I bought the wrong M2 Mac mini.
Then, I bought the right M2 Mac mini (the one with the Pro chip), thanks in no small part to my lovely YouTube audience and their recommendations.
The Mac mini remains Apple’s coolest Mac.
You read that right. And, yes, I’m aware of the MacBook Air.
What sets the Mac mini apart from the rest of the pack is the fact it’s a stealth hit. If you know, you know. Mac mini Club is a super satisfying place in which to be; in the era of Apple Silicon, there’s so much power on tap for such little investment.
With each iteration of its smallest, most affordable desktop Mac, Apple edges ever closer to perfection.
But it’s not quite there yet. I deeply wish they’d done these six things during the M2 refresh.
1. No SD card slot
Although I’ve never felt the urge to buy a Mac Studio, I have craved one of its unique features.
Apple’s not-a-Mac-Pro-super-powered-Mac is the only desktop Mac to feature a front-facing SD card slot. The Mac mini doesn’t have an SD card slot at all (it used to, back in 2011).
For a Mac which is apparently aimed at the creative industry, the decision not to update the Mac mini with a front-loading SD card slot is incredibly frustrating. As a result, we have to connect ugly dongles to the back of the machine; a process which is always teeth-itchingly irritating.
2. Slower SSDs
The 256GB and 512GB versions of the M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini apparently have slower SSDs than their M1-based predecessors.
I’m yet to test this personally, and when I do, it won’t involve benchmarks, as you might guess. I’ll simply be running my 512GB M2 Pro Mac mini as I would do normally to assess its performance. Regardless, this decision by Apple to ‘cheap out’ on their storage chips is, yet again, encouraging rather unsavoury headlines.
The ill feeling towards these base spec M2 machines continues to infiltrate the comments sections of my videos, too. People are fed up with it. Granted, I’m pretty sure that very few of them have experienced the apparent degradation in performance offered by the single NAND chip configuration, but I totally get their sentiment.
It isn’t good enough, I’m afraid, Tim.
3. No Space Grey version
Why is this still missing?
4. No colours!
There were several rumours last year relating to a forthcoming Mac mini update that would feature a thinner design and new iMac-like colours.
This didn’t happen. Instead, we received the exact same chassis the Mac mini has sported for years (more on that in a moment) and just one shade of functional, utilitarian silver.
Adding colourful options to the Mac mini is utterly useless for many of its users. This is, remember, a Mac which is bought in bulk by businesses that need affordable processing power, and by creatives who just want the most cost-effective Mac for their line of work.
None of those people want an INTERNATIONAL ORANGE version.
But some do. Including yours truly. It would give an already surprisingly characterful Mac even more personality.
5. No redesign
The Mac mini redesign to which I keep referring isn’t just an aesthetic wish – it’s drawn from many frustrating encounters with the current design’s inherent Bluetooth issues.
I’ve written about this previously, but if you weren’t aware, the current Mac mini design is, many believe, behind the Bluetooth issues experienced by some users.
I’m one of those users. Although I seem to have pretty much eradicated them since relocating to a larger studio, I’ve spent many a hair-pulling (if I had any left) hour dealing with dropped connections between my M1 Mac mini and its peripherals.
I’m yet to fully test this with the M2 Pro Mac mini I now have residing in my studio, but given that the chassis doesn’t appear to have changed at all, I don’t hold out much hope, I’m afraid.
6. A more affordable display
The 27-inch iMac is currently dead. Rumours of its Apple silicon-based replacement have all but dried up. I’m afraid, folks, that we probably won’t see another big iMac ever again.
I’ve heard several tech commentators suggest that Apple appears far keener to push people down the modular route, instead.
Want a big iMac? Get yourself a Mac mini (or Mac Studio) and a Studio Display.
This isn’t a bad strategy at all. In fact, with the wealth of configuration options available between the Mac mini and Mac Studio, you’re likely to end up with a far more competent setup than an all-in-one.
There’s just one issue with this – we only have two display choices. There’s the Pro Display XDR for those with serious colour grading requirements, or the Studio Display if you’d rather not empty £4,599 from your bank account.
However, the Studio Display isn’t exactly what you’d call an affordable monitor. It retails for £1,499 in the UK. Sure, it’s one of the best out there in terms of display quality, but it’s still a massive chunk of money to add to the price of your M2 Mac mini.
Imagine if Apple offered a 24-inch version that was sub £1,000. Wouldn’t that be the most appropriate, exciting accompaniment for a Mac mini?
I hope an ungodly number of people buy the new Mac mini. We need to give Tim as many reasons as possible to divert as many design resources to future versions as possible.
Some of the above wishes are superfluous – but others are genuine concerns about convenience and, in the case of the Bluetooth challenges, usability.
This brilliantly little computer is so close to perfection.
I, for one, look forward to a bright future for this brilliant little Mac. Please don’t take your eye off the Mac mini ball, Apple!
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