Mac mini is Apple’s tiny desktop computer and is the cheapest Mac you can buy, but it doesn’t come with a monitor, mouse or keyboard. After a two-year-wait, Apple finally updated the Mac mini in October, but is it worth buying? We’ve been carefully considering why you should buy the Mac mini, and also why you shouldn’t.
Reasons you shouldn’t buy a Mac mini: It’s not easily upgradeable
Before the Mac mini was updated in October, one of our reasons you should buy a Mac mini was because Apple made it easy for owners of the model to replace and upgrade elements such as the RAM for a memory boost. It meant that the Mac mini could become an upgrade project, and if you were unsure about what specs you needed you could rest assured knowing that you’re not going to be stuck with them forever.
Now, however, Apple has put tamperproof screws on the underside of the Mac mini to make it much more difficult to upgrade. It’s not impossible, but it takes quite a lot of effort, and components such as the RAM have been soldered on. Therefore, you’ll need to bump from the default 4GB to 8GB in the build-to-order options at check out in order to future-proof the PC.
Reasons you shouldn’t buy a Mac mini: The processor
The Mac mini came with Ivy Bridge-generation Intel Core processors with quad-core options available, but the new Mac mini’s performance peak has been eroded by removing any quad-core processors from the list. It’s not that the Mac mini is a slow machine, but it does seem a shame that Apple has limited it by offering only modest processors.
Reasons you shouldn’t buy a Mac mini: The graphics
If you’re looking to use the Mac mini to play games, you’re likely to be left disappointed. The base model has Intel HD Graphics 5000, which we found could play Batman: Arkham City for OS X at 31 frames per second, but at full-HD resolution the Mac mini struggled at 15fps, too slow for smooth playing. That’s even slower than the entry-level Mac mini, which we found managed 20fps in the same test.
A mini PC takes up less amount of space compared to a typical desktop and they look much tidier. They are easier to move around too. Let our experts find you the best mini PC or tablet for home use. Check Our Editors' Choices 2018: