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Technerd108

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Or maybe I should compare the sales price at BestBuy and others of the M2 MBA base for $999? Like everyone was doing for several months with M2 MBA compared with the M1 MBP base 14" on sale?

Is $1000 more for base M2 MBP worth it over the M2 MBA? Or heck if you get a discounted or refurbished M2 MBA with 16gb ram, 8 core GPU and 512gb ssd for $1500 is $500 more worth it?

Seems like the M2 MBA is a better value over night.

I know you can still get M1 MBP 14 base for $1599 but now we can compare Apple's to Apples. 😂 Lol

Suddenly my M2 MBA doesn't seem like such a bad deal anymore.
 
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JamesMay82

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Oct 12, 2009
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I’m having this same dilemma, I was all but convinced on the 16MBP with a 2TB hard drive but it’s a grand more than the air specced with the 2TB.

I think I resort back to my teenage self and want the highest spec machine which is just not sensible.

I browse the web, watch you tube, send emails, light excel work taken photos and videos but i only throw a filter on the photo and do a few minor tweaks and then on the video in shoot in 4k on my phone but i maybe edit once a year if I’m lucky. I usually watch the unedited clips on the max photos app.

So I’m thinking the m2 air would probably be more than enough for me?
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
I’m having this same dilemma, I was all but convinced on the 16MBP with a 2TB hard drive but it’s a grand more than the air specced with the 2TB.

I think I resort back to my teenage self and want the highest spec machine which is just not sensible.

I browse the web, watch you tube, send emails, light excel work taken photos and videos but i only throw a filter on the photo and do a few minor tweaks and then on the video in shoot in 4k on my phone but i maybe edit once a year if I’m lucky. I usually watch the unedited clips on the max photos app.

So I’m thinking the m2 air would probably be more than enough for me?
The m2 Air would absolutely be more than enough. I have a maxed m2 air and it hasn’t let me down.
 
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Technerd108

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Oct 24, 2021
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I’m having this same dilemma, I was all but convinced on the 16MBP with a 2TB hard drive but it’s a grand more than the air specced with the 2TB.

I think I resort back to my teenage self and want the highest spec machine which is just not sensible.

I browse the web, watch you tube, send emails, light excel work taken photos and videos but i only throw a filter on the photo and do a few minor tweaks and then on the video in shoot in 4k on my phone but i maybe edit once a year if I’m lucky. I usually watch the unedited clips on the max photos app.

So I’m thinking the m2 air would probably be more than enough for me?
It is different with M series chips. I understand your feelings toward wanting the fastest and best but it really would be a waste of money for what you are doing. The regular M2 chip would be more than enough. I would just make sure you get at least 16gb ram and 512gb ssd minimum and you should be fine.

My use case is very similar to yours and I had an M1 16" MBP and it was overkill for my needs and for the extra cost I didn't feel any benefit. I had originally had a 13" m1 MBP and sold it to get the 14" MBP and then returned and got the 16" because I wanted the extra speed and honestly I didn't notice any gains in terms of performance between the M1 Max and the regular M1 in my 13" MBP. I think it is because the single threaded performance is the same in the regular m chips and Pro/Max and that single threaded performance made more of a difference for me.

You might try an M2 MBA first and see how well it does with your work flow. If it doesn't work out you can return it and get the M2 MBP.
 

JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
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It is different with M series chips. I understand your feelings toward wanting the fastest and best but it really would be a waste of money for what you are doing. The regular M2 chip would be more than enough. I would just make sure you get at least 16gb ram and 512gb ssd minimum and you should be fine.

My use case is very similar to yours and I had an M1 16" MBP and it was overkill for my needs and for the extra cost I didn't feel any benefit. I had originally had a 13" m1 MBP and sold it to get the 14" MBP and then returned and got the 16" because I wanted the extra speed and honestly I didn't notice any gains in terms of performance between the M1 Max and the regular M1 in my 13" MBP. I think it is because the single threaded performance is the same in the regular m chips and Pro/Max and that single threaded performance made more of a difference for me.

You might try an M2 MBA first and see how well it does with your work flow. If it doesn't work out you can return it and get the M2 MBP.
Thanks, I think my biggest hang up is the screen size as I currently have a 15 inch 2015 pro.. but I suppose I'll get use to it, heck, for the saving between the 2 models I could get a monitor.

How did you find the comedown from 16 to 13?
 

Technerd108

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Oct 24, 2021
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Thanks, I think my biggest hang up is the screen size as I currently have a 15 inch 2015 pro.. but I suppose I'll get use to it, heck, for the saving between the 2 models I could get a monitor.

How did you find the comedown from 16 to 13?
I had so many concerns at first. No Pro-Motion, No mini-Led(although I had some problems with mini-led, smaller speakers, smaller screen. Would I regret my decision??

I am being very honest here. I don't regret any of it. I really don't notice Pro-motion at all. On a laptop it is not as big a difference as a touch device. Mini-led has more vibrancy than the IPS and IPS does have some light bleed. But it is easier on my eyes and it is a great IPS display with very rich colors. Sometimes I am looking at the screen like how can it be this nice? It is very bright too which is important to me. I keep it at about 75% brightness or just under that.

I don't really notice a huge difference in screen size. It is certainly smaller but it doesn't feel cramped to me? I don't know why because the 14" MBP the screen felt too small while the 13.6" on the MBA doesn't. I can't explain it.

I also like the speakers better on this air. Sure it doesn't have as much bass as the Pro but it is clearer. I didn't like the speakers on the 14" at all because while the depth and bass was good it sounded muffled and I could not hear voices on certain content with the volume all the way up. With the air I don't even need to hit 75% volume and I can hear low voices in movies for example just fine. The volume also gets pretty loud overall. I also like not having speaker grills to get dirty.

It is also faster in my use case than the M1 MBP was. Now I am sure that would be different with the M2 MBP but again the single threaded performance is the same. The thing that killed the MBP M1 Max was also battery life. Using the previous M1 13" MBP I was spoiled by long, long battery life while the 14" and 16" MBP, specially the M1 Max did not last nearly as long which was a disappointment. The M2 MBA lasts days between charges and on heavy days a day and half at least.

But again I think you would have to use the M2 MBA for a week or so to really see if you notice any big differences in terms of screen size. The 16" MBP was also super heavy and I use my laptop in my lap and it was really annoying to the point I did not use my laptop and started to dread the weight. The 14" was not as bad but it felt heavy for its size as well. The M2 MBA is just a pleasure to use and I never have to worry what surface it is on and covering the vents. I love it.
 
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ndouglas

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2022
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Good question and thread title which reminds of how different it is today vs. 2008, when I got a Macbook “base model“ for about $1300 and the same year (or one off?) Macbook Air wasn’t even on my radar since it was closer to $2000 for the base model… Someone can correct my memory on details but anyway, yeah, when you frame that way in the title and OP it’s definitely a better value in my view, for most people, to go with MBA these days, especially for portability or lap use.

Having said all that, my main / only laptop is the 16” macbook, only since I don’t transport it and have an 11” ipad for travel needs. Just got my sister a 13” MBA though for close to $1000 which made me realize if I were in the market for a laptop currently I’d lean more towards the lighter and more inexpensive option.

Of course, there are those including myself on some level for whom “minor” stuff that the MBP has, is enough to merit $500 more (maybe not 800 or 1000 more) for those added elements.

I guess it boils down to, is a few $100 important for you to save and do you want max portability and lightweight-ness,
or do you not mind a few / several $100 more for more longevity, ports, screen quality, which for many/most is minor, but for some can be needed.
 
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Technerd108

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Oct 24, 2021
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Good question and thread title which reminds of how different it is today vs. 2008, when I got a Macbook “base model“ for about $1300 and the same year (or one off?) Macbook Air wasn’t even on my radar since it was closer to $2000 for the base model… Someone can correct my memory on details but anyway, yeah, when you frame that way in the title and OP it’s definitely a better value in my view, for most people, to go with MBA these days, especially for portability or lap use.
Having said all that, my main / only laptop is the 16” macbook, only since I don’t transport it and have an 11” ipad for travel needs. Just got my sister a 13” MBA though for close to $1000 which made me realize if I were in the market for a laptop currently I’d lean more towards the lighter and more inexpensive option.
Of course, there are those including myself on some level for whom “minor” stuff that the MBP has, is enough to merit $500 more (maybe not 800 or 1000 more) for those added elements.
Great answer! Completely agree. If you need Pro-level features for specific use case the M1/2 MBP 14/16" are some of the best Professional MacBooks Apple has ever made in my opinion!
 
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jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
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Or maybe I should compare the sales price at BestBuy and others of the M2 MBA base for $999? Like everyone was doing for several months with M2 MBA compared with the M1 MBP base 14" on sale?

Is $1000 more for base M2 MBP worth it over the M2 MBA? Or heck if you get a discounted or refurbished M2 MBA with 16gb ram, 8 core GPU and 512gb ssd for $1500 is $500 more worth it?

Seems like the M2 MBA is a better value over night.

I know you can still get M1 MBP 14 base for $1599 but now we can compare Apple's to Apples. 😂 Lol

Suddenly my M2 MBA doesn't seem like such a bad deal anymore.
Or for my preferred M2 MacBook Air:

M2 8-Core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 16-Core Neural Engine
24 GB RAM
1 TB SSD
2.7 lbs
$2099

vs.

M2 Pro 14" MacBook Pro:
M2 Pro 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU, 16-Core Neural Engine
32 GB RAM
1 TB SSD
3.5 lbs
$2599

Obviously the specs on the 14" MBP are better than the M2 but is it worth an extra $500 (or discounted $604.95)? The lowest current price that I found for my preferred M2 MBA is at Expercom for $1994.05. For me right now, that difference in price along with the additional weight makes the M2 Pro 14" MBP unappealing. YMMV.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
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Better, larger screen, more ram, faster system, more ports and an active cooled machine that allows for sustain loads - I think its well worth it
I should have mentioned battery life but right now we don't know how good the M2 Pro 14" MacBook Pro does in real life. Right now on my M2 MacBook Air I have 3h15m usage and I'm at 74% (macOS) or 70% (ioReg). Current estimate for remaining life is about 12 hours. I charged my AirPods Pro and have been using a USB-C 2.5 Gbps ethernet adapter so that also has reduced the battery a bit.

I'll be curious to see how the battery does under normal use on the new M2 Pros.
 

Technerd108

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Better, larger screen, more ram, faster system, more ports and an active cooled machine that allows for sustain loads - I think its well worth it
If you are talking 13.6" vs 14" not a huge difference? Better screen in some ways but not better in others.

It is only a faster system in multi core and sustained workloads. In single threaded burst applications is exactly the same.

The M2 MBA is not meant for heavy sustained workloads so active cooling is not needed. Active cooling can also be a negative in that you have vents that need not to be blocked. Also the vents allow dust and dirt into the Mac.

Now if you use your Mac for professional use and do things that require heavy sustained workloads for long periods of time then I agree the M2 MacBook Pro is worth it. I would want a 16" model for that personally.

The specs on the new MacBook Pro are impressive and if my workload demanded it I would agree it is worth the money but then the gap would widen even further for a better specc'd machine like M2 Max and at least 1tb ssd and 32gb ram.

Of course if the things you mentioned are a priority to you and you don't mind the extra weight MacBook Pro is finally a real Pro machine again after so many years of handicapping. Also to be clear I am not trying to say the new MBP are a bad value or that one system is better than the other just that the M2 MBA is not a bad value when compared to the M2 MBP laptops. They are all great laptops.
 
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1BadManVan

macrumors 68040
Dec 20, 2009
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Bc Canada
Or maybe I should compare the sales price at BestBuy and others of the M2 MBA base for $999? Like everyone was doing for several months with M2 MBA compared with the M1 MBP base 14" on sale?

Is $1000 more for base M2 MBP worth it over the M2 MBA? Or heck if you get a discounted or refurbished M2 MBA with 16gb ram, 8 core GPU and 512gb ssd for $1500 is $500 more worth it?

Seems like the M2 MBA is a better value over night.

I know you can still get M1 MBP 14 base for $1599 but now we can compare Apple's to Apples. 😂 Lol

Suddenly my M2 MBA doesn't seem like such a bad deal anymore.
Crazy how we predicted this months ago, where’s those regular haters now? Crickets
 
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Technerd108

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14" MBP uses mini-leds, has faster refresh and yes slightly larger. I think by every metric the MBP's display is superior
It also has PWM, and halo effect or blooming.

It also has a slow 20 Ms response time blurring text when scrolling negating some of the benefits of 120hz.


The M2 MBA doesn't use PWM or dithering for P3 so it doesn't cause eye strain like the MBP mini led.

Apple is actively working on micro led in house screen which they are rumored to implement in all of their products starting in 2024 with the Apple watch first. The micro led should eliminate blooming and hopefully they will work out the PWM and dithering.

I am not saying it is not a beautiful screen but it also has some issues that obviously affect some people more than others.

The IPS screen in the MBA has it's own set of compromises but for me the older tech is better. So IMHO saying one is superior is extremely subjective. Specs alone you are correct.
 
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GMShadow

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Jun 8, 2021
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Thanks, I think my biggest hang up is the screen size as I currently have a 15 inch 2015 pro.. but I suppose I'll get use to it, heck, for the saving between the 2 models I could get a monitor.

How did you find the comedown from 16 to 13?

If you're not dying to get a new Mac, there's supposed to be a 15" MacBook Air launching before midyear.
 

Technerd108

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If you're not dying to get a new Mac, there's supposed to be a 15" MacBook Air launching before midyear.
With all the delays to MacBooks these rumors of release are a little unreliable.

Waiting might be longer or shorter. But it might be worth the wait if a larger screen is really important. I would look at a MBA 13.6" in person and then see if you still want to wait.
 
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Technerd108

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Mine doesn’t. You seem pretty much against the MBP. That’s fine it’s your money but my opinion is that it’s a better buy. Since it’s your money get what you want
No actually I am not against anything I just call things as I see it and when someone says something is superior I look at it objectively. If you look at a bright object in a dark background I am sure you will see blooming. It is a documented side effect of mini led technology.


I have had several M1 MBP including the mini led screens and they have a wonderful saturation and vibrance along with great black levels. They are great screens but a bit of a stop gap between IPS and OLED or micro led.

They have their limitations just like any other screen technology so I don't see them as superior but with a set of advantages and disadvantages. If you feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages like most people do then I understand that. I just get annoyed with general blanket statements used to justify something being better than something else.

If you like it better and as you said it is your money and worth the extra cost I have absolutely no problem with that.

I also said many good things in my posts about the MBP and I still think they are the best MBP Apple has ever made at very competitive prices.

Also to the point of this thread I expect a machine that costs several hundred dollars more to be better in general. Better specs or better at certain things, having more of something doesn't make it a better value if it is not used or needed.

The point is that unless you do really demanding things with specific use cases the Pro models are not a better value over a non Pro model. Apple has narrowed the gap with Apple silicon. Who would have ever thought you could do any type of 4k video editing on a MacBook air 5 years ago? A MacBook air is so much more powerful than Intel Pro models from from not too many years ago. All at a cost that is relatively reasonable for what you get.

A MacBook Pro 14/16" is a really incredible laptop and so much more powerful and more useful than ever before. But not everyone needs such power and it is mostly wasted in many use cases that a majority of people are using them for. It is their money to spend and their choice to make. There is nothing wrong with it.

I just get tired of the mentality that we all need a MBP, a suped up SUV or Mercedes or live in a huge house just to be happy. Sometimes less is more.
 
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russell_314

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Feb 10, 2019
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I had so many concerns at first. No Pro-Motion, No mini-Led(although I had some problems with mini-led, smaller speakers, smaller screen. Would I regret my decision??

I am being very honest here. I don't regret any of it. I really don't notice Pro-motion at all. On a laptop it is not as big a difference as a touch device. Mini-led has more vibrancy than the IPS and IPS does have some light bleed. But it is easier on my eyes and it is a great IPS display with very rich colors. Sometimes I am looking at the screen like how can it be this nice? It is very bright too which is important to me. I keep it at about 75% brightness or just under that.

I don't really notice a huge difference in screen size. It is certainly smaller but it doesn't feel cramped to me? I don't know why because the 14" MBP the screen felt too small while the 13.6" on the MBA doesn't. I can't explain it.

I also like the speakers better on this air. Sure it doesn't have as much bass as the Pro but it is clearer. I didn't like the speakers on the 14" at all because while the depth and bass was good it sounded muffled and I could not hear voices on certain content with the volume all the way up. With the air I don't even need to hit 75% volume and I can hear low voices in movies for example just fine. The volume also gets pretty loud overall. I also like not having speaker grills to get dirty.

It is also faster in my use case than the M1 MBP was. Now I am sure that would be different with the M2 MBP but again the single threaded performance is the same. The thing that killed the MBP M1 Max was also battery life. Using the previous M1 13" MBP I was spoiled by long, long battery life while the 14" and 16" MBP, specially the M1 Max did not last nearly as long which was a disappointment. The M2 MBA lasts days between charges and on heavy days a day and half at least.

But again I think you would have to use the M2 MBA for a week or so to really see if you notice any big differences in terms of screen size. The 16" MBP was also super heavy and I use my laptop in my lap and it was really annoying to the point I did not use my laptop and started to dread the weight. The 14" was not as bad but it felt heavy for its size as well. The M2 MBA is just a pleasure to use and I never have to worry what surface it is on and covering the vents. I love it.
It’s nice to see your liking your M2 Air. I really like mine as well. I had some slight worries after seeing so many posts talking about the 14” Pro saying there’s no reason to buy the Air at its price and to buy the Pro. A trip to the Apple store and holding that 14” Pro in my hands cured me of any doubts. I don’t care what the spec sheet says, it’s totally different in my hand and feels significantly heavier to me.

So many people talk about GPU and processor cores, screen refresh rate, fans vs passive cooling and they’re using it to browse the web… Sure some people need the Pro but if you’re browsing the web and opening up a few basic apps, nothing on the Pro is going to make a difference. Even benchmarks, which I don’t much thought to show the Air is close to the Pro when it comes to performance with the exception of continuous CPU and GPU intensive applications. If you’re editing video for four hours straight, then the Air is probably not for you.

The screen is better on the Pro but from what I could see there wasn’t that much difference. It looked slightly better, but not enough where I wouldn’t want to use the Air because it was poor quality.

I’ll tell anyone go to the Apple Store and look for yourself because maybe you’ll see something different. I don’t have your eyes or hands. Maybe you’ll pick up the Pro and think wow this feels about the same as the Air and the screen is so much better. That wasn’t my experience but everyone’s different.
 

Technerd108

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Oct 24, 2021
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It’s nice to see your liking your M2 Air. I really like mine as well. I had some slight worries after seeing so many posts talking about the 14” Pro saying there’s no reason to buy the Air at its price and to buy the Pro. A trip to the Apple store and holding that 14” Pro in my hands cured me of any doubts. I don’t care what the spec sheet says, it’s totally different in my hand and feels significantly heavier to me.

So many people talk about GPU and processor cores, screen refresh rate, fans vs passive cooling and they’re using it to browse the web… Sure some people need the Pro but if you’re browsing the web and opening up a few basic apps, nothing on the Pro is going to make a difference. Even benchmarks, which I don’t much thought to show the Air is close to the Pro when it comes to performance with the exception of continuous CPU and GPU intensive applications. If you’re editing video for four hours straight, then the Air is probably not for you.

The screen is better on the Pro but from what I could see there wasn’t that much difference. It looked slightly better, but not enough where I wouldn’t want to use the Air because it was poor quality.

I’ll tell anyone go to the Apple Store and look for yourself because maybe you’ll see something different. I don’t have your eyes or hands. Maybe you’ll pick up the Pro and think wow this feels about the same as the Air and the screen is so much better. That wasn’t my experience but everyone’s different.
Completely agree!
 
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russell_314

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Crazy how we predicted this months ago, where’s those regular haters now? Crickets
I think if you’re going just for value, the M1, MacBook Air is where it’s at.

People are going to have their opinions and everyone’s needs are different. It’s not so much hate but just an opinion based on what they need.

That’s the biggest problem with people asking what they should buy. Most of the time these people asking will never say what they’re going to use the computer for. You’re supposed to just know this. At that point what happens is people give advice based on their own needs. If you ask a gamer what kind of computer you should get, clearly the only option is a fully decked out RGB gaming desktop. Why would you buy anything different?
 
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Technerd108

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I think if you’re going just for value, the M1, MacBook Air is where it’s at.

People are going to have their opinions and everyone’s needs are different. It’s not so much hate but just an opinion based on what they need.

That’s the biggest problem with people asking what they should buy. Most of the time these people asking will never say what they’re going to use the computer for. You’re supposed to just know this. At that point what happens is people give advice based on their own needs. If you ask a gamer what kind of computer you should get, clearly the only option is a fully decked out RGB gaming desktop. Why would you buy anything different?
If cost and value is number one I would vote for the new M2 Mac mini at $599!!
 

russell_314

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If cost and value is number one I would vote for the new M2 Mac mini at $599!!
I totally agree, but that’s a desktop and some people need a portable computer. You can’t beat the Mac mini for that price. I’m shocked that Apple didn’t make that the M1 model.

I don’t need a Mac mini but for that price, I’m considering it. I’m thinking for a home desktop that’s attached to an external drive with all my files as a back up.
 
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