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72PRO SCORE
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3.61111111111111 12 5 0
3.61111111111111
72 VOTES

Updated after a year and a half of uncertainty, the Mac Mini remains Apple's cheapest and smallest Macintosh computer.

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Pros

fairly capable hardware - suitable for the majority of consumers

6 agree

extremely compact size and shape

6 agree

Whisper-quiet; you can hardly tell its on

5 agree

idles at only 14W

5 agree

improved port selection - 5 USB 2.0, Firewire 800, mini DisplayPort & DVI

5 agree

runs OSX (and any other operating system if required)

5 agree

the most affordable Mac

5 agree

improved Nvidia graphics are 5x faster than the old and poor Intel GMA - now compatible with potential Snow Leopard improvements

4 agree

DVI biult in, so connects directly to most monitors

3 agree

Goes to sleep & wakes up again extremely quickly. Consumes only ~1.5W when sleeping.

2 agree

1 GB model RAM upgradeable to enough ram

1 agrees

Remote control support built in

1 agrees

Front Row home theatre software included, lots of open source and free alternatives available for download

1 agrees

Takes standard SATA 2.5" disks available from third party vendors makes upgrades easy and cheap

1 agrees

RAM available from third party vendors

1 agrees

includes optical drive (on all models)

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

$200 premium for 200GB of disk space and extra GB of memory is robbery

6 agree

1GB model contains too little RAM

4 agree

designed intentionally to be difficult to upgrade

3 agree

requires adapters to be used with the vast majority of desktop displays

3 agree

requires investment into any required computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, webcam etc...)

3 agree

Premium model not to far from regular iMac price which contains the same ram and hard drive.

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

Updated after a year and a half of uncertainty, the Mac Mini remains Apple's cheapest and smallest Macintosh computer. Created for those with limited space, budgets or the desire to use their own monitors and keyboards, the Mac Mini contains a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 1 or 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 120 or 320GB storage drive, an 8x DVD burner, and upgraded Nvidia graphics. A small but crucial update to the model, the bump in speed and addition of Nvidia graphics will allow the device to function properly with any graphical updates added to the highly anticipated OSX Snow Leopard operating system.

Features
  • CPU & RAM: 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 or 2GB DDR2 memory
  • Display: No included display, powered by the Nvidia 9400M graphics chip (5x faster than the previous Intel GMA chip used)
  • Optical: 8x DVD writer
  • Network connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Storage: 120 or 320GB HDD
  • Ports & Expansion: 1 x Firewire 800, 5 x USB 2.0, 1 x mini DVI, 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x audio out, 1 x audio in, security cable lock slot
  • uses 40% less power than the previous generation (13W at idle)
Models (only differences are highlighted)
  • 2.0 GHz : 120 GB - $599, 1GB of memory, 120GB HDD
  • 2.0 GHz : 320 GB - $799, 2GB of memory, 320GB HDD
Post Review
Howlsthunder
04/17/2009 07:51

The Mac Mini was also designed & marketed with "switchers" (people switching from PC to Mac) and basic upgraders in mind, people who already own(ed) a computer and just want a new CPU, not all the attachments. In this way its a pretty good deal for getting a new Mac, if you figure the value of the experience of computing through Mac OS X into the equation, which is the main reason anyone uses a Mac - not price.

My family pitched in and got my aunt a Mac Mini to replace her 9 year old PC. Sure, the Mini is pretty low-end but my aunt can't tell. She loves its tiny form factor and its silence since she lives in a tiny house. She pretty much uses it daily for e-mail, instant messaging, geneology, and managing her music collection, including digitally copying her LP collection to CD using GarageBand (one of the iLife apps that comes packaged with a new Mac). Barring spontaneous computer death, she probably won't need an upgrade for another 5 or 6 years. If I weren't a power user, I would probably have one or two of these myself.

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