The Mac mini is incredibly versatile. I had one last year in combination with the iPad Air. I used it to move between two offices and to work at home and use personally after work, carrying it in daily until that job ended. I then sold it in favour of a 12" MacBook as I switched jobs and was issued a Windows machine for it… It was the base 6-core i5 option.
If you’re buying one here in the UK I’d be happy to let you use my Unidays account to get 10% off. I’d just PM you the details with temporary password and give you something like 48 hours until I change it back. You’d be able to log in, apply the offer and proceed on the Apple site securely as normal then and I could change my password back once you’re done. There’s no risk.
The prices with the student discount are below:
Also, keep in mind, even though you can’t upgrade the SSD like in a MacBook, it’s not so bad on the Mini as it’s desk bound and can be permanently hooked up to a storage device or network storage location in your home. The 256GB base is more than enough for macOS and your software I’m sure.
Another benefit over the iMac and MacBook Pro is, this thing is pretty much guaranteed to last. Not subject to display issues (just buy a new one), not subject to keyboard issues (buy a new one) or wearing batteries like a laptop. Thunderbolt is overkill for most things, so it’ll be well compatible beyond its days. It’s also much more ergonomic to use a desktop properly setup. I use my MacBook Pro as a desktop sometimes and the comfort is superior.
The drawbacks are as you’d expect… desk bound. Lousy speaker. No mic - ensure you invest in one, plus a webcam. And of course, the graphics isn’t known to be spectacular on the Mini but it is eGPU compatible too. In one word, it is versatile. PM me if you’re interested in the discount! Hope that’s okay with mods.