If you’re looking to upgrade to a speedy, compact desktop, Apple’s Mac Mini M1 is a good option. The machine is back on sale at Amazon right now for $570 thanks to a coupon that knocks $99 off its price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on the desktop that runs on Apple’s M1 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Yes, we’re on M2 machines at this point, but only a couple of Apple computers run on that updated processor (and only the M2 MacBook Pro is even available right now). The Mac Mini M1 remains the most affordable way to get an M1 device in your home, too, as the latest iPad Pros that share the same processor start at around $799. The desktop is powered by an eight-core CPU and eight-core GPU, plus a 16-core Neural Engine. While we haven’t given the Mini M1 the full review treatment, you can expect it to run similarly to the MacBook Air M1, which is speedily and efficiently.
While the Mac Mini M1’s design isn’t anything to write home about, that almost works to its advantage. Apple didn’t change much from the Intel version, keeping the machine a sleek, square box interrupted only by a couple of ports: two Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A connectors, an Ethernet port, one HDMI port and a headphone jack.
The biggest issue we have with the desktop is its lack of upgradeability — its RAM and storage are soldered in place, so you’re stuck with the amount that you initially purchase. RAM is arguably more crucial than storage here, since you can always connect an external SSD to the Mini M1 if you need to offload important files. If those limitations don’t bother you, the Mac Mini M1 could be a great replacement for your aging desktop.