Apple released the M2 Mac mini in early 2023, and with a starting price of $599 in the US, it’s a contender for the best value award. But up against it today is a competitor that could snatch the crown away unexpectedly: a brick.
Today, we’re going to settle this raging debate that has been ongoing since the beginning of… well, this article. Mac mini versus a brick. Who wins? To answer that, we’ll cover 5 very important, though sometimes underrepresented, categories: Aesthetics, Ease of Use, Functionality, Energy Efficiency, and of course, Value.
Let’s get started!
When it comes to looks, the Mac mini is an aluminum square that admittedly looks pretty sleek. However, it comes in only 1 color: silver. Apple did have a space gray Mac mini, but that option went away with the move to Apple Silicon chips.
Bricks, on the other hand, have a TON more options to suit your personality. They come in red, gray, black, white, and in many different sizes so you can find something that really speaks to your personality. I mean, just look at this beauty.
So for aesthetics, the brick clearly wins!
Ease of Use
The second category is ease of use. For the Mac mini, you’ll need to plug in a bunch of other devices, like a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and tether it to a source of power. That really restricts its portability and where you can use it.
A brick, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be plugged in, and can be used pretty much anywhere. Indoors, outside, on top of any type of surface, it’s weather-resistant and water-proof. If you accidentally drop your Mac mini in a pool of water, even if you have AppleCare+, you’d need to shell out $300 to get a replacement. A brick will just keep on doing what it does best, so need to worry when showing it off at your next pool party like you would with the Mac mini.
So for ease-of-use, the brick wins again!
But what about functionality, what it can actually do? Well, both the Mac mini and a brick have many possible uses, ranging from fun to not so fun activities.
But let me put it this way. If your boss walks in and asks you to crunch the numbers and prepare the weekly report for the meeting that afternoon, you can do it easily with the power of the Mac mini. However, if you throw a brick at your boss instead, well… I promise you won’t ever be asked to prepare those reports again.
Yes, it’s possible to toss a Mac mini as well, but since its plugged into so many things, by the time you get things unplugged and are prepared to throw, your target will likely be long gone.
This added toss-at-a-moment’s notice functionality makes it yet another crushing victory for the brick!
The fourth category is something Apple themselves love to advertise. Many of their products proclaim how great they are for the environment as they use recycled materials to build their computers. Apple Silicon chips are also known for their energy efficiency; the M2 Mac mini idles at just 7 watts for example, with a CPU max of 50 watts.
Bricks, however, are one of the oldest building materials and have been used for thousands of years. Bricks are made from clay, an abundant natural resource, and are considered one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable materials. In addition, since you don’t need to plug them in, they don’t use any electricity, making the power consumption 0 watts.
7 watts vs. 0 watts. The brick is the clear winner once again.
And finally, we come to value. The M2 Mac mini is certainly one of the best value Mac computers you can buy, with a starting price of $599.
A brick, however, can be had for around 50 cents each, and are likely cheaper if you buy in bulk. That means you could buy over 1000 bricks for the price of a Mac mini. Imagine what you could do with a thousand bricks! There’s absolutely no question which of these is a better value.
So there we have it. On all 5 dimensions analyzed today, the brick is the overwhelming winner over the Mac mini. The debate is finally settled.
Hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, be sure to come back for more tech comparisons. If you didn’t, the only thing I have to say to you is: Happy April Fools!