Apple Mac mini (M2 Pro) review: the best mini computer ever
“The M2 Pro helps the Mac mini redefine compact computers.”
- Still very compact
- M2 Pro boosts the graphics
- Lots of storage options
- Stays amazingly quiet and cool
- Fantastic port selection
- Very affordable base configuration
- Base configuration has slower SSD
- Not user upgradable
Apple Silicon revitalized the Mac mini in 2020. It took it from a nearly dead product to one of the best value computers you can buy. In 2023, it’s not only been updated to the M2 chip, it also comes with the option to upgrade to the M2 Pro. That’s right — better graphics in the same tiny footprint.
It’s not too good to be true, either. It’s the best compact computer ever made, especially when you include the extra graphics of the M2 Pro and the killer value of the base configuration.
An old design from Apple’s playbook
The Mac mini is one of the oldest designs in Apple’s current lineup. And as much as I’d appreciate something new, the Mac mini’s simple design is hard to argue with. It’s all-aluminum, compact, and blends into your desk well — and that’s what matters most. There are compact Windows-based PCs, but none that can perform on the level of the Mac mini.
The smallness of this tiny computer is important for other reasons too. Many people use a Mac mini for a home theater PC, or perhaps for media management, and the size of the Mac mini is essential for these scenarios too. The M2 Pro model weighs slightly more than the base model — 2.8 versus 2.6 pounds. Interestingly, that’s just around the same weight as the M2 MacBook Air.
When it comes down to it, the category of mini PCs hasn’t evolved much over recent years. Intel’s NUC machines remain niche, and competitors like the HP Z2 Mini G9 are larger and considerably louder than something like the Mac mini — especially when you include the large power brick that the Mac mini lacks.
So in terms of design, no — I’m not bummed Apple is still…