Going all mini all of the time [Setups]

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It's all
It's all "mini" except the monitor, pretty much.
Photo: seemerdane@Reddit.com

The new M1 iPad mini garners rave reviews for its powerful performance and easily handled size. The M1 Mac mini is well-established as a compact but capable desktop machine. The HomePod mini smart speaker has flourished after the demise of the full-sized HomePod. So it’s no wonder to see “all mini” computer setups cropping up.

Redditor seemerdane flaunted a nice mini-centric setup recently in a post entitled, “M1 Mac mini, iPad mini, HomePod mini. Taken on, you guessed it, an iPhone 13 mini.”

Not pictured by very much present: iPhone 13 mini

The new iPhone 13 mini isn’t pictured because it took the photo. Commenting Redditors gushed with enthusiasm over the new petite handset as well as the other smallish gear in seemerdane’s setup.

“This set up works really well for me,” seemerdane said, replying to comments. “The form factor of the iPhone mini is perfect for the way I use my phone. Only trade off is slightly less battery life, which has improved with the 13.”

Seemerdane refers to the iPhone mini’s shorter battery life than its bigger siblings, iPhone 13 / 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max. After all, the smaller device has a smaller battery. But the iPhone 13 mini has significantly improved battery life over its predecessor, the iPhone 12 mini, in addition to other enhancements.

All mini but the monitor

Seemerdane pairs his M1 Mac mini and iPad mini (run via Sidecar) with a 24-inch AOC G2490VX Class Frameless Gaming Monitor. The screen isn’t “mini,” but it’s not exactly mammoth, either.

The display may not be very big, but it’s formidable for a screen costing under $200. It sports 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 1ms response time and a 144Hz refresh with AMD FreeSync Premium and FlickerFree tech. That makes for smooth gaming.

Why have an iPad in the mix?

One Redditor asked what the point of the iPad is, alongside the Mac mini. Is it useful as a second screen?

Sidecar, as well as having another device in the ecosystem, a larger device than their phone for mobile media consumption, mobile games, and photography and videography, plus many people do some photo and video editing on them on the go, which they can’t do with a Mac mini,” offered another Redditor, by way of explanation.

Seemerdane agreed.

“This hits it on the head,” they said of the comment above. “For when I can’t be bound to the desk but would like more than a phone. Interested to see how It will be used when Universal Control in macOS Monterey is available.”

Some people might prefer to have a MacBook for work on-the-go, or even both a laptop and an iPad. Seemerdane goes with the Mac mini for desktop use and has the iPad mini for mobile use. They actually have a MacBook, too, but it’s a bit of a relic in semi-retirement.

“Do you use a MacBook on the go?” another Redditor asked. “If so, is it easy to keep your files synced?”

“That’s where the iPad comes in,” seemerdane replied. “But file syncing/continuity is the main draw to using the Apple ecosystem for me. I do have a 2007 MacBook if I absolutely need it but it can’t be upgraded past 10.7.5, which is ancient.”

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