The humble Mac Mini gets new life this week, standing out among the few Apple devices with the powerful M2 chip.
This new 20cm x 20cm square unit fits nicely into a nasty gap that has spanned years in Apple’s computer lineup. Someone who wants to use his Mac at home used to buy his all-in-one iMac or connect a MacBook to a plethora of peripherals.
The Mac Mini was there, but it was too expensive and underpowered compared to laptops. Last year the company announced his Mac Studio. This not only improved power, but also price and size.
With the new Mac Mini, you can basically get last year’s $1900 MacBook Air in a tiny desktop format for $1000. This makes it the cheapest Mac available today that lets you add the keyboard, mouse and display you need for a powerful and adaptable workstation.
The M2 chip in this $1000 model is more than enough for light gaming in addition to media and office tasks, allowing for very nimble apps and browsing. It has 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone jack. Able to drive two high-resolution displays, the USB-C port is perfect for creating a clean desktop setup.
Of course, you can always pay extra for better features. With the Mini, that includes an upgrade to an M2 Pro machine with two extra Thunderbolt ports, much more powerful processing and graphics capabilities, HDMI 2.1, more RAM and faster Ethernet.
I’ve been testing a fully maximized model costing around $3,500 with a 19 core GPU and 32 GB of RAM. It’s more hardcore than most users need, but it’s nice to have as an option. Easily drives multiple high frame rate displays and performs well over 60 frames per second at 1440p in every game we’ve tested. and didn’t even spin the cooling fans unless rendering multiple 4K video assets simultaneously. .
I’ve also been testing Apple’s fanciest Macs for early 2023. The new 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with an optional M2 Max with 38 GPU cores and up to 96 GB of RAM. It’s not even an option on the Mac Mini, which is perfectly fine. The MacBook Pro is a huge, heavy, beautiful $7000 laptop that is likely to be a godsend for a very specific group of creative professionals who, just a few years ago, needed a table-sized computer. Enables battery-powered feats of processing and rendering. and serious cooling. The strength of the mini lies elsewhere.
As long as you don’t need portability, Mini is the ideal Mac to have at home. The specs (finally) don’t feel like a compromise, and you can fully customize your setup with your choice of peripherals. A starting price of $1000 feels like a good entry point into the Mac ecosystem. And starting at $2000, the upgrade to the M2 Pro model is an excellent choice to center all but the most demanding creative setups. provides you with options.
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