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Only at the rear do the symptoms of modernisation appear. The SD card slot is gone, which is a shame, but the mini still has a 3. Image 3 of 8. Even though this is the most modest specification offered, it showed a surprising turn of speed.

Apple Mac Mini review (2018): A video editor’s perspective

The SSD is a rare performer, too. That ensures that macOS feels perfectly snappy, with apps opening up quickly and smoothly. Image 2 of 8. Even as it stands, the Core i3-based Mac mini is perfectly capable of performing most things a reasonably demanding desktop PC user is likely to ask of it. That said, this lowest-spec model will still likely start to struggle if you throw complex 4K video-editing projects at it.

Ultimate Mac mini Setup - 2018

The original Mac mini was something of a gateway drug — a simple, cheap way of enticing customers into the Mac ecosystem. Even so, doubling the price in four years?

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Intel's NUC has matured significantly since it first appeared way back in from a hobbyists mini-PC to something you can run as a full-on gaming machine today. That gives this tiny PC a surprising amount of oomph and although it's a tiny bit slower overall than the Mac Mini we've reviewed here for general tasks, it's a far more competent machine for gaming. The darker finish makes the bare-metal design look much more modern — the bright aluminum of past Apple designs looks decidedly early now — and matches the finish found on the iMac Pro and Macbook Pro lines.

It's also more environmentally responsible, with the entire aluminum body made from recycled material. The littlest Mac has gotten a pretty stunning makeover, starting with the space-gray anodized finish. To accommodate the updated hardware inside, Apple had to change some of the internal design, as well. The design has larger vents and a bigger fan, doubling the airflow to better cool the processor. The power supply has been enlarged to provide the necessary power to the new components.

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On the bottom of the Mac mini's aluminum chassis is a black plastic disk, which does double duty as both the foot for the compact PC as well as a cover that opens to provide internal access. Around the edges of the panel are cleverly concealed vents for air flow, and the simple black surface has "Mac mini" imprinted on it. This access panel has taken different forms over the last few iterations of the mini, with the model offering a simple twist-to-open design and the model requiring a special prying tool literally, a modified putty knife to open.

Unfortunately, the model still uses the less convenient design that requires a special tool.

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The Mac mini is being touted as more upgrade-friendly than the previous model, which had its RAM soldered directly to the motherboard. It also means you'll be better able to keep the Mac mini up to date if Apple takes another four-year break before introducing the next model. Accessing the internals of the system is difficult. Apple has a well-deserved reputation for making its products hard to upgrade, and the Mac mini is no exception. In a discussion with Apple representatives, it was explained that the Mac mini was meant to be "service upgradable" — upgradable by professionals at a Genius Bar or other approved Apple service provider — rather than "user upgradable.

The access panel has to be removed with a special tool, likely the same modified putty knife used in the previous model we got a credit card to work. Once you open the access panel you will be faced with a metal grille secured with six Torx screws. Just to make things a little more irritating, a standard Torx driver set is not compatible with these screws, which feature a center pin inside the recessed driver slot of the screw.

So, even if you have a set of tiny Torx drivers, you'll probably need to get a different screwdriver, one with a hole in the center to accommodate that pin. Specifically, you'll need a driver for a TR6 Torx security screw. Additionally, while Apple has returned the upgradable RAM found on the and Mac mini, the upgradable storage is gone.


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In the model, you could remove the included Fusion drive Apple's hybrid SSD and hard-disk storage solution and replace it with an aftermarket SSD, boosting the performance of the machine and extending the life of the Mac mini — which many people found necessary in the long wait for this year's update. In the model, that option is gone.

Apple Mac mini (2018) Review: This Little Mac Is Awesome

The PCIe-connected SSD is soldered to the logic board, making the flash storage modules all but impossible to remove and replace. The good news is that, thanks to the bandwidth offered by the Thunderbolt 3 ports found on the rear panel of the system, you can connect external storage — even at jaw-dropping capacities — and use it without taking a hit on performance. Similarly, while there's no configuration for the Mac mini that offers a discrete graphics card, you can also bump up the horsepower for gaming and other graphics-intensive uses by adding an external graphics card enclosure , also connected via Thunderbolt 3.

Those Thunderbolt 3 ports offer a huge amount of connectivity, thanks to speeds of up to 40Gbps. It's enough to connect two 4K displays, and you can also use an external GPU, not to mention all manner of storage and peripherals. If you need even more speed for connecting a local network or network-attached storage, the Ethernet port can actually be configured as a 10 Gigabit connection, instead.

HATE: The pricing to upgrade the Mac Mini borders on absurd.

It's a very cool business-friendly feature that media pros will appreciate, but won't be much use to the average user. And, it wouldn't be Apple without dropping a connection or two. While you get more connectivity overall with the new Mac mini, you do lose the SDXC card slot from the model.

Every configuration of the Mac mini is outfitted with quad-core Intel 8th-generation processors and all flash storage. Apple has been promoting the dramatic improvements in performance from the previous Mac mini, but those claims ring a little hollow when you consider that the last Mac mini update was in , and that the previous system was still rocking fourth-generation dual-core processors. During usage, I saw plenty to like. When web browsing, I could browse with 15 tabs open, while also streaming music and video.

I never experienced any lag. Wireless Wi-Fi 4 Search within results Search. You can only compare up to 4 items. Remove items from bar below to add more. Please try searching for a similar item from a different brand or model. Top Highlights 3. International orders are processed the next shipping day.


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