Value: From $599/£649 for fundamental and from $1,299/£1,399 for the Professional model
Weight: 2.6 lbs/1.18 kg
Reminiscence: 8 GB as customary, 16 GB, 24 GB and 32 GB choices
Storage: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and eight TB variations
Guarantee: 1 12 months, extendable with AppleCare
Working system: macOS Ventura (macOS Sonoma appropriate)
CPU: Apple M2 chip (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
Graphics: M2 consists of 10-core GPU (configurable with 16-core GPU)
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 2x USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Ethernet, HDMI
The Mac platform has arguably by no means been in a greater place because the rollout of Apple Silicon, but it surely’s all the time been the laptops that take the plaudits. Whereas the M1 Mac Mini and M1 iMac had been nice, solely the previous noticed a bump as much as the newest consumer-level chip, the M2. Which means the Mac Mini now provides its small form-factor with the M2 and M2 Professional chips as choices, and it additionally obtained a shock value drop to $599/£649 on the low-end.
Whereas not with out its flaws, the Mac Mini is a straightforward suggestion for anybody engaged on absolutely anything. It is obtained the ability for complicated duties and multitasking that places many Home windows desktops to disgrace. So, whereas technically not a MacBook, we predict that the Mac Mini M2 Professional is transportable sufficient to be thought-about as an honorary point out for our finest MacBook for college students checklist.
Mac Mini M2 Professional overview: Arrange & usability
So long as you’ve got obtained peripherals useful, the arrange of the Mac Mini M2 Professional ought to take barely any time in any respect.
Join it up, hit the ability button (on the again nook) and macOS will information you thru setup, with the choice to import your settings from one other Mac, too.
Mac Mini M2 Professional overview: Design & Specs
- No design change
- Loads of ports, however they’re all on the again
From the surface, it is laborious to inform precisely what’s modified from the Mac Mini M1. In reality, nothing has, that means you are still trying on the similar rounded-square design, with aluminum casing and the Apple emblem within the center.
The entrance and sides are equally nondescript (we might have preferred at the least one front-facing port, however you may want the costlier Mac Studio for that), however on the again, you may discover an HDMI port, a pair of Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and an Ethernet port. Should you go for the M2 Professional model, you may get an additional pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, too.
Within the field, you may discover a energy cable, and that is about it. Which means you may want to produce your personal monitor, keyboard and mouse for the Mac Mini. You might also need to think about a further laborious drive or SSD, since within the base mannequin you may solely get 256 GB of storage which may be very low until you retain every part within the cloud.
Apple will cost you $200/£200 to double the storage, which is rather a lot contemplating you possibly can hook up an exterior drive for doubtlessly much less. We are going to word that the 8 GB of unified reminiscence is stable sufficient, however we might go for 16 GB when you can – one other $200/£200.
Mac Mini M2 Professional overview: Options & Efficiency
- Runs silently
- Supreme for just about any process
Whereas the storage is low, we’re happy to report that we have been throwing duties on the Mac Mini M2 prefer it’s no person’s enterprise. Flicking between home windows whereas operating intensive video games like Last Fantasy XIV On-line, or enhancing photographs in Photoshop and Lightroom whereas checking emails and looking the online (in Chrome, no much less) has been easy as butter.
The true pleasure of the Mac Mini is that it runs silently, it doesn’t matter what you ask of it. It simply powers by, even when related to 2 shows. The fan is operating, however you may should get very shut to actually inform.
We have already talked about the shortage of front-facing ports, but it surely looks like a giant miss given simply how a lot college students are prone to join and disconnect peripherals. Nonetheless, the array of rear-facing choices actually helps for connectivity with instruments like audio interfaces and SD card readers.
In reality, we might argue that the Mac Mini, regardless of being Apple’s least expensive machine, is now the most suitable choice for creatives that may’t (or simply do not need to) spend these additional bucks on a MacBook or Mac Studio. Modifying audio in Logic is a breeze, as is slicing collectively an edit in one thing like iMovie.
Mac Mini M2 Professional overview: Value
- Mac Mini M2 begins from $599/£649
- Mac Mini M2 Professional from $1,299/£1,399
- Best technique to get into macOS
We have already talked about the extra value of storage, however when you do have a spare drive laying round, then that mixed with the bottom mannequin (the Mac Mini M2) is a superb laptop with pricing ranging from $599/£649.
Naturally, as you ramp up the specs issues get pricier, and doubling RAM and SSD house will take you to nearer to the value of the Mac Mini M2 Professional model which provides extra CPU and GPU grunt for $1,299/£1,399.
That additionally will get you an additional pair of ports, and there is an argument that choosing that might imply you will not should improve once more for years. In any case, as soon as your Mac is constructed, you are unable to improve its components, so think about what’s finest to your wants.
You may additionally have to consider the price of a superb keyboard and mouse combo, in addition to a monitor and, doubtlessly, a webcam.
Mac Mini M2 Professional overview: Person Critiques
Reviewers of the Mac Mini M2 and Mac Mini M2 Professional on Amazon are actually happy, with an general 4.7 star out of 5 ranking from 519 critiques. 85% of these critiques providing a full 5-star ranking. It is price noting, nonetheless, that this rating is predicated on an amalgamation of critiques for each the Mac Mini M2 and the Mac Mini M2 Professional.
Customers had been amazed on the Mac Mini’s small, smooth dimension and the way highly effective the M2 chip may very well be. They discovered the Mac Mini M2 exceptional for the value as nicely (word the Professional is costlier). There have been robust solutions that urged potential patrons to go for the upper reminiscence as sadly this isn’t one thing you possibly can improve in a while. Customers additionally lamented in regards to the lack of ports.
Do you have to purchase the Mac Mini M2 Professional?
Should you’ve already obtained a monitor, keyboard, mouse and webcam, the Mac Mini M2 or the Mac Mini M2 Professional are each a wonderful technique to begin your macOS journey. It is extra inexpensive than it has been earlier than, whereas additionally being extra succesful for every part from fundamental duties to extra power-intensive ones. This one will get a giant up from us.
If this Mac Mini 2 is not for you
There may be, after all, the decrease value Mac Mini M2 – whereas its specs aren’t fairly pretty much as good because the M2 Professional, it is nonetheless a fairly first rate mini laptop and at a extra favorable value level too.
If you would like a conveyable Mac, the MacBook Air is a superb alternative that not solely provides the M2 chip, however now is available in MacBook Air 13-inch and MacBook Air 15-inch variations (each of that are good).
Or, if you wish to escape the Apple ecosystem altogether, then the AceMagician AMR5 Mini PC is a wonderful Home windows different.