Q I’m starting a small design consultancy and I want to kit the office out with Macs. I’ll be replacing two or three each year, in order to be sure we have the latest equipment. From a resale point of view, is it better to get MacBook Airs or Mac minis? George Collias
A I’d go with Mac minis. A trickedout Air costs about £500 more than a mid-range mini, and yet has worse performance. It’s true that once you’ve added keyboard, mouse and monitor to the mini it will be more expensive again, but you won’t need to replace those every year. Invest in Apple Thunderbolt displays and you’ll have a topquality monitor that should be good for at least five years. You can also upgrade the mini’s RAM and disk storage.
That means that you’re reselling a lower total value of hardware each year and so don’t lose as much to depreciation. The percentage depreciation seems to be quite similar – laptops are more desirable, but are generally treated more roughly, so the amount the price needs to drop in order to tempt the buyer is about the same.
A Mac mini is a better investment because you can upgrade it without replacing the screen.