The Mac mini is Apple's tiny desktop computer and is the cheapest Mac you can buy, but it doesn't come with a monitor, mouse or keyboard. After a two-year-wait, Apple finally updated the Mac mini in October, but is it worth buying? We've been carefully considering why you should buy the Mac mini, and also why you shouldn't. Read on for five reasons to buy a Mac mini, and then head over to our five reasons not to buy a Mac mini article to see the other side of the argument.
Reasons to buy the Mac mini: The price
The Mac mini is the cheapest Mac you can buy, starting at £399, which is actually £100 less than the Mac mini's starting price before the new model launched. Yes, you'll need to buy a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but if you're not splashing out for a pricey monitor you'll probably still find that you can spend less than the £749 it'll cost you for the base model 11in MacBook Air.
Also take a look at our complete guide to buying a Mac here and Mac mini versus MacBook Air, which Mac is best value and Mac mini versus MacBook Pro
Reasons to buy the Mac mini: It's tiny and portable
It's not a laptop, but you can carry your Mac mini around with you nonetheless. It weighs just 1.22kg and measures a tiny 19.7cm by 19.7cm by 3.6cm. Of course, that doesn't include the monitor, keyboard or mouse, so you're not going to be working on your Mac mini while on the commute, for example. (It doesn't have a battery either, of course). You can plug it in to your friend's TV or connect it to the monitor in an internet café though.
See also: Mac laptop or Mac desktop? Buying advice
Reasons to buy the Mac mini: It's new!
The Mac mini has finally been updated, so we can now note that as a reason to buy the Mac mini rather than ranting about it in our reasons not to buy the Mac mini article like we did previously.
The new Mac mini isn't everything we'd hoped for, and there are some ways that the 2012 Mac mini is actually better than the new model, but at least Apple has shown the product some love. To find out more about the differences between the 2012 Mac mini and the 2014 model, read our 2014 Mac mini vs 2012 Mac mini comparison review.
Reasons to buy the Mac mini: Connectivity
The connectivity options you get with the Mac mini are good, despite its small size. You'll find a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, HDMI, four USB 3 ports, SDXC card slot, audio in and audio out and an IR receiver. Gone is the FireWire 800 port, though.
It's also compatible with the faster 802.11ac WiFi standard and Bluetooth 4.0.
Also read: iMac vs Mac mini
Reasons to buy the Mac mini: Efficiency
The Mac mini requires just 5W when at the idle desktop, and a maximum of 40W when running flat out. That's startlingly low, and is another important tick in the mini's pros list. That's thanks to a slower processor click and the move to Haswell processors, making the Mac mini a very power-efficient and economical machine.