Mashable recently posted a pretty decent review of the Mac mini. They did a good job, but seemed to miss a few things along the way.
If you use a computer everyday, then you should have some idea as to what it is you do regularly. Are you a gamer? Video editor? App developer? Depending on your usage, the Mac mini may not simply be a good choice, but the best choice. Sure the Mac pro may be the king of raw power, but unless you’re doing a ton of video encoding, gaming, and 3D rendering, then you’re barely going to be using the hardware. The 5k display on the iMac may be drool-worthy, but unless you’re a photographer or graphic artist, then it’s probably just indulgent. The Mac mini is the perfect choice for web developers, app developers, students, or anyone looking for a home media server.
Yeah, I know this is a Mac-specific issue, but being able to use your own monitor, or steal a friend’s, is a feature. I used an iMac for several years as my primary workstation, and after suffering some screen issues I’m questioning whether I would ever buy one again. Over the years iMac screens have suffered from screen yellowing, static lines, cloudiness, etc. Granted, these issues aren’t hugely widespread, but if you’re one of the unlucky ones then you probably know that Apple’s geniuses are seldom a help. With the Mac mini, this isn’t a problem. Swap in a new monitor and you’re good to go.
Don’t underestimate this machine’s portability. With a solid state drive, wireless keyboard and mouse, and a standard power cord, you’re packed up and ready to go. The mini uses a standard power cord, so picking up extras on Amazon is easy. Also, there’s no power brick, which makes packing things up way easier.
Back when I had an office, I would keep a monitor and power cord at the office, and another set at home. That way I only had to transport the mini itself. I would also keep a cord in my travel bag. For conferences I would only need to bring a power cord, keyboard and mouse (or track pad). The hotel TV works fine as a monitor, and I’d be using the projector for any talks. Just don’t forget your display adapter dongles.
Your first, and only, Mac
The Mac mini isn’t just a good deal or good first Mac. This implies that you should only buy one if you’re looking to save money and that you’ll eventually upgrade to a different model. The fact is that for many people this is the perfect Mac, now and in the future.Sure, the base model is a good deal, but you can also max out the upgrades and purchase a beautiful large display. It is a good fist Mac, but that’s mostly because you can use existing PC peripherals. That also means that upgrading your peripherals won’t mean buying an entirely new Mac. Plus, nestle your Mac mini in a M3 mount and your Mac is bound to tackle the many years to come.