GOOD AND BAD 2 Months with the M1 Mac Mini!!!
So after about a month and a half of use, i wanted to share the good and the bad and also apply some much needed context, which i think could be helpful. What’S up siggy here and welcome to another tech gear talk. I chose to buy the entry level the cheapest model, the 699 m1 mac mini, because i think it represents one of the best desktop values on the market right now and while i’m extremely impressed with the performance. This is a first generation device and a new operating system, so i did expect some hiccups i’m going to share those with you and discuss the pros and cons of the m1 mac mini from the perspective of a casual user rather than a dedicated content creator. There is some overlap, so i’ll address that as well and then let’s see if this is a desktop that’s worth your money, i’m going to go ahead and start with the pros right, because everyone wants to start on a positive note. So probably the biggest thing that drew me to the m1 is the performance. You’Ve probably seen some pretty impressive benchmarks or tests, but i mean actual life performance like starting it. Switching between programs, opening programs closing them switching between tabs, replying to emails, watching content and then even working within programs. All of that has been extremely fast, and it just goes to show you how well this chip works and how optimized big sur is as an operating system so again as a function of cost.
I think you’re getting outstanding value here, and that brings us to the price it’s, not just that we’re getting great value. This is also the least expensive entry point into mac os it’s way cheaper than the previous model at 6.99 versus 10.99, but to be fair, the 1099 model did have 512 gigs of internal storage and the base configuration here only has 256. So if you were to upgrade that it would actually be 899 to 1099, which is still cheaper. The next thing that i really like about the mac mini is the form factor, so obviously it’s small it’s, like 7.7 inches by 7.7 inches, and i think that a lot of people are having to work from home and are having to create dedicated workspaces in situations Where it wasn’t really planned for so having a small desktop rather than a tower, i think, is a big advantage, even if you just have this flat on your desk it’s, really not taking up a lot of space. There are also some different docks where you can mount it vertically to even take up less space, but regardless, if you’re, looking for a small solution, this definitely fits the bill now. Another interesting advantage that didn’t necessarily come with the mac mini but with big sur, is the ability to download and then run apps that are designed for ipads and iphones and it’s cool. If there are apps that you actually want to use on your desktop.
For me, it’s not a huge advantage, it’s, not something. I do a lot. I just played around with it a little bit to see how the apps work, but i can see that there are some people that just have apps, that they love and having the ability to use them on a desktop sort of bridges. The gap a little bit. I will say that the apps are designed for a touch screen, so something that is designed for your phone doesn’t necessarily always work great with a desktop interface again, because that’s not it’s, not expecting you to use a mouse but it’s nice that it is possible. Now, moving on to the next sort of pro for the m1 mac mini is the fact that it actually made mac accessible to a different type of user. So a lot of family and friends ask me for advice on what they should buy and the number one complaint when i suggest that they buy a mac is the price because they’re not necessarily looking for the performance, and the thing is that the macs have some Other advantages, but you ended up having to pay a premium for performance and if you’re, not a creator or if you don’t plan on pushing your device to that level. That may not be worth the investment, and this is really the first time where 6.99 and you get a complete desktop. I mean you still need your accessories, but you know what i mean.
6.99, you get an unbelievably powerful compact small desktop that’s, a value that’s hard for people to pass up on, and i think it makes apple more accessible to more users. Now, before i move on to the con section, if you like this video and you’ve gotten some value from it, let me know by giving it a thumbs up. It helps the video and the channel, and it lets me know what type of content you like, so that i can make more of it and, if it’s your first time here, hit the subscribe and notification buttons. So you can stay up to date on all the latest apple gear and tutorials, okay. So now moving on to the cons. Obviously, the mac mini is not upgradable, so you can’t, add internal storage and you can’t add ram that may not matter to every user, but it doesn’t give you the option to get in at the lower end and then invest in a year or two when you Have some more funds, so what you get at the beginning is what you’ll have for as long as you own the device. Now i have a dedicated video about this, but i recommend that you get as much internal storage as you think, you’re going to need, but don’t max it out and get a dedicated external ssd, which is a lot less expensive. You can get a two terabyte samsung t7 for 250 bucks, if you wanted to upgrade to two terabytes which still wouldn’t give you as much space.
You’D have to pay 800 bucks to apple to get internal storage. Now, obviously, it has its advantages, but for the average user that’s not going to matter so watch that video that i mentioned now as far as ram, you can only go up to 16 gigs, where i would have liked to see a 32 gig option. I know that a lot of users wouldn’t choose to do that, but i don’t see a downside in offering it the next sort of con, and especially when comparing this with the intel based mac mini, is that we only have two thunderbolt ports versus four on the 2018 version now this isn’t really going to matter to most users, but once again, i just don’t see why they wouldn’t add that as a paid option as far as the number of ports, if you’re using hdmi for the display, then it’s not as bad, because you Still have two free thunderbolt ports, but if you don’t, if you use one of them for the display, then you’re only left with one free port, which will mean that a more demanding user is definitely going to need to use a hub all right. So moving on to another sort of con, at least for now, is that not every piece of software is native or is designed to work with the m1 chip apple created an emulation layer called rosetta 2, which essentially translates the code to work with m1 and it’s.
Still fast, but you know, you’re losing performance because it’s having to do that translation now, obviously, software companies are working to catch up. So as time goes on we’re seeing more and more apps available, i used premiere pro on this device. The the non optimized premiere pro and it still worked great. So for me i look at that as i’m, going to get even better performance once the optimized version comes out. So i’m super excited to see what that’s like, but depending on what your workflow is like and what apps you require. You may run into just complete incompatibility issue with either plugins or just software that isn’t optimized to work with the m1 chip, all right so now. Moving on another issue that a few people have reported, i haven’t experienced it, but i’ve seen enough of it reported to where i’m, including it and that’s bluetooth connectivity issues with the mouse or the keyboard. There are a lot of reports of devices that lose connectivity or lagging again it’s, not something that i’ve experienced, but i’ve read enough of it to where i feel comfortable reporting that it’s a real thing. What i will say, that’s funny, is that my apple wireless magic keyboard works perfectly with the mac mini, except for the mac mini thinks it doesn’t know what keyboard it is. Well, it doesn’t know what keyboard is. It keeps coming up saying. I don’t know what keyboard that is and press the button next to the shift key.
I just cancel out of it and it works perfectly, but it’s just ironic that it doesn’t think that it’s working for a mouse, i use the logitech mx master 3 for mac, and i haven’t had any issues with that. I’Ve also read reports of people saying that they have issues with the display either lagging dropping some frames and even the inability to achieve the highest resolution and refresh rates that are reported by apple i’ll. Just reiterate: that’s, not something that i’ve experienced, but maybe i’ve just gotten lucky with the displays that i’m using one other limitation of this device. This is going to matter too very few people, but there is no egpu or external gpu support. So if that’s, something that you were counting on for your workflow, i just want to make sure that you’re aware of that there’s also no boot camp or parallels for windows. So you can’t really run windows 10. You can but it’s not ideal. I know that some people like to use it for gaming and you can get some things to work but it’s, definitely not as smooth as with the intel version all right. So these were my pros and cons of the m1 mac mini, and the million dollar question is: do i think it’s worth the money to me? The answer is yes, i don’t look at this device as a pro level device, and i don’t expect it to have the features of specs of one.
The amazing bump in performance that we’re getting with the m1 chip with its unified ram, means that this device is extremely capable. So i think that some people judge it as a pro level device, but remember it’s. Not while i want, as many displays as possible a ton of ports for my nas, a card reader, external ssd, multiple capture cards, when i stream and some other peripherals like an audio interface, the casual user doesn’t need those lots of users connect one display using an Hdmi, cable and still have two thunderbolts usb 4 ports available, plus a couple of usb a ports, an ethernet port and a headphone jack with a wireless keyboard and a mouse they’re still not filling up any of those ports and even with wired accessories. They still have two free ports and for the next level of user, the addition of a usbc or thunderbolt hub would provide plenty of connectivity options. As far as the hiccups and the actual functionality like bluetooth connectivity and having to wait for software to be optimized. For the m1 chip, i have two thoughts. The actual issues and glitches seem to be software based, and i expect them to be corrected as far as waiting for m1 optimized software again, that only applies to a certain segment of users in a real meaningful way. Like i said, i used premiere pro the non optimized version and it worked great for me and once again, i’m excited to see what the optimize version can do and how it compares with my main workstation.
So, to reiterate, i think the m1 mac mini is an excellent device. It’S definitely worth the 6.99 that i spent on it and, if you’re looking for some other m1 mac mini videos, i’ll link to them in just a moment, i’ll also put links in the description to where you can buy the m1 mac mini as well as some Of the accessories that i mentioned in this video, and i really hope that i was able to give you a good overview of the m1 mac mini pros and cons. If i did please, let me know by giving this video a thumbs up, tweet it share it and if you haven’t yet join the community by hitting the subscribe and notification buttons, you can always find me on instagram, twitter and facebook at tech gear talk. You know what i always say: buy it nice or buy it twice.