Against the Advice of My Betters, I Am Buying the Mac Mini

Illustration for article titled Against the Advice of My Betters, I Am Buying the Mac Mini
Image: Apple

Don’t do it, they said. Hold off, they said!

Against many stern warnings against buying a redesigned Apple product, which history has shown may be a poor and even regrettable decision, I intend to buy the newly unveiled Mac Mini—a decision my colleagues have told me repeatedly is reckless and bad.

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Here’s my thinking: I have a work laptop that can be easily transported with me anywhere. But I’d really, really like a desktop solution for myself, and I am deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem—my most-used gadgets work fairly seamlessly with each other. My older MacBook simply isn’t cutting it anymore, and I’d like to trade it in while it still has value that can be used toward a faster and more powerful device.

Now again, I have a work-issued laptop. I already have a monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard. Basically, all I will need is the Mac Mini itself. This one will have Apple’s new M1 processor, which is Apple’s big departure from using the Intel chips that have powered the company’s computers for years. If Apple is to be believed, it’s also far zoomier than chips previously used in Apple products, with an 8-core CPU that “delivers up to 3x faster processing performance than the previous generation.”

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The Mac Mini starts at $700, whereas the 13-inch MacBook Pro—probably my second-best option—starts at $1,300. That is a huge difference in cost for a computer that is unlikely to move from my desk. My gut tells me the Mac Mini is probably a great option for what I need.

And yet, my colleagues, a bunch of naysayers who love nothing more than to stir the shit at every turn, have strongly cautioned me against buying the Mac Mini before our staff computer whiz Joanna Nelius is able to benchmark it. Listen, I get it. Newly revamped Apple products can be...tough. My coworkers lamented over Slack their tragic Apple product buys with new keyboards and new innards that woefully failed to meet their expectations for performance and function.

But in spite of the protestations of people who are far more knowledgeable about computer guts—but whose opinions I question constantly—I am hopeful about the M1 chip, even if there may be some hiccups with apps straight out of the gate. I will almost certainly opt for the Mac Mini over a newer MacBook, and at this point, I have this year’s model or one that’s old as shit from which to choose.

Perhaps I will regret this purchase! If I don’t, though, I will have a well-functioning computer solution for my home office that does its job and minds its own damn business.

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DISCUSSION

Catie, I bought a used MacMini for (late 2014 - 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD for $920) when my MacPro Tower (early 2008 - 16 GB RAM, 1 TB HD) died on me. Initially, it was to tide me over until the MPT was repaired but I’ve been so happy with the Mini that I haven’t gotten around to repairing the MPT.

Spec’ing RAM and SSD for the new Mini bring it in at $1,300, which makes it a ‘wait to buy’ a year or two from now.