When it comes to Apple’s product line-up, many consider their Mac Mini to be its most flexible and versatile desktop computer. While it’s undoubtedly true that the majority of people opt for the traditional experience of plugging in a keyboard, mouse, and display, it can also serve as your home theatre’s PC. You can even have it work like a machine for photo or video editing purposes, or turn a few of the devices into server farms. When Apple gave it an upgrade a few years ago, it opened up some attractive possibilities. Now it’s one of the only first ones to make the transition towards the potential of the M1 chip.
In some tests, the Mac Mini performed very well. It can still browse through websites and play games as diverse as casino table games at NetBet, to destroying the opposition on the Fortnite battlefield with ease. But the use of the new chip puts it well above the strong 12-core Xeon X5650, offering an impressive performance level as a result.
Apart from the return to the classic silver exterior, the new Mac Mini mostly shares the same look as its predecessor. The reason why we say most is that when compared to the Macbook Air and Pro variants, the Mini has gone through a considerable change in its exterior design, namely the loss of a few ports. It still retains the USB type A ports, but reduced the four USB type C and Thunderbolt ports to only two. While the type C ports are technically more advanced, it’s possible to daisy-chain any Thunderbolt devices you want.
However, there aren’t many things that are more convenient than having built-in ports. And objectively speaking, it can be seen as a downgrade to its expandability. You’ll also be limited to being able to connect only a couple of external displays rather than three. On the upside, it’s possible to use one 6k monitor.
The Mac Mini has a speaker inside of the device, but it’s one you’ll never want to use. It’s hollow and tinny — in other words, it sounds embarrassing. Considering how many advancements the company has gone through with their laptops, it’s surprising that it turned out this way. While you can plug in your own speakers or use its Bluetooth option, having good internal speakers would have gone a long way in enhancing the user experience. Also, just so you’re aware, there was an issue with the device during its initial setup. You’ll need to have a wired mouse and keyboard first, and you’ll only get your Bluetooth devices working once it’s been set up.
As was mentioned earlier, Mac Minis are incredibly fast outside of the benchmark world. With that said, it isn’t free from the occasional hitch. For example, Spotify will take some fairly noticeable bounces while it’s in the dock before opening after the system is rebooted coldly. However, it’s worth noting that these instances are rare, and the performance is generally above the acceptable level.
So, is the Mac Mini of Apple worth it? I would have to say that it is. Even with the flaw in its internal speaker, its looks and performance make it excellent value for money and worth the investment when compared to its other competitors in the market. So if you’re on the lookout for a device that can do many things well and can live with some of its inherent design flaws, the Mac Mini is highly recommended.