As predicted earlier this week, Apple announced the launch of new M2 and M2 Pro models of the Mac mini on Tuesday. These offer much faster speeds at the top end, but also entry-level price cuts as Apple tries to appeal to both ends of the market.
Apple’s smallest and cheapest Mac was equipped with Apple silicon processors back in 2020, but it needed an upgrade from the M1 to the M2 chip used in the 2022 editions of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iPad Pro. What was less expected was that the company would simultaneously add the option to get the mini with a brand new upgraded M2 Pro.
“The new M2 Pro chip brings pro-level performance to Mac mini for the first time,” Apple said in a press release, “enabling users to perform powerful workflows previously unimaginable in such a compact design.”
Specifically, the M2 Pro configuration features up to 12 CPU cores (eight high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores), up to 12 GPU cores, and up to 32 GB of RAM. It includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports and can support three 4K displays or one 8K display. Apple says this model delivers up to 4.2x faster ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro than the 2020 M1 Mac mini, and up to 2.8x faster gameplay in Resident Evil Village.
Of course, not everyone needs this power, and the Mac mini has traditionally been viewed and purchased as a compact budget machine. But here too there is good news. The M2 model starts at $599 (or $499 for education), a decent price reduction from the $699 starting price for the M1 model. Even in the UK, which has become accustomed to price increases in recent times, the starting price has dropped from £699 to £649.
Unsurprisingly, the M2 Pro model is a little less wallet-friendly. The base configuration costs $1,299 / £1,399, and made-to-order options – including extra cores, 32GB RAM, 8TB storage and 10 Gigabit Ethernet – can bump this up to $4,499 / £4,599 without even pre-installed software. The previous Intel model started at $1,099.
Readers in the US can browse pricing and configuration options and place an order for the new Mac mini on Apple’s website for delivery starting Tuesday, January 24, though we’re already seeing delivery estimates back to three weeks or more. UK readers can order from the dedicated UK shop.