This story is part of
, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.
Call this one adiscount, but it’s actually the return of a periodic sale price we frequently see at Amazon: You can save $99 to $149, depending on which model you buy. (We think the more capacious 512GB one is the better deal.) But first, a bit of history.
The, along with its more mobile cousins the and , was one of the first Apple computers to ditch Intel silicon in favor of . It did not receive the M1X update at that the and did, but the Mac Mini remains the company’s least expensive MacOS computer and is selling at the lowest prices we’ve seen right now on Amazon.
The baseline model of the M1-based Mac Mini costs $699 from Apple and features 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The step-up model costs $899 from Apple and doubles the storage capacity to 512GB. Amazon is currently offering a $50 discount on the baseline model and $149 discount on the more useful step-up model with twice the storage capacity. For the latter discount, you’ll see an initial $100 discount, plus an additional $49 in savings at checkout. We’ve not seen the 512GB M1-based Mac Mini for less than its current $750 price.
One benefit of paying full price and buying from Apple, however, is you can customize the machine and add more RAM or a higher-capacity SSD, whereas the models sold on Amazon and other retailers are fixed configurations. And unlike in most other desktops, the Mac Mini’s RAM is not user-upgradable. Apple’s M1 system-on-a-chip integrates the CPU, GPU, RAM and other components for greater power and efficiency, but the downside of this integration is the lack of DIMM slots that would allow you to add additional RAM after purchase.
It’s worth noting that the, but you’ll save only $20 on the price of a new Mac Mini, though some upgrades are discounted, too. For example, doubling the RAM to 16GB costs $180 with the education discount instead of the usual charge of $200.
Also at Apple, you might find a refurbished M1 Mac Mini. Apple has started selling refurbs of the M1 Mac Mini at its. Currently, you can get a refurbished M1 Mac Mini with a 256GB SSD for $589 with a $110 discount, or the step-up model with 512GB SSD for $759 with a $140 discount. Refurb inventory changes rapidly so you may not always find an M1 Mac Mini listed. It’s worth keeping an eye out, however, because you can lock in substantial savings. Rick Broida, CNET’s Cheapskate emeritus, is — particularly Apple’s, which are often as good as new.
Keep reading to see the best US prices currently available for Apple’s Mac Mini. We update this page regularly and give prices that are accurate at time of publication, but note that they fluctuate.
Mac Mini discounts, compared
|Model w/ CPU and storage capacity||List price||Best price (current)||Best price (all-time)|
|Mac Mini w/ M1 chip, 256GB SSD||$699||$600||$600|
|Mac Mini w/ M1 chip, 512GB SSD||$899||$750||$750|
Note that “all-time” means the best price that we’ve seen at an Apple-authorized retailer in the product’s lifetime.
The baseline Mac Mini features Apple’s new M1 chip, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Amazon is selling it for $99 less than its $699 list price. That’s back to the best price we’ve seen for it.
The step-up Mac Mini with a 512GB SSD is $149 off at Amazon right now to match the biggest price break we’ve seen yet. You save $120 upfront, plus an additional $29 at checkout. Most users will benefit from the added storage space; 512GB is the smallest SSD we’d recommend for any desktop.