If you’re looking for a Mac under $1,099, you can turn to the Mac mini. And right now on Amazon, you can get a Mac mini with an M2 chip, 8GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD for $679, which is a 15 percent savings, or $120 off the regular price of $799.
This Mac mini is the mid-tier model in Apple’s lineup. The company offers a cheaper, lower-end model with the same processor and memory, but with a 256GB SSD, which Amazon is selling for $499–that’s $100 less than the regular price. But we prefer the mid-tier model and its larger SSD because we think 256GB is too small, even if you use iCloud storage. More importantly (as Macworld reader Zack pointed out to me in an email), the way Apple implements its NAND chips for the SSD means that the 512GB SSD offers better speed than the 256GB SSD.
The Mac mini’s M2 is a great processor for everyday use. It handles web browsing, email, productivity apps, video streaming, and FaceTime without a hitch. And it’s powerful enough to handle creative work in iMovie, GarageBand, and Photos.
You’ll need to provide your own display, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad, which are not included with the Mac mini. The computer comes with two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports and an HDMI port for displays; input devices can connect via the two USB-A ports, the Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, or Bluetooth. To connect to a network, you can use the built-in Wi-Fi or the gigabit ethernet plug.
Updated on 5/23/23 at noon P.T. to add information about the SSD performance.