and meet for an hour, the mbp will impress and get the job done.

The space grey finish presents as more valuable than the clear anodized aluminum (silver).

Of course, they are supposed to be doing a new Mac Pro this year so you could get that! I don’t even want to think about the price!

But if it is truly modular, that would be great. Actually, I’d like to see Apple have both a low and high end computer that is good for hobbyists. The Mini would be for the low end - but it would need to allow for much easier RAM upgrades. And the SSD would need to be able to be changed easily. If you could upgrade the cpu or other stuff, that might be nice, but at least those two things. Then the Mac Pro for those who don’t want limits on power and want to upgrade everything possible.

But if left with, basically, what we have, then I’d like to see a couple changes.

It has 2 usb 3 ports. Why not make it version 3.1? It’s hard to keep track of all the USB changes, but isn’t that twice as fast? And instead of 2, make it 4. Eventually we probably won’t have the old usb connections, but for now, a lot of us have plenty of things we wouldn’t want to throw out. And if I can minimize the need for a hub, that’s a plus.

Actually, one thing that has impressed people in meeting rooms quite a bit is my being the only person at the table WITHOUT a laptop. Meetings nowadays almost feel like a 9-Way standoff with big glowing laptop screens rising like walls between the participants and the laptop base taking up so much table space, along with their paper folio notepads and pens, big yellow pads, and often PC users with a nasty mouse dangling from a USB cable and half the people with power blocks snaking around finding a path to the floor.

I slide my iPad out of its sleeve and take notes with the Apple Pencil. I can pull in and annotate PDFs, whiteboard photos snapped with my phone, or any web documents and slide the device over to consult with someone, or turn my iPad around to show the whole group. Try that with a laptop! If I need to stand it up for reference I have a very elegant minimal stand to place it on that’s barely noticeable until I use it, and I can type and take notes (or consult slack colleagues not at the meeting) with my low profile Textblade that’s also barely noticeable until used. @waytools you shouldn’t underestimate the ways that a Textblade enables thinking differently about a more flexible modern meeting environment. :slight_smile:

It’s not that other people don’t have iPads or iPhones to bring to meetings, it’s just that they haven’t migrated much of their work and activity there so for them it’s not flexibly useful during a meeting whereas for me I am fully functional in addition to having the much better meeting footprint. Particularly the ability to move gracefully between pencil and textblade and display-only or to integrate those three on the fly along with access to all of my files and notes and communication makes it a real winner.

I admit that part of the appeal of @dabigkahuna’s suggestion is that it would be very out of the box thinking, but it’s a lot of power at an awesome price and it would physically force me further down the path of tablet only habits —- I’d just have that mini sitting under the iPad for use as needed. I would probably also preposition a 2nd monitor at my most common travel location.

Obvious drawbacks are ZERO minutes battery time if I ever did want to use it elsewhere, and one fewer screen than a laptop. But then when the next generation from Apple comes out (2021?) I can reconsider and jump back into laptop land if needed.


I use the ProPoint mouse everywhere accept at my desk where I have a docking station that has a mouse already plugged in. For me, it would be easy to see using the ProPoint as my only mouse… of course, I’m confident that once WayTools releases their alternative, that’s all I will want to use.

If MacOS is not a requirement, you may want to consider a Surface Pro. IMO, it, along with a TextBlade and ProPoint makes for a very compact workstation.

When at my desk, I plug into the Microsoft Surface Dock (one nice magnetic connection) and have it drive one 4K external monitor (although it can drive two) and access wired network. Kensington offers a Surface Pro docking station that holds the tablet firmly so that it can be used like a Surface Studio (with, in comparison, a tiny screen).

You can get 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, i7-8650U (Kaby Lake) for $1700. The dock is available on Amazon for ~130.

Ironically, even though WayTools appears to be an Apple focused shop, I believe the Surface Pro is best suited for taking full advantage of the TextBlade and yet-to-be-named/developed mouse from WayTools.

Of course, if you require MacOS, then none of this is an option.

I’m hoping that if/when Apple moves to ARM cores for their Mac line that they will enable the iPad Pros to run the same MacOS that will run on the Macs. I’ve tried to migrate from my current computing environment to the iPad Pro, but there are too many things I’d be giving up. While there are some things that I find superior on the iPad, the cost/benefit analysis for me still lands firmly on the Surface Pro side for me.


@taylor I notice the ProPoint is asymmetric. Is it for right handed people?

(speaking as an aggrieved leftie)