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Best Mac Mini deals: Base model at all-time-low price

You can pick up an M1 Mac Mini for only $600 right now on Amazon -- its lowest price ever.

The Mac Mini, along with its more mobile cousins the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, was one of the first Apple computers to ditch Intel silicon in favor of Apple's impressive M1 processor. It did not receive the M1X update that the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro did last fall, but the Mac Mini remains the company's least expensive MacOS computer and is selling at considerable discounts at Amazon right now.

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. You can get the 256GB model for the lowest price we've seen yet for it right now at Amazon. You'll see an initial discount of $50 at Amazon plus an additional $49 in savings at checkout to bring the price down to $600. The more useful 512GB step-up is $70 off at Amazon.

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.

Apple's student discounts and refurbs

It's worth noting that the Apple Store offers students an educational discount, where you can save $50 on the price of a new Mac Mini. Some upgrades are discounted, too. For example, doubling the RAM to 16GB costs $180 with the student 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. You can usually find 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 a big fan of refurbs -- 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 $800 $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. It's selling for the lowest price we've seen yet for it right now on Amazon. Amazon is offering an initial $50 discount plus an additional $49 at checkout to drop the price to an all-time low $600.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The step-up Mac Mini with a 512GB SSD is $70 off at Amazon right now, which is the biggest price break you'll find right now for it but less than half the $149 discount offered last month. Might be worth monitoring to see if a bigger discount returns. Amazon frequently drops the price of this 512GB model to $800 and occasionally even lower. Most people will benefit from the added storage space; 512GB is the smallest SSD we'd recommend for any desktop.

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