I hope I got this in the right forum link (I don't really post all that often just in large blocks). It didn't seem to fit in the hardware forum since it seemed related to Ubuntu issues with hardware. If it isn't right, hopefully a moderator can help me get it where it needs to be, and sorry for the trouble if it is. So basically here is the situation.
I am currently living in Puerto Rico working as a web developer (mostly web APIs for services the company provides). Currently all development is done using C# so they are Windows shop. However, they are looking to start creating mobile clients with for their software, and they want native IOS and Android apps. I was forcibly volunteered to start working on the IOS solutions and they are going to provide me with an IMac (at work only). Since work has to come home with me.... a lot..... Then I am going to be needing a way to work at home as well. Now I am in the market for a Mac for home, but I just don't know which would be the best choice for me while not completely hammering my wallet all at once. I tried to google for solid information between the choices but most of the answers were related to the GPU performance which isn't a very high requirement for me, and the Ubuntu Community of Users tends to be the best place for me to turn to for answers. They are a really great group.
So I am turning to those here who might have had a situation similar to mine in the past. I am looking at 2 different options right now, but I am open to any advice anyone can give me.
Option 1 - Mac Mini
The Mac mini is due for a refresh, I know this much, but the specs are still fairly solid. I love the minimalist nature of the design as well, and I wouldn't be disappointed if they do a refresh soon after buying. The reason I am interested in it despite the refresh is HDD space. I tend to have Windows and Ubuntu on all my PCs and I would like to have the ability to at least have Windows or Ubuntu (or both) running in a virtual machine without hassle. The 500 gb HDD makes this much easier over some of the newer options from Apple since they use 128 or 256 gb SSDs. Also, at the price of a mini, I could get it and a cheap laptop and not spend as much as on the 2012 macbook pro (down to one desktop at the house with my wife's now in heaven, and my laptop is having power and heating issues).
Option 2 - 2012 version Macbook pro
This would kind of kill 2 birds with one stone. It would replace my aging and failing laptop and I could always hook it up to a monitor at home. There isn't a huge difference in the specs, and portability is a tremendous plus in today's world.
Although the GPU isn't high on my priority, for a hobby, I mess around with the Unity Engine, but only simple 2D stuff, but still with that in mind, would I be better off going with a 13 inch Macbook Air or Retina Macbook pro (sorry I guess there was a third option >.<)?
If any web developers stumble across this and can give me some advice, I would appreciate it. I haven't had a Mac since the old beige G3s running OS 8 and 9, and that was when I was a child.
Thanks in advance for any readers who come across this.