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Testing Apple’s New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini – Video

Speaker 1: Apple has got New Mac products and new Mac chips. And the new Mac chips are of course in the New Mac products new for January, 2023 is the M two PRO and the M two max chips, and they go in the New Mac Mini and the new 14 N 16 inch MacBook Pros. Now we’ve seen these devices before. The MAC Mini was most recently updated in 2020 when it was one of the very first systems to get an Apple silicone [00:00:30] chip. In that case, the M one. Now you can get it with the M two or the M two PRO and the 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros. They previously had the uh, M one PRO and the M one max chips as options. Now they have the M two PRO and the M two max chips as options and an Apples chip naming system. Yes, M two is more advanced than M one, but it’s really that suffix, the pro, the max, the Ultra, which is two max chips basically stapled together.

Speaker 1: [00:01:00] That really tells you what the performance level of the chip is going to be. So in M one Pro, in most cases are gonna be more powerful than in M two, just a plain M two of these two new sets of products. The one that I’m actually most excited about is the New Mac Mini. I’ve always been a Mac mini fan. It’s actually one of Apple’s longest surviving product lines. They’ve been making something called the Mac Mini that looks kind of like this since 2005. That’s even before they started using the name MacBook and before [00:01:30] they switched to Intel chips. So the Mac Mini has always been with us, not usually the star of the show, but it’s got a loyal, dedicated audience. In recent times, it’s really become sort of the podcaster’s friend computer or a small audio or small video facility, uh, kind of computer.

Speaker 1: If you have your own display and keyboard and input devices that you like, you just take one of these guys, insert it into your workflow and it just sits out of the way and frankly does a very good job. It’s especially notable because the lowest end [00:02:00] Mac Mini, which now has the M two chip starts at $599, and that is by far the least expensive way you can get a Mac OS computer. The next closest system in terms of price is the M one version of the MacBook Air, which is positively ancient at this point, and that’s 9 99. Uh, so really there’s nothing even close when it comes to if you want Mac Os you want the system, you want all the advantages that come with that, but you don’t wanna spend a lot of money. MAC Mini is gonna be your best friend. Now [00:02:30] the caveat is this lowest end version, and I have that one right over here, uh, only comes with eight gigs of RAM to start, 2 56 gigs storage.

Speaker 1: You can upgrade all that stuff, but it does start to get expensive. So 5 99, uh, to start with the M two chip, if you want to trade up and start with the M two PRO chip, then it’s 1299. Uh, but you start off with, uh, 16 gigs of RAM and more storage. And again, you can bump it up to, you know, several terabytes of storage and up to 32 gigs of RAM here up to 24 [00:03:00] here. Uh, which is very important if you’re doing things like let’s say 4K video editing. Now, if you look at these two side by side, uh, you might say how many even gonna tell them apart, the big tell is on the back of the less expensive one. The M two, there were two Thunderbolt, uh, u s BBC ports and on the back of the more expensive one, there are four ports.

Speaker 1: Uh, and that’s really the only big visual tell between them. Other than that, not only do they look nearly identical, they look identical to the ones from, uh, 2020 where they first got the M one chips, [00:03:30] the MacBook Pro, very similar, exact same design as the previous generation, which is only from 2021. So it’s not that far in the past. It follows Apple’s new design language, I guess, of uh, you know, very flat top kind of more squared off edges. I think it’s a nice minimalist modern look. They now have that in the M two version of the MacBook Air. So it’s kind of the default Apple look going forward. And of course, they continue the new version of the MagSafe connection on the side, which of [00:04:00] course I’m always a big fan of. And since we talked about price a lot with the Mac Mini, keep in mind that the new MacBook Pros 14 inch with an M two Pro starts at 19 99, 16 inch with an M two pros starts at 24 99 and your past $3,000 before you can get into the M two max territory.

Speaker 1: So very expensive products indeed, especially considering one of these guys here is $600, but sometimes you do need to invest more. For example, we threw up a nice chunky, [00:04:30] uh, premier project on the Mac Mini and on the M two version, it was doing, you know, 4K footage, some edits, some color corrections, some title graphics. Uh, definitely felt slow and you had to preview it, uh, at a much lower resolution. When I traded up to the M two PRO version, uh, felt much smoother, almost flawless. I could totally getaway with using that for, you know, full everyday all the time editing. Another really interesting thing is that Apple is pushing in some of their promotional materials and how they [00:05:00] talk about the Mac Minis in particular, uh, pushing gaming, which is not the first thing you think of when you think of Max. Is the Mac now a gaming machine?

Speaker 1: No, of course it’s not. Uh, but it’s not because the hardware is not capable. Uh, it’s largely because there are very few games available, uh, for the Mac platform. Some of them you can get from Apple Arcade, some of them you can get directly from the uh, Mac App store. Most of the time you’re probably gonna get them like the Mac OS section on Steam. Uh, I looked at the MAC OS section on Steam and the most popular [00:05:30] or best-selling Mac games right now are all things from several years ago. On the regular M two version, I had to, uh, get my resolution down to about 25 60 by 1440 and graphic settings on Medium to be able to play Balder’s Gate, uh, three on the 5 99 Mac Mini. Uh, when I moved up to the uh, M two PRO version, obviously I could, uh, crank up the resolution and the graphic detail settings much more.

Speaker 1: Uh, and of course you can use either an Xbox controller connected via Bluetooth or you can use a PlayStation dual sense controller [00:06:00] connected via Bluetooth. Uh, that actually works really well on Max. Now before this, my kind of Mac gaming hack was always to use something like, uh, you know, Nvidia GForce now where you’re just cloud streaming, but you can, you know, play on your nice Mac screen. Uh, even though the games are not stored or played locally, you’re just doing cloud streaming, which you can do in pretty much any device. One other interesting footnote about the Mac Mini is now that there are these two new versions, apple has stopped selling the one old Intel based model of the Mac Mini. They used to keep around [00:06:30] just in case you were very invested in Intel and you needed that. Uh, they’ve pretty much got rid of all of them.

Speaker 1: Now everything is Apple silicon. The only exception is a giant Mac Pro desktop, which might get updated later this year, and I would bet that that’s gonna go, you know, M two Pro, M two max, M two Ultra and not have an Intel version any longer. And that will be the end of the Intel era at Apple completely. Now the new MacBook Pros 14 inch and 16 inch. Again, uh, the actual body and the design very familiar. They’ve got fantastic screens, [00:07:00] uh, starting with the last generation. They have fantastic webcams, which has always been a MacBook weakness up until very recently. Now you’ve got full HD webcams that look really great, a lot of software helping it also, but, you know, good enough for Zoom meetings good enough to actually, frankly shoot, you know, creator quality videos and uploaded on YouTube. Uh, built-in mic also remains really good.

Speaker 1: Not really new in this generation for that. Uh, but still a pretty recent development. Like any powerful laptop, it’s gonna get kind of warm. Uh, if [00:07:30] you use it, uh, let’s say on your lap for a long time. Uh, battery life, very long. Apple claims 22 hours for the 16 inch max, which is only like an hour more than the previous generation. But the point is you should be able to use these all day. And there’s one little under the hood feature, uh, you might not realize is there, but definitely worth looking into these now support wifi six E and you need a wifi six e router to take advantage of those faster speeds. Uh, but having tried it out, I think it’s really worth it. So [00:08:00] the big question, whenever there are New Maxes, who are they for, for the 5 99 Mac Mini? I can definitely see the audience here.

Speaker 1: Someone who wants to get into Mac Os doesn’t wanna spend a lot of money, wants to do basic video editing and this is gonna work for them, especially if you’re doing, you know, a podcast at home or you just want a little home machine. You’ve already got your own monitor set up that you like. Uh, the more advanced one, that’s if you’re not rated to step up to the Mac studio, which is much, much, much more expensive, but you want to do higher end video production, [00:08:30] do some 3D graphics. I wouldn’t really go to any of them as a gaming machine, as a primary platform, but it’s nice to have a little more flexibility there than you used to. Uh, for the MacBook Pros, I mean, the 16 inch is just a huge, powerful, expensive workhorse. I use. One of them is my main office machine a lot of the time.

Speaker 1: I love it. Uh, the 14 inch, uh, more powerful. But now that you can get the M two chip, it is just the, the base M two chip in the MacBook Air, I find. That’s my, you know, grab and go MacBook. Rare for [00:09:00] a while it was the 14 inch. So I’d say overall, if you have M one Mac equipment, uh, and you’re saying, should I trade up to M two? Probably not. I’d wait another generation. But if you’re still in the, uh, Intel game, uh, now’s a great time to get into Apple silicon because we found that, uh, performance wise, battery wise, even software compatibility wise, uh, it’s a winner all around. And if you wanna see our reviews of the New Mac Mini and MacBook Pro in all of our testing data and performance charts, you could find the links to those [00:09:30] in the description below.

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