Apple's Mac Mini M2 gives you more speed and connectivity than you'd guess in such a small package, and for surprisingly little money, too. Now, it's dropped back down to the lowest price we've ever seen, starting at just $500 ($100 off the regular price) for the 256GB version. If more internal storage is needed, you can also buy the 512GB model for $690, for a discount of $110 (14 percent).
We gave the Mac Mini a solid 86 score in our Engadget review, praising the performance and classic aluminum design. While it's small enough to hide away on your desktop, the M2 processor is easily powerful enough for productivity chores and multitasking. The chip combines computing operations, like CPU, GPU, input/output interfaces and certain memory processes into one "system on a chip," allowing for faster processing speeds.
On top of that, you get killer connectivity, with two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connections, HDMI 2.0 (with 4K 240Hz and 8K 60Hz output), two USB-A ports, a headphone jack and gigabit Ethernet (upgradeable to 10 gigabit). That lets you connect multiple screens along with storage and other accessories.
The Mac Mini M2 won't replace your gaming machine, but it can handle nearly everything else you throw at it. The cheaper configurations are fine for most people, too — we wouldn't recommend the overpriced storage or RAM upgrades, as the M2 is much more efficient with RAM than typical PCs. All told, if you're looking for a cheap but powerful Mac, this is the way to go, especially at these prices.