The release of the Mac mini M2 only confirms the poor price placement of the MacBook Air M2. We did the calculations.
If we have to remember a single announcement from Apple this week, it would be the announcement of the Mac mini M2. It may come as a surprise next to the impressive MacBook Pro M2 Pro and M2 Max, but the price of the Mac mini makes all the difference. Announced at 699 euros, or 100 euros less than the previous generation, it becomes a machine with a performance/quality/price ratio that promises to be very interesting.
While waiting for the test to verify all this, the Mac mini already confirms something else: the problem of the pricing of the MacBook Air M2.
How to justify the invoice?
In fact, the Mac mini and MacBook Air have never shared their data sheet so much. Therefore, we can really compare the two products. Typically, desktop PCs and laptops come with different components. The latter use chips designed to consume less. Here, Apple machines have in common the most expensive components of a machine:
- Apple M2 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU;
- 8 GB of unified memory;
- SSD is 256 GB;
- 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports;
- 1 3.5mm jack port;
- Aluminum chassis and power supply.
Mac mini also offers a more modern connection with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, as well as an RJ45 Ethernet port.
The MacBook Air M2 equipped with the same configuration is sold by Apple at 1619 euros, that is, 920 euros difference with the Mac mini.
With these 920 euros, Apple charges you the following:
- 13.6-inch IPS LCD screen 2560 x 1664 pixels 60 Hz;
- 52.6 Wh battery;
- 79-key backlit Magic Keyboard (159 euros for a wireless keyboard on Apple.fr);
- 1080p FaceTime HD camera;
- Touch panel
- Four speaker audio system.
It is undeniable that the bill is too salty for these simple components. Even with a whopping $300 budget for the simplest items like battery, keyboard, camera, and speakers, that would still leave $620 budget for an LCD screen. There’s no question that it’s the LCD that costs Apple the most on the list, but this is a simple screen with classic definition and display frequency. No Oled, no mini-LED, no state-of-the-art HDR and simple factory color calibration. In short, this display shouldn’t cost Apple much.
With the announcement of the Mac mini, Apple perfectly illustrates our critique of the MacBook Air M2. The argument of the evolution of the exchange rate and inflation does not hold either, if the price of the Mac mini can fall.
Let’s not be fooled, and we know how much Apple appreciates its margins, especially on a product as flagship as the MacBook Air. Arguably, the Mac mini has a role to sell at lower margins to attract newcomers to the ecosystem. But by offering two products with such comparable data sheets, Apple allows us to very pragmatically highlight what it charges its customers.
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