M2 Mac mini Reviews: “Mac Studio Junior” with Impressive Performance and Universal Pricing

First previews of Apple's latest Mac mini have been officially released ahead of customer orders starting tomorrow. The reviews offer our first look at Mac mini performance with M2 and M2 Pro chips inside, detailing how that performance stacks up against previous generation Mac mini, Mac Studio, and more.

In his article for The Verge, Chris Welch calls the new Mac mini “Mac Studio Junior” stating that “Apple's smallest Mac has never been so attractive.” According to The Verge, the device's biggest drawbacks are the lack of ports on the front and the lack of an SD card slot.

It's no surprise that the 2023 Mac Mini is the best version of a product Apple has ever released. It looks the same, but it greatly benefits from the M2 platform, and that's true whether you go for the stock chip or invest in the powerful M2 Pro. Either way, you also get better Wi-Fi and can expect very few bumps when switching to Apple silicon. Spend more on the M2 Pro and you'll get even more Thunderbolt 4 ports and more external displays on top of the speed.

If you've been waiting for an intermediate Mac that's more capable than the iMac and less cloudy than the Mac Studio, look no further. The new Mac Mini is still small and not the kind of computer that draws attention to itself on your desk, but it has never been more powerful.

Dan Morin, writing in Six Colors, also praises the new Mac mini for its versatility, saying you can make “anything you want” out of it. The M2 Pro Mac mini, according to Morin, “cleverly fills a mid-range gap in Apple's desktop lineup.”

Tests show the M2 Pro is right there , where you'd expect: in the same area as the M2 and M2 Max for single-core performance (because the cores are almost the same) and about 68 percent. faster than M2 in multi-core tasks, mainly due to the presence of four additional performance cores.

Graphics performance was also predictable, with the M2 Pro outperforming the vanilla M2 with more cores. twice as many GPU cores, but can't match the 38-core M2 Max (or, for that matter, the 32-core M1 Max). In short, while it's a very capable graphics machine, if that's your bread and butter, it might be worth investing in a more powerful machine, or wait until Apple probably takes the covers off the M2 Ultra.

To TechCrunch, Matt Burns says the new Mac mini was “a joy to use” and “defeated the benchmarks and put up with Chrome's endless thirst for system memory.””

Together with the M2 and M2, the Mac Mini is among the most powerful Apple computers at any price point. And let's remember one of the main advantages of the Mac Mini: it's mini. The Mac Mini is a tiny package that offers a lot of flexibility. Pair it with one of Apple's Studio displays for a great iMac alternative, or use it with an inexpensive monitor for an inexpensive workstation. As always, the Mac Mini is a value proposition and has never looked better than it does now with the M2 and M2 Pro.

ArsTechnica's Andrew Cunningham says that “the M2 Pro looks good next to modern Intel and AMD processors, but does not set records. But where Apple Silicon continues to shine is how efficient it is compared to Intel and AMD processors:

But where AMD and Intel prefer to maximize performance, Apple prioritizes energy efficiency. Our Handbrake video encoding benchmark provides a decent way to show how much power a processor will consume when running any intensive test over a long period of time. The M2 Pro can encode our test video a bit slower than either of these x86 processors, but it also uses about half as much power to complete.

According to macOS’ With a built-in command-line power measurement tool, the M2 Pro averages around 36W at full load, while the Core i5 can draw between 65W and 150W and the Ryzen 7 between 90W and 136W. /p>

More M2 Mac mini reviews:

  • Tom's Guide
  • CNET
  • Forbes
  • MacWorld

Top Image by Justin Tse

M2 Mac Hands-On Videos mini

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