Apple still hasn’t given me a reason to buy the M1 iPad Pro, but they do keep giving me reasons to buy Macs.

This is frustrating. Because it’s a rather expensive game to get into.

I’ve never owned more than one Mac until now. But when I started my reviews business and decided to sway heavily towards Tim and co’s products, I knew I’d soon be filling my house with a family of Macs.

However, since doing just that, I’ve discovered some compelling benefits that come from owning more than one Mac – if you have the budget to do so.

Why I have three Macs

I never return review units that I’ve purchased. If I buy something, it’s a commitment – partly because I think it’s a bit cheeky to enter a buy-and-return cycle for reviewing purposes, but also because I’m far more interested in offering longer-term opinions of tech that has hit my own bank balance.

However – no one needs more than one computer.

Tradition dictates that you choose the type of computer that’ll deliver the biggest bang-for-buck and stick with it for a good few years. Form factor, spec, and compatibility with your stuff will be the main considerations.

But what if you can afford to buy more than one Mac? Would it really be a worthwhile investment?

I think it would, and to offer some inspiration, here’s how I use three very different Macs for my business.

The M1 Mac mini

Up until recently, this was my daily driver. It was the computer at which I undertook pretty much every task, from video editing to general email duties, writing and remote collaboration.

It is brilliant. There are issues, and, in fact, one rather big one which cripples the entire experience for some users. But it remains the purest expression of the M1 chip.

It’s a box with a computer inside it. You add to it what you need (which, obviously, will start with a keyboard, mouse and monitor), but the power contained within that box will surprise you, daily.

These days (for reasons that’ll become clear), the M1 Mac mini is my video and audio editing station. That’s pretty much all it does, but teamed with my huge 34” ultra-widescreen monitor, it’s the best tool I have for the job.

The M1 MacBook Air

This is the best laptop I’ve ever owned.

If the Mac mini is the purest expression of the M1 chip, the MacBook Air reveals what it’s really capable of.

It is, arguably, the most obvious Mac in which to place that chip. The MacBook Air demands amazing battery life and superb performance without compromising the size of its tapered chassis. Ever since the original version was removed from a manilla envelope by the late Steve Jobs, the MacBook Air has attempted to defy its slender profile.

It did so admirably with the many Intel variants we’ve seen over the years, but the M1 is an absolute game-changer for the MacBook Air.

Mine is the first device I use each day. I’m using it now, in fact; it’s the computer on which I undertake my morning routine, which involves writing these blogs, replying to email and planning for the day ahead. 

It gets thrown around a bit (I’ve somehow dented it) and travels with me everywhere without ever being a concern, thanks to the amazing battery life.

I’m intrigued to see what Apple does next with the Air. Although, I’m a little nervous, too; it could so easily be ruined with a needless redesign.

Please don’t, Tim.

The 24” M1 iMac

I would never have bought this computer if it wasn’t for my reviews business. And that would really only have been for one reason: the size of the screen.

As it turns out, that would have been massively shortsighted.

The 24” M1 iMac (I’m still never sure how to arrange its name) has replaced the M1 Mac mini as my daily driver. I bought the base spec version, and the combination of that beautiful 24” retina screen and powerful M1 chip makes it the best all-rounder in my current Mac line up.

Sure, I can’t really take it to the coffee shop, but that’s why I have the MacBook Air. And, no, I don’t edit videos on it – the screen is too small – but the Mac mini and ultra-widescreen setup scratches that particular itch.

The iMac is a bit like my office manager. It helps me undertake all the tasks that aren’t always particularly creative, but which occupy large portions of my day and which are vital for the smooth running of my business.

I don’t even miss its 27” ancestor, and the new iMac’s design is an absolute sight to behold. It is a joyous computer to use.

From the day I first placed it on my desk, the 24” iMac revealed how beneficial this expensive-but-brilliant job of being a tech reviewer can be. I wouldn’t have exposed myself to this device if I hadn’t felt a duty to do so for my audience.

That would have been a mistake, because it’s easily the best purchase I’ve made all year.

Wrap up

So, there you have it – an explanation of how I use three Macs, which isn’t at all stretched, contradictory or chock-full of justification.

Do you use more than one Mac? How?