We saw the 512GB Mac Mini M1 go on sale earlier this month and now it's the base 256GB model's turn to be discounted. The small desktop is $50 off on Amazon and it has an extra, automatically applied $50 coupon that will bring the final cost down to $600. That's the best price we've seen and a great deal on the most affordable M1 machine available. If you're willing to pay a bit more for the extra storage, the 512GB model remains on sale for $750 thanks to another automatically applied coupon that knocks an additional $30 the sale price.
With the MacBook Air M1 starting at $999, the Mac Mini M1 is the most budget-friendly way to upgrade to a machine with one of Apple's latest chips. You can expect the Mac Mini to perform similarly to the MacBook Air — speedily and smoothly. We were impressed by the M1 chipset's performance — it made the MacBook Air feel lightning fast and native apps performed better than we've ever seen them. The Mac Mini M1 has eight-core CPU, an eight-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine that handles machine learning tasks. You'll also get 8GB of RAM in this machine along with 256GB of storage. If you plan on storing a lot of photos, documents and other things on the desktop, you may want to spring for the 512GB model — or simply invest in a solid portable SSD that you can connect to the Mac Mini.
While the rumor was that we would see an updated Mac Mini this year, that didn't end up happening. That means the machine looks much the same as it has for the past few years. It's a small silver box housing a variety of ports including two Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A connectors, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Thanks to its size, good array of ports and upgraded power with the M1 chip, the Mac Mini is a solid option for those who want a compact machine that doesn't compromise performance.
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