It’s easy to do Ignore the Mac Mini: Apple’s small, squarish PC isn’t particularly exciting. It’s not super-powerful like the Mac Studio, modular like the Mac Pro, or colorful like the 24-inch iMac. You can’t carry it around and you can work anywhere with a MacBook. But it’s Apple’s most utilitarian machine yet, and that’s even more apparent with the 2023 refresh.
The new Mac mini from 2020 is identical to its predecessor except that it now uses Apple’s next-gen M2 and M2 Pro processors. This alone brings new life to this compact system, as it’s a low-cost plug-and-play solution that’s still powerful enough for the likes of content creators. The base price is more affordable than ever, starting at $599, and the Mac Mini is the cheapest way to access the M2 Pro processor at $1,299. The only other M2 Pro-powered Macs are the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which start at $1,999 and $2,499, respectively. The closest desktop option is a base Mac Studio with an M1 Max chip for $1,999. But most people don’t need that much power.
It does not need to be shown. Whichever processor you get, the Mini is a smart and hassle-free way to get all the power most people need without emptying your wallet — and you really have a say in what kind of peripherals you get.
Create your own adventure
The Mac Mini still follows the BYODKM rule. Initialism, was originally used by Steve Jobs when he announced The first Mac Mini In 2005, stands for “bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse”, because you only get the machine and power cord in the box. You might want to add a pair of speakers when you’re not using headphones, because the built-in speakers aren’t pleasant.
This BYO design is good news if you already have those peripherals. Plug everything in and you’re good to go. If you’re starting from scratch and building your workspace, it doesn’t need to be very expensive. There are so many cheap and great keyboards, mice, and monitors that you can snag that the cost won’t balloon. The machine itself is small and unobtrusive, so it’s easy to plan accessories around its footprint. And at 2.6 pounds it’s light and portable, making it great for hybrid workers to pass the time between home and the office.
If you like multiple screens around your workspace, you may be disappointed to learn that the base Mac Mini still only supports two external displays, just like the M1-powered model. That’s enough for most people, but if you upgrade to the M2 Pro you can connect up to three displays to bask in all that blue light.