I'm an ex-Apple Genius Bar employee and the Mac I use every day is less than $500 with only a few hours of Cyber Monday left

M2 Mac Mini
(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

While studying journalism at university, I worked in the Apple Store as a technician and saw thousands of customers purchase Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches over the festive period. Whether that was someone buying a laptop to replace their broken one or a gift for a loved one, I’ve seen so many different use cases for Apple products, and I no longer get swayed by the fancy marketing spiel. After all, Black Friday is the best time of year to pick up tech, so I wasn’t surprised to see this fantastic deal at Best Buy for the Mac I use every single day.

The Mac in question is the base model M2 Mac mini, an absolute powerhouse of a computer that manages to tackle every single task I throw at it. From working on iMore to playing games on Apple Arcade, this cheap Mac is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, and you can pick it up today for $479 instead of $599.

An incredible Mac for $479

Mac mini M2 |$599$479 at Amazon

Mac mini M2 | $599 $479 at Amazon

Under $500 for one of iMore's favorite Macs, what a deal! This Mac mini M2 deal also extends across the range if you want to upgrade your Mac as well – there are significant savings if you want to add more storage or RAM. 

Price check: $499 at Best Buy | $499 at Target

Laptop deals: Dell | Best Buy | Walmart | Lenovo | HP | Newegg | Amazon

8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD? Yep, that’s my little M2 Mac mini and a purchase I’ve never regretted despite the lack of impressive specs. My reason for opting for the base model mini was because I felt like the years of use I would get from it with affordable specs far outweighed purchasing an upgraded model that would maybe lead to one or two more years of use. Apple’s M2 chip is insane, and this machine has no problems dealing with the ridiculous amounts of Chrome tabs I throw at it daily.

My day at iMore is filled with spreadsheets, documents, planning tools, and CMS management, all from within Google Chrome, and this magical little box manages to handle it all without breaking the bank. Obviously, the Mac mini is just a computer, so you must own or purchase a monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard to use the machine. That said, I love the flexibility of picking the peripherals that match my needs; it’s a far more enjoyable experience than opting for whatever Apple sells in the Apple Store.

For under $500, I don’t think there’s a better value computer on the market. You get everything that is so great about the Mac while spending significantly less for equal performance compared to the other M2 models out there. For any home office, the Mac mini is a steal, and I honestly wouldn’t swap my machine for any other Mac in Apple’s lineup.

Some other options...

MacBook Air M2 15-inch| $1299$1099 B&H Photo

MacBook Air M2 15-inch| $1299 $1099 B&H Photo

Not quite as low as the Amazon Price, but there are more spec options here. If you want more RAM, then this is the place to buy your laptop — $200 off is nothing to sniff at either.

Price check: $1049 at Best Buy | $1049 at Amazon

MacBook Air M2 13-inch |$1299 $1049 at Amazon 

MacBook Air M2 13-inch |$1299 $1049 at Amazon 

The M2 MacBook Air has seen some discounts since its release, and this is one of the better ones. Over Black Friday we’re hoping to see that price drop even further, with the potential for a new lowest price during the sale.

Price check: $949 at Best Buy | $929 at B&H Photo

MacBook Air M1 13-inch | $999$749 at Amazon

MacBook Air M1 13-inch | $999 $749 at Amazon

While not the newest MacBook on the block, it’s going to be plenty powerful enough for most people. This is now very close to the lowest price we've ever seen, and with stocks of this model starting to run low, might be as good as it gets.

Price check: $749 at Best Buy | $849 at B&H Photo

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.