Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Apple Mac Mini Review (2020): Brawn on a Budget

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Much of that success is due to the fact that Apple pushed its ecosystem heavily to adopt the M1, and it came out of the door with a slew of apps that have been upgraded to work as apps. “Universal”, programs that can run natively on the M1 and take full advantage of its architecture. Understandably, all of Apple’s apps are fully M1 compatible, but so are a significant portion of the rest of the market. The good news is that a new version of Apple Rosetta emulator is always on standby to fill in the gaps, so you can still run Intel-designed apps on the Mac Mini, just a lot slower than native code. But at least it works.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud – just like it was with Microsoft’s SQ1 chip – is the jackpot here, but a beta version of Photoshop for M1 has already been released (it shipped alongside the version for the Microsoft’s ARM chip), with a final release slated for next year. A native M1 Lightroom will also be released by the end of 2020, for adobe. Given the importance of the Mac market to Adobe, it’s hard to imagine that these apps won’t be shaken up as quickly as possible, but note that there is currently no official release date for the native versions of the. other Adobe applications.

Rosetta can’t run everything – any kind of Intel-era system expansion won’t work on the new Mac Mini – but it didn’t choke on anything I threw at it, including games, which few have. been updated for the new Hardware. I never encountered a crash during my testing and have always found the system dynamic and responsive on a daily basis.

All Mac Mini models include the 3.2 GHz M1. The base Mac Mini gives you 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $ 699. The other base model is the same, except it boosts the SSD to 512GB, for $ 899. RAM and SSD can be upgraded further, but only upon purchase – the Mac Mini cannot be user-upgraded, or even upgradeable in the Apple Store – to the model that I got. was sent in for testing, with 16GB of RAM and a 2 terabyte SSD for $ 1,699.

It gets pretty exhilarating for a system that isn’t bigger than a hearty sandwich, although I honestly can’t imagine that many buyers will need several terabytes of internal storage and can easily cut specs (and price ). Better plug in an external drive here, as the connectivity options are decent enough, including two Thunderbolt / USB 4 / USB-C ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and two USB 3.1 ports. It’s worth noting that the 2018 Mac Mini had four USB-C ports, which halving is perhaps the only real downside to be found on this device.

Otherwise, it is difficult to file a complaint. Apps run fast, stability is solid, and the price (at least for more entry-level setups) is decidedly tame. It even has Wi-Fi 6 in the mix.

If you need half a dozen monitors, quadrophonic sound, and peak performance, of course, this system isn’t for you. For the teeming masses who want a solid Mac (a Mac that doesn’t need to be mobile) without breaking the bank, you really can’t go wrong here.


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