The new Mac mini is proof that Google needs to rethink Chromeboxes

I’ve always been a fan of mini-PCs for the convenience they offer. They’re easy to set up and use, don’t take up a lot of room on the desk, and deliver the same level of performance as full-fledged workstations. I used a dozen mini-PCs over the course of the last decade, starting out with Zotac’s entry-level ZBox series, then moving to the Magnus EN1070K, and more recently the Geekom Mini IT11 and Mini IT8.

I also used Intel’s NUCs along the way, and while I have a large gaming rig that has a GeForce RTX 4080, I’m just as comfortable working on a mini-PC. I did just that for two months in 2022 as the motherboard on my gaming rig decided to not boot, and using the Mini IT11 showed me just how powerful mini-PCs can get for day-to-day use cases like browsing, image and video editing, and even casual gaming.

That’s where the Mac mini comes in. I’m a Windows user through and through, and the only macOS device I have is a 2014 MacBook Pro, which I use once a week for annotating screenshots (the software isn’t available on Windows). I’ve been meaning to get a newer macOS device, but I’m wary of notebooks in general, and the new iteration of the Mac mini is ideal for my needs.

Apple Mac mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The new Mac mini ticks a lot of the right boxes. The small form factor (SFF) is great for use on a desk, it is powered by the Apple M2 silicon and has an insane 100GB/s memory bandwidth, and it comes with all the ports I’m looking for. The best part is that it starts off at just $599, making it a great value for the hardware on offer.

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