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Best M1 Mac Mini deals: $99 discount drops price to lowest ever

You can save $99 by buying new at Amazon and find even bigger savings on refurbished models from Apple.

The Mac Mini, along with its more mobile Mac cousins the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, was one of the first Apple computers to ditch Intel silicon in favor of Apple's new M1 processor. (Now you can also get an M1-powered iPad Pro.) Our tests of the M1 machines show a substantial performance boost over their predecessors, and now we're seeing discounts sprout up for the new models.

You can find discounts on the M1 MacBooks, but the Mac Mini remains the least expensive MacOS computer. The baseline model of the M1 Mac Mini costs $699 and features 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The step-up model costs $899 and doubles the storage capacity to 512GB. Amazon is currently offering a $99 discount on both the baseline and step-up models of the M1 Mac Mini. (You'll find a partial discount on each model at Amazon, plus additional savings when you add it to your cart to bring the total discount to $99.)

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 Apple Store offers students an educational discount, 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 Certified Refurbished Mac page. 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. CNET's resident Cheapskate Rick Broida is a big fan of refurbs, particularly Apple's, which are often as good as new.

Keep reading to see the best 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 do 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 $800 $800

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 $30 less than its $699 list price, and you save an additional $69 when you add it to your cart to drop the cost to $600, the lowest at which we've seen the new Mac Mini priced.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The step-up Mac Mini gets you a 512GB SSD and $99 in savings. This model is currently $70 off at Amazon, and you can take off another $29 when you add it to your cart, which brings the price down to $800. That's the lowest price we've seen yet for the step-up M1 Mac Mini.

Now playing: Watch this: Hands-on with the entire new Apple Mac M1 lineup