Apple’s M1-powered Mac mini just became a tad more affordable, at least if you’re willing to make some effort. Amazon is selling the base version of the compact desktop for $649, or $50 below its usual price, while B&H Photo is offering a matching discount. That isn’t quite as large a bargain as we saw in December and doesn’t apply to the 512GB model, but it’s still a sweet deal if you’re cost-conscious.
You may have to be patient. Amazon doesn’t expect to have stock until February 16th, and B&H has warned that there’s “limited supply” at the discounted price.
If you can score a system, though, you might be happy. As with other M1 Macs, the current Mac mini can sometimes outrun comparable AMD- and Intel-based PCs, even while staying extremely quiet. The tiny form factor might also be appealing if you want a computer that can fit on to a crowded desk.
There are catches beyond the obvious limits of an entry-level system with integrated graphics. You can’t upgrade the RAM or internal storage, and the two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports shrink your options for fast external storage, monitors and other peripherals. While you can get serious work done on the Mac mini, it’s not a workstation in the truest sense of the word.
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