The new Mac mini, launched recently by Apple, is much more powerful than its predecessor and could find a use in business as a workstation.
Apple has about a 12.9% share of the computer market. Apart from creative businesses, most businesses rely on Microsoft for their hardware, operating system and software. Windows 10 is the most popular operating system, and most businesses rely on Microsoft programmes like Office 365 and SharePoint for document writing, spreadsheets, databases and collaboration.
Released on November 7th, the new Mac mini can run Office 365 software and is suitable for people who prefer Apple’s operating system.
Apple has reduced the number of ports on its laptops, but the Mac mini has several of them. There are Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C ports, Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, video, USB 3.1 and a headphone jack. This makes the Mac mini very flexible and capable of connecting with many peripherals.
The basic Mac mini has a fast 8th generation four-core processor, 8GB of memory and 128GD SSD storage. Higher-spec models have more RAM, greater drive storage and a faster processor.
The Mac mini can be used as a mid-range workstation. When compared to a similar spec PC, it is not overpriced.
An Office 365 subscription includes Mac versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, but not Access, which is Windows only. Mac versions of Office 365 software are similar to Windows versions, although there are some differences, and files created on Office 365 Mac versions can be opened on Windows computers.
Other collaborative and flexible offerings include that SharePoint can be accessed via a web browser, that the Mac mini can also be used as a server with Apple’s MacOS server software, and that it can connect with Microsoft's OneDrive to allow for sharing.
The enclosure of the mini is made from 100% recycled aluminium, and it uses recycled plastic.
Apple claims the carbon footprint of the new Mac mini has been reduced by 50% compared to previous models. Business with environmental policies could therefore purchase Mac minis because of their environmental credentials.
What Apple says
Phillip Schiller, the senior vice president of Apple Worldwide Marketing, said:
“Mac mini customers are going to flip over the new Mac mini. It has more than five times the performance, up to 6-core desktop-class processors, an Apple T2 Security Chip, faster memory up to 64GB, high-performance all-flash storage, and is packed with advanced ports including four Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A, HDMI video, audio and Ethernet up to 10Gbps. All of this power is packed into the same size enclosure as before, perfect for customers updating or creating all-new installations where Mac mini is the ideal solution.”
The Mac mini starts at £799 for the 3.6GHz, 128 GB SSD version and rises to £2,058 for the top-spec model. These prices do not include a monitor, keyboard or mouse.
Businesses that use Mac computers sometimes experience collaboration challenges. Talk to us at WM Reply for more advice on using Mac computers with Office 365 and SharePoint.