M1 Mac Mini vs 2019 i3 Macbook Air

trick0502

Supreme [H]ardness
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Apr 17, 2006
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Can someone school me on the performance differences between the two? My wife is a teacher and last year for Christmas I got her the Macbook Air. At the time she wasn't really using it that much, but that has changed. With remote learning she is on it all day long. It really just isn't keeping up with the load she is using it for and needs something better. The Air was her first Mac and she really can't/wont go back to windows.

So my question really is, is the Mac Mini M1 an upgrade from an base model air? or should I look for something better? I am not a Mac guy.
 

trick0502

Supreme [H]ardness
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zoom, office and chrome

or should i look for an older intel mini?
 

SuperSubZero

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Can someone school me on the performance differences between the two? My wife is a teacher and last year for Christmas I got her the Macbook Air. At the time she wasn't really using it that much, but that has changed. With remote learning she is on it all day long. It really just isn't keeping up with the load she is using it for and needs something better. The Air was her first Mac and she really can't/wont go back to windows.

So my question really is, is the Mac Mini M1 an upgrade from an base model air? or should I look for something better? I am not a Mac guy.
With the Mini you lose portability as the Mini is a desktop unit intended to be connected to a monitor and keyboard and mouse.

It doesn't take a "Mac guy" to know an i3 is pretty low-end. It's not like on "PC" an i3 is an i3 and on Mac an i3 is a 40-core Xeon. It's an i3.

That said, you may want to watch some of the infinity-1 Youtube videos with M1 Macs of all types reviewed, critiqued, benchmarked, and fawned over.

etc.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
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Oct 7, 2000
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zoom, office and chrome

or should i look for an older intel mini?
that all works on a pc or a chromebook even, no need for her to be tied to apple. if you do get her a M1 based device, she can always use the online versions if the local apps dont work. she might already be all online anyways, our teachers are.
ps: the "I3" in those is really a core 2 duo, they are crap. i should know, its what we give our teachers...
 

UnknownSouljer

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I would avoid an i3 at all costs. It's not even comparable in terms of speed or usability.
The M1 is blisteringly fast. For your wife it will probably seem like everything is nigh instantaneous. Including all of its regular functions. Most programs launch with less than 1 dock bounce. Wake is instant. She'll love 20 hours of actual battery life. It's literally silent (passively cooled). They upgraded a lot of the "invisible" things too that will help with Zoom calls - the speakers have been upgraded as have the inbuilt mics (they sound better than most headsets now). The camera looks and works great. On off hours she'll more than likely love to use it to watch things on streaming services (as the combo of display quality and audio quality is again better than anything in its class). It's a quantum leap faster than most computers in general - especially in this price range - regardless of platform.

The only caveats are just whether or not she needs x86 (software compatibility), Windows, and more ports than 2 (in case it's not apparent, you get around this by mostly having bluetooth peripherals, and/or using a Thunderbolt Dock if you really need port expansion). For most users of her type it will be all upsides; she's not really using any legacy software (Office runs like native, all the browsers have been updated, etc). If you have a chance to go to an Apple store (or Best Buy, or other retailer that carries Mac hardware) to check one out, I think you'll see all of the immediate differences.
 

trick0502

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i was thinking of going to the mini because she is always at a desk. the air can be used when she wants to do light tasks from the couch.

port wise, shes been working off of a dock now with monitor, kb/m and webcam.

so the m1 mini is a giant upgrade from the i3 air?
 

Cardinals

Limp Gawd
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i was thinking of going to the mini because she is always at a desk. the air can be used when she wants to do light tasks from the couch.

port wise, shes been working off of a dock now with monitor, kb/m and webcam.

so the m1 mini is a giant upgrade from the i3 air?
I have the base M1 Mac Mini (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) that I'm testing at work. I usually use a 16in MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. Zoom, Office 365, and Chrome all work. The Rosetta 2 translation software will install the first time you try to run a program compiled for Intel. If you want an M1 native version of Office, you can switch to the Beta channel although the Intel version works just fine under Rosetta 2. https://isapplesiliconready.com/ has a handy list of software compatibility.

I can tell you that the M1 Mac Mini is handling everything I do without breaking a sweat and runs very cool to the touch. I don't think I've heard the fan kick on once. I have it hooked up to one 5K USB-C monitor and one 4K HDMI monitor.
 
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