Best computer for photography,
Best computer for video,
Best computer for music,
Best computer for motion graphics
Best computer for graphic design,
Best computer for students,
Best computer for everyone!
The M1 Mac mini is the best computer i've owned. I replaced two fully-loaded (max RAM and SSD) Intel Mac mini's with one 256GB SSD 8GB RAM M1. The incredible performance of the M1 is what allowed me to accomplish the two-for-one swap.
As a content creator my main uses are graphic design, web design, motion graphics, and animation design. For photography I shoot in HDR, Apple ProRes, or RAW. Video is shot in 4K 30/60 fps 10-bit HDR Dolby Vision. I also mix in HEVC when needed. So I push this M1 Mac mini very hard and it’s still the highest performing computer I’ve used!
In the past I used one Intel Mac mini for my content creation then had to divide video encoding/rendering between the two Intel Mac mini’s. Now I create, encode, and render on one M1 Mac mini. Amazingly, with the increase in performance, power consumption went down.
The thermal advantage is high-performance for low cost (power consumption). It has an internal fan that I’ve never heard run, but have felt air coming from the exhaust vent under heavy use. Quietness is a benefit previously reserved for the iPad and iPhone.
Connecting wireless peripherals via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth has been flawless. The M1 Mac mini is so flexible I even use it as a W-Fi router to connect my other devices to the internet.
Adding to this computer’s flexibility is the number of ports for wired connections.
HDMI - 2.0
Thunderbolt/ USB 4
3.5 mm telephone jack
I’m frequently asked why I don’t travel with an M1 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. It’s partly due to the flexibility as mentioned above. I carry an Apple Magic keyboard and track pad and plug the M1 Mac mini into a television where I’m staying. It’s rare I am in a hotel or Airbnb that doesn’t have a television with an HDMI connection. If I’m staying somewhere that doesn’t have a television, usually a hostel, I’ve never found myself far from a coworking place that also has computer monitors to use. But what I do in most cases now is use my M1 12.9” iPad Pro as a display for the M1 Mac mini (I’ll go into greater detail in a future post).
Because of the M1 12.9” iPad Pro’s incredible HDR display, this has become my first choice. Now this might seem limiting because of the screen size, but keep in mind it is the same size as the M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air yet with the quality of Apple’s 32” Pro Display XDR.
The next question I get asked about traveling with the M1 Mac mini is what do I do for power when an outlet isn’t nearby. For these situations I carry a battery power bank with an outlet for the M1 Mac mini’s power plug. Even with the high-performance of this small computer, the power usage is so little I get 3-4 hours of use. I use this setup in airports, coffee shops, and outdoors. You might think this is a hassle carrying and setting up separate components such as keyboard, trackpad, and iPad display. It’s really not, especially in terms of ergonomics.
With laptops we are forced into a hunched over, hands together position. The screen is too low and too close, the trackpad is stuck in the center and the keyboard cannot be moved. With the M1 Mac mini I use a separate Apple Magic keyboard and trackpad spread out side-by-side. Additionally, I get the benefit of the largest track pad available. My hands can spread out naturally, eliminating stress on my back, arms, wrists, neck, and shoulders. Additionally, using a television, separate monitor, or my iPad Pro as a screen, I can raise the screen to the perfect height, orient as needed (portrait versus landscape), and place it at the appropriate distance. This control, or choice, of the individual physical components adds tremendously to the value of the M1 Mac mini.
The M1 Mac mini is the lowest price computer made be Apple. Amazing that the lowest price computer is also the best computer for everyone, especially us minimalists.
Minimalism in context of material goods, in its simplest form, is attainment of the highest value at a specific price and maximization of value before replacement. This is in direct contrast with the off-stated concept of buying to “future proof”.
So, minimalism as I practice for the M1 Mac mini is to buy the configuration that will meet my needs today, not in the future. Future proofing leads people to buy what and more than they need and invariably never using what they have to its full potential. Not only is future proofing a waste of money, but a source of choice anxiety followed by buyers regret.
I purchased my M1 Mac mini with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive. When my use routinely exceeds the capability of the RAM and hard drive I will upgrade to a newer Mac mini. I’ll sell or trade-in my M1 Mac mini so its life span continues with another person. This is future proofing minimalist style.
The minimalist style of future proofing will save you significant money. I’ve done this with all my Apple products and thus have never paid full price (sometimes even free!) for an Apple device.