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First look: Apple' new unibody Mac mini

post #1 of 240
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Apple's new aluminum unibody Mac mini retains its role as the company's low price, compact PC and server while adding HDMI output and support for Secure Digital Extended Capacity flash memory cards with higher speeds and capacities (more than 32GB).

The physical size of the new Mac mini shifts from a 2 inch tall, 6.5 inch square unit into a new 1.4 inch tall, 7.7 inch square form factor similar to 1.1 inch tall Apple TV.

Also new compared to the previous Mac mini and Apple TV is its new unibody shell, which slides the logic board and power supply in through the open rear side, rather than sandwiching a cover on top of a base.

The WiFi antenna and RAM are exposed through a rear opening covered by a twist off rubber base for easy access. The back panel provides four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet port, along with standard audio input and outputs that support both analog and digital cables. A new HDMI port supports resolutions up to 1920x1200, and the unit also supplies a Mini DisplayPort that supports a separate display up to 2560x1600 resolution.

Video output is provided by an NVIDIA GeForce 320M that uses 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM, making the Mac mini architecturally similar to the latest MacBook. It also uses the same 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 1066MHz frontside bus, with an additional option for a faster 2.66GHz processor.

Like the previous generation of Mac minis, the new model comes in both a standard version with 2GB RAM, a DVD drive and single 320GB, 5400rpm SATA drive, and a 4GB server configuration that trades the optical drive and its slot for a secondary hard drive preinstalled with Mac OS X Server, providing two 500GB, 7200rpm SATA drives. Both models can accommodate up to 8GB of RAM.




New SD Card support

In addition to conventional RAM, the new Mac mini also supports Secure Digital flash memory cards via a rear slot. The slot supports cards following the Standard SD format of 4 MB to 4 GB, SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards from 4GB to 32 GB, and new SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) cards 32 GB and larger. SDXC theoretically supports cards up to 2TB, but Apple does not specify a supported ceiling for the new slot.

The Mac mini's SD slot with SDXC support is a first for Apple, as the most recent iMacs and MacBook Pros with SD card slots do not yet support the new higher speed, higher capacity specification, and are limited to SDHC cards with a 32GB maximum capacity.

Apple TV Plus?

The new Mac mini also has obvious potential in home theater uses, given its built in HDMI audio and video output, which support secure playback of copy protected content over a single cable. The HDMI port can be converted via a dongle to DVI to drive a standard display. Previous models supplied a DVI output, offering a converter to HDMI but lacking audio support, as DVI does not provide audio (it is essentially HDMI without sound).

The Mac mini differs from Apple TV in that it runs the full Mac OS X Snow Leopard and all Mac software, whereas Apple TV runs an embedded version that only runs an enhanced Front Row-style interface. Apple may likely port the Apple TV's software to the Mac to offer a more complete experience in home theater compared to the existing Front Row, which is still on the level of Apple TV 1.0.

Rumors suggest Apple may convert future versions of Apple TV into a low cost, cloud based appliance running iOS and discontinue the existing hard drive-based local storage and sync product. Regardless of the future of Apple TV, the Mac mini offers a more powerful features, including support for DVR software (providing TiVo-like functionality) and other third party software and games that Apple has never enabled for Apple TV.

The Mac mini also provides more processing muscle, more storage, multiple display support, and the capacity to present additional video formats that Apple TV won't play out of the box. It is however significantly more expensive; the existing Apple TV retails for $229, while the new Mac mini now starts at $699, with the TB server model starting at $999.
post #2 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's new aluminum unibody Mac mini retains its role as the company's low price, compact PC and server while adding HDMI output and support for Secure Digital Extended Capacity flash memory cards with higher speeds and capacities (more than 32GB).

Sadly not so low cost... price increase seems unjustified - especially the mark up in Europe.
post #3 of 240
As a long time (> 20 years) of Macs, I understand APple products are always a premium, BUT adding $100 to the price is ridiculous. Come on Steve, give us a break!http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...ies/1oyvey.gif
post #4 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsftMacMan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's new aluminum unibody Mac mini retains its role as the company's low price, compact PC and server while adding HDMI output and support for Secure Digital Extended Capacity flash memory cards with higher speeds and capacities (more than 32GB).

Sadly not so low cost... price increase seems unjustified - especially the mark up in Europe.

Yes, way to expensive now, in the UK you get the 21.5" iMac for just £250 more, honeslty who would buy this machine when you get double the ram, a better cpu/gpu, KB & Mouse and screen for that little bit more.

Such a shame, it's beautiful but priced by a retard I think, either that or Apple assumes its customers are stupid!
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post #5 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Yeah, way to expensive now, in the UK you get the 21.5" iMac for £250 more, honeslty who would buy this machine when you get double the ram, a better cpu/gpu, KB & Mouse and screen for that little bit more.

Such a shame, it's beautiful but priced by a retard I think, either that or Apple assumes it's customers are stupid!

Clearly it's designed for the upsell.

At this price, It should have a blu-ray drive. In fact, if it did, I would almost certainly buy one. Sadly it looks like we'll never see a Mac with blu-ray

P.S. saarek please read my sig.
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post #6 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Clearly it's designed for the upsell.

At this price, It should have a blu-ray drive. In fact, if it did, I would almost certainly buy one. Sadly it looks like we'll never see a Mac with blu-ray

P.S. saarek please read my sig.

You're 100% right, very sloppy grammar on my part!
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post #7 of 240
I hate the look of the new mac mini \
please don't tell me im the only one...
post #8 of 240
form above function.

imagine trying to actually insert an SD card (or connect a USB drive) when this unit is sitting snugly in your TV/entertainment unit with a bunch of cables connected to the back (making it difficult to move). or even reach the power switch for that matter...

dumb, dumb, dumb.
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post #9 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

form above function.

Exactly. I read a quote from Apple on macworld.co.uk concerning the SD card slot on the back, along the lines of "the size of the Mini constrains where we can put ports" as if that was an adequate excuse. Who exactly held the gun to Apple's head and forced them to make the Mini the height that it is?

The beginnings of the design process should have been:
  • Optical drive slot, SD card slot, 3.5 mm audio in and out jacks on front (possibly audio in/out on side)
  • Same footprint as AppleTV
  • Now, what's the minimum height we can make it to satisfy our design goals?

But no, overlord Steve wants everything to be as thin as possible, even if that means compromising usability and even if it's a bloody desktop machine!
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post #10 of 240
I could never justify buying it. It's underpowered for the price. Core 2 Duo? 2GB of RAM? Not for $699. The new design should have been cheaper to produce since there are fewer parts.

I don't know what they are trying to do, but they are going in the wrong direction.
post #11 of 240
So does that mean Apple licensed and implemented exFAT?
post #12 of 240
There's one more thing to the new iPhone 4...

The new Apple TV will be an App and the new iPhone will support it.

When you own the iPhone 4, you own the hardware required (plus cables). It's secretly invading the market, that's why Apple asked the FCC for 45 days of secrecy.

You can optionally buy the $99 stand-alone hardware as well.

The big new serverpark it requires is already there, remember?

The HDMI port in the Mac Mini is just distraction :-)
post #13 of 240
Nice little machine but dubious value for the price. UK pricing starts at £649 for a measly 2GB Ram and 320 GB hard drive. Once you bump up the specs to a respectable level you might as well get a refurbished iMac or Macbook. Pity. Maybe Apple just manufacture the Mini to sell more higher end machines...
post #14 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Clearly it's designed for the upsell.

At this price, It should have a blu-ray drive. In fact, if it did, I would almost certainly buy one. Sadly it looks like we'll never see a Mac with blu-ray

But how much more would it cost to add a Blu-ray drive to replace that ODD? And they'd have to add AACS support to Mac OS X so it can playback protected Blu-ray media. Since they haven't seen fit to do that, or add Blu-ray to the Mac Pros or iMacs where a Blu-ray drive would be considerably cheaper I can't imagine that the Mac Mini would be the first device to get this option in the Mac line up.

On top of that, I have to think Apple knows its consumer base better than we do. Theoretically, if 80% of the Mac Mini buying were going for the more expensive model? Would that not make it a good reason for engineer it to appeal mire directly with the largest portion of the Mac Mini consumer base?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Exactly. I read a quote from Apple on macworld.co.uk concerning the SD card slot on the back, along the lines of "the size of the Mini constrains where we can put ports" as if that was an adequate excuse. Who exactly held the gun to Apple's head and forced them to make the Mini the height that it is?!

I don't get these responses, Mr. H. Since ministration of all components is a focus of their business I can't understand the when the obvious "they didn't have to make it that small" comments arise. Obviously not, but this is how Apple has always worked. They could have offered copy/paste piece-by-piece on the iPhone if they wanted, but they didn't. This is what they do and being shocked by it is a shock to me.

Plus, I don't think they expect numerous SD cards to be used on that device. Since the SD card slot came along so late for Macs and every modern camera I've ever used comes with a USB cable and is much easier connected without removing the SD card I think the SD card is a placeholder for another transition they are planning down the road, which will work just fine if it spends most of its time out of the way.

I also don't think they expect people to bury the device in their entertainment system so the back can't be accessed. It doesn't have an decent media center software to make it a good replacement for the AppleTV or one of the other, much cheaper and more robust options on the market. Those who want to buy any Mac Mini for a media center aren't your typical consumer and therefore not Apple's focus for this machine.
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post #15 of 240
I'd like to see intel's WiDi on this thing. Wireless mouse /kb and wireless monitor. You could stick this thing on a bookshelf lol
post #16 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But how much more would it cost to add a Blu-ray drive to replace that ODD?

I think you've missed my point that as it stands the Mini is a rip-off i.e., Apple should put more expensive stuff in there but have a smaller mark-up to hit the same price point. Yes, a blu-ray drive that height would be prohibitively expensive, but again if the Mini was just a bit taller they could have a taller slot-load drive for not much more.

Over the last few years we've witnessed Apple push the margins on their computers up and up. I have been impressed by how far they've managed to push it but this may finally be the step too far. Who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And they'd have to add AACS support to Mac OS X so it can playback protected Blu-ray media.

So? This is not a big deal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't get these responses, Mr. H. Since ministration of all components is a focus of their business I can't understand the when the obvious "they didn't have to make it that small" comments arise.

Well, I haven't been a fan of their desktops for a long while now. I will continue to be perplexed by why they choose to balance things so much in favour of form over function, and be equally perplexed as to why so many people buy Apple desktop machines. Apple's laptops are a different story - the best in the industry bar none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I also don't think they expect people to bury the device in their entertainment system so the back can't be accessed. It doesn't have an decent media center software to make it a good replacement for the AppleTV or one of the other, much cheaper and more robust options on the market. Those who want to buy any Mac Mini for a media center aren't your typical consumer and therefore not Apple's focus for this machine.

I guess that's why they went to the trouble of putting an HDMI port on it despite the Mini Display Port supporting exactly the same functionality as HDMI? Apple expect to sell this as a Media Center PC.
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post #17 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

form above function.

imagine trying to actually insert an SD card (or connect a USB drive) when this unit is sitting snugly in your TV/entertainment unit with a bunch of cables connected to the back (making it difficult to move). or even reach the power switch for that matter...

dumb, dumb, dumb.

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post #18 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmac25 View Post

As a long time (> 20 years) of Macs, I understand APple products are always a premium, BUT adding $100 to the price is ridiculous. Come on Steve, give us a break!http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...ies/1oyvey.gif

And remember, the original PowerPC mini was only $499. The switch to Intel added $100 to the base price and now they've tacked on another $100. So a 40% increase in what, 5 years?

Bad Apple!
post #19 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

On top of that, I have to think Apple knows it's consumer base better than we do. Theoretically, if 80% of the Mac Mini buying were going for the more expensive model? Would that not make it a good reason for engineer it to appeal mire directly with the largest portion of the Mac Mini consumer base?

Even if most people bought the more expensive option, having a cheap base version is good for marketing purposes. "From $499" sounds a lot better than "From $699" even if the majority of folks immediately opt for the faster CPU and more memory and actually pay closer to $699.

Also $699 and you have to provide your own keyboard, mouse and monitor. You are probably better off buying a Macbook.
post #20 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFreek View Post

There's one more thing to the new iPhone 4...

The new Apple TV will be an App and the new iPhone will support it.

When you own the iPhone 4, you own the hardware required (plus cables). It's secretly invading the market, that's why Apple asked the FCC for 45 days of secrecy.

You can optionally buy the $99 stand-alone hardware as well.

The big new serverpark it requires is already there, remember?

The HDMI port in the Mac Mini is just distraction :-)

That sounds like a very expensive AppleTV that is very limited. I fully expect an iOS-based AppleTV to come shortly but I expect it to push 1080p and be price under $200 to actually compete with other media extenders.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think you've missed my point that as it stands the Mini is a rip-off i.e., Apple should put more expensive stuff in there but have a smaller mark-up to hit the same price point. Yes, a blu-ray drive that height would be prohibitively expensive, but again if the Mini was just a bit taller they could have a taller slot-load drive for not much more.

Over the last few years we've witnessed Apple push the margins on their computers up and up. I have been impressed by how far they've managed to push it but this may finally be the step too far. Who knows?

I've seen them loyal the prices on their MB and MBPs significantly. I don't recall what they did to the iMac's prices. As for their margins, I have no idea what their goal is but as we've seen their growth far exceed the market it seems to me that their reported net profit margins are higher than expected because of economy of scale. Aren't they selling more Macs per quarter than they were in a year just 4 years ago?

Quote:
So? This is not a big deal.

¿Que? What's the big deal in having a Blu-ray player that can't play Blu-ray movies? I think that is a big deal.
-or-
What's the big deal about Apple adding AACS to Mac OS X? That's a loaded question because it's not an objection to difficulty, but to their interest in doing so. Too often it gets stated that if Apple chooses not to do what one wants that it gets stated as it's "not difficult" when it's clearly not their objection.

Quote:
Well, I haven't been a fan of their desktops for a long while now. I will continue to be perplexed by why they choose to balance things so much in favour of form over function, and be equally perplexed as to why so many people buy Apple desktop machines. Apple's laptops are a different story - the best in the industry bar none.

I quite like their desktops, but I'm a notebook user. Have been for over a decade back when notebook easily cost a lot more than any MBP costs now. I agree that the Mac Mini is "over engineered" for a result that doesn't add much benefit but increases the cost dramatically, but that was the case with the original design, too, this just takes it to a whole.. notha'... level. That doesn't mean it's not profitable to Apple and fits in with their goals for the product. I certainly won't buy it, but I'm not a "desktop guy" even though I think the new 27" iMac and Mac Mini are brilliant.

The argument you make against Apple's desktop also holds true for many with their notebooks. They don't have to make their notebooks so thin. They don't have to use the more expensive ultra-slim or slot-loading ODDs. They don't have to keep all the ports on side. They don't have to use MagSafe, forcing me to buy their power adapter if it breaks. They don't have to et cetera, ad nauseum.

The fact that you and I agree that they are the best all around notebooks makes it an opinion, when there are plenty of notebooks that best every Mac notebook is some way or fashion.

Quote:
I guess that's why they went to the trouble of putting an HDMI port on it despite the Mini Display Port supporting exactly the same functionality as HDMI? Apple expect to sell this as a Media Center PC.

The mDP port supports much higher bandwidth and resolution. They also included an adapter to DVI, which is unusual for them. Note that there are monitors (that aren't HDTV with tuners) that support HDMI and not mDP/DP at the moment. Do they have built-in speakers for HDMI?

I think you and others are asking the wrong question here. You're asking what is wrong with Apple? Why do they think we want it so thin? Perhaps we should be asking what Apple's goals are with the device, not coming in with our opinion as to what we want it to be and then declaring it a failure when their vision differs from ours. The House always wins!
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post #21 of 240
I think the design is marvelous. The price, not so much. I'm on the verge of getting one of these things, but just can't make up my mind. On one hand it's exactly what I'm after in terms of what it is at its core: efficient, quiet, and teeny tiny. I guess I'm odd in wanting a desktop on the desk top that is as small as can be. I hate the thought of wasted space, with towering towers featuring more bays than I could ever imagine filling up. Sadly for me, one who isn't thoroughly keen on the Apple way of life, the Mac mini is pretty much in a class of its own and right up my computing alley. Sure there's the Dell Zino, but that one seems kind of clunky and inefficient, and it's a Dell. Other than the mini and Zino (in terms of semi-mainstream units), the only systems that come close are nettops. And quite frankly, I'm getting kind of tired of seeing the Intel Atom processor in system specs. So while I think the newly updated/redesigned mini is quite a sight for sore eyes, it really should be cheaper. Or, at least have a 7200 hdd and 4gb ram, and maybe bluray. I mean, adding in the extra 2 gigs of ram bumps the price up to $800, the ultimate hang-up for me. The Core i3 absence is fine, as I don't think they offer that much of a boost (all in all), and they come with integrated Intel gpu baggage. And as others have mentioned, the Mac pricing of late is kind of puzzling. With the MacBook just a couple hundred less than the Pro, and now the mini (once upgraded a smidgeon) not too far from the iMac. Sure the latter comparison isn't terribly comparable, but it still is kind of weird. Or maybe I'm weird. In either case, I've typed way more dribble than planned and haven't been able to clear my thoughts of what to do in the mixed up process.
post #22 of 240
Way too expensive, I thought the previous MacMini was already way expensive.
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post #23 of 240
The server version is a reasonable value, but the consumer mini isn't. I hope this doesn't mean the iMac is going up in price this fall.
post #24 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Even if most people bought the more expensive option, having a cheap base version is good for marketing purposes. "From $499" sounds a lot better than "From $699" even if the majority of folks immediately opt for the faster CPU and more memory and actually pay closer to $699.

And what if this new milling process is part of their long term plan and it's 1) very expensive right now because it's having to work inside of a closed shell, or 2) makes it so they can currently only produce a fraction of the models they could for old style Mac Mini? Both of those are reasons to have a higher price point.

Profit margins are not some static entity. They are designed with the market demand in mind. Anything else is just bad business, unless it's done during a civil emergency for a required commodity in which the seller is breaking the law*.

* Please don't argue that the Mac MIni is price gouging because people should be able to have an affordable Mac.
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post #25 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Even if most people bought the more expensive option, having a cheap base version is good for marketing purposes. "From $499" sounds a lot better than "From $699" even if the majority of folks immediately opt for the faster CPU and more memory and actually pay closer to $699.

Also $699 and you have to provide your own keyboard, mouse and monitor. You are probably better off buying a Macbook.

Macbook it is. It would be cheaper to buy a mid-level iMac as well. The Mac Mini is nice but not that nice.
post #26 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

¿Que? What's the big deal in having a Blu-ray player that can't play Blu-ray movies? I think that is a big deal.
-or-
What's the big deal about Apple adding AACS to Mac OS X?

The second one. I meant it's no big deal for Apple to add AACS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The argument you make against Apple's desktop also holds true for many with their notebooks. They don't have to make their notebooks so thin. They don't have to use the more expensive ultra-slim or slot-loading ODDs.

On the contrary, unlike with a desktop, these things do actually bring a relevant benefit. The whole point of a laptop is that it is portable. The thinner you make it, the lower the volume and probably lower the weight; i.e., making it thinner improves the portability of the laptop.

With the mini, I mean seriously, would anyone, anywhere (apart from Steve or Ive) have complained if this new mini was 2.4" tall instead of the 1.4" it actually is? I'm going to venture - no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The mDP port supports much higher bandwidth and resolution. They also included an adapter to DVI, which is unusual for them. Note that there are monitors (that aren't HDTV with tuners) that support HDMI and not mDP/DP at the moment.

Indeed. By "functionality" I meant DVI and audio via a single connector. You don't need the display to support DP or mDP as you can get an mDP to HDMI cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

declaring it a failure

That would be premature. I've learnt never to do that with an Apple product, no matter how ridiculously overpriced or lame it is. When was there last failure? iPod HiFi?

I don't like this Mini mainly due to its price and I think Apple may have pushed their luck but we will see. Let the market decide.
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post #27 of 240
Now, would it theoretically be possible to make the hard drive in Mac mini into two partition, make a ghost image of the system on the hard drive of a Apple TV, copy that to one of the partitions on the Mac mini hard drive and dual-boot the two systems?

They both run on an Intel processor. Could it be possible?
post #28 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmac25 View Post

As a long time (> 20 years) of Macs, I understand APple products are always a premium, BUT adding $100 to the price is ridiculous. Come on Steve, give us a break!http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...ies/1oyvey.gif

Ridiculous?

It's $100 more than the old base model, and $100 less than the old high end model.
For that you get:
HDMI
SD slot
Smaller form factor
Unibody case - stronger and better heat transfer
Twice the RAM capacity
Dramatically higher GPU power
Ease of upgrading the RAM yourself. That alone could save you much of the "excess" $100
No more external power supply
Significantly reduced energy consumption - for those concerned about our waste of resources.

if you're more a high end person, upgrade the CPU. Now it's $50 more than the old high end, but has all of the above advantages PLUS a faster CPU

Now, you may not personally think those things are worth $100, but to label it ridiculous is not reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Yes, way to expensive now, in the UK you get the 21.5" iMac for just £250 more, honeslty who would buy this machine when you get double the ram, a better cpu/gpu, KB & Mouse and screen for that little bit more.

People who have a monitor and keyboard?
People who don't have room for the iMac?
People who want to connect it to their home TV and don't want the iMac cluttering up the living room?

It's not for everyone, but then, nothing is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Clearly it's designed for the upsell.

At this price, It should have a blu-ray drive. In fact, if it did, I would almost certainly buy one. Sadly it looks like we'll never see a Mac with blu-ray

Oh, great. Complain about how expensive it is - and then ask for blu-ray, too. Do they even make blu-ray drives small enough for this case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

And remember, the original PowerPC mini was only $499. The switch to Intel added $100 to the base price and now they've tacked on another $100. So a 40% increase in what, 5 years?

And a dramatic improvement in features and performance, as well. If you don't like the deal, don't buy one. If enough people don't buy one, Apple will lower the price. If people continue to buy them like crazy, then Apple called it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

The server version is a reasonable value, but the consumer mini isn't. I hope this doesn't mean the iMac is going up in price this fall.

Server version is a 'reasonable value'? Check out Windows Server. Unlimited client licenses are $2200 - and you still have to buy the server software and hardware. The server is an incredible deal - particularly since you're getting a product with such stupendous quality and support.
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post #29 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Macbook it is. It would be cheaper to buy a mid-level iMac as well. The Mac Mini is nice but not that nice.

You don't get an HDMI with those other machines. Not saying Mini is a good value, but if it is exactly what you want, the price is not unreasonable.

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post #30 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

You don't get an HDMI with those other machines.

Sure you do. Apple's Mini DisplayPort now has audio so you just need a Mini Display Port to HDMI cable or Mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle.
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post #31 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Sure you do. Apple's Mini Display Port now has audio so you just need a Mini Display Port to HDMI cable or mini Display Port to HDMI dongle.

Sure I know but I think the reason they put the HDMI there is because people might want to make it into a HT and a MacBook or an iMac doesn't look that clean in the entertainment center. Hence my comment that if it is exactly what you want...

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post #32 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

On the contrary, unlike with a desktop, these things do actually bring a relevant benefit. The whole point of a laptop is that it is portable. The thinner you make it, the lower the volume and probably lower the weight; i.e., making it thinner improves the portability of the laptop.

It could be argued that Apple makes their machines 'too thin". There are plenty of machines that are only a little thicker overall (sometimes thinner at the front) but are made from plastic and so they are actually lighter and have faster components at a lower price. Part of this "over engineering" that Apple does at their expense seems to be a prime reason they are so successful at what they do
Exhibit A: iPhone 4. The milled frame so they can make it thinner and more precisely built. The double-stacked silicon which I have not ever seen before in CE.

You need tremendous economy of scale to even begin to make that a reality. Even if you don't like Apple or their products, or simply hate everything the iPhone stands for you benefit from its existence if you are a smartphone user and likely soon if you are are dumb phone user. If you agree with that why can't you agree that the Mac Mini may not be a device you want but it can lead to others innovating in way to create a product you do want in the future. If the market can't bare it, it will auto correct so I see everyone of these statements that it's "over priced" as completely unfounded.
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post #33 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Sure you do. Apple's Mini Display Port now has audio so you just need a Mini Display Port to HDMI cable or mini Display Port to HDMI dongle.

Oddly, there is still no mDP- or DP-to HDMI adapters or cables that support audio. Not even from Monoprice. It's not like they have to do anything crazy to make an HDMI cable with audio.

Even more odd is that Apple doesn't offer such an adapter. Note that the Mac Mini comes with an HDMI-to-DVI Adapter which is new, whilst they've offered a mDP-to-DVI adapter since first started using mDP.
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post #34 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It could be argued that Apple makes their machines 'too thin". There are plenty of machines that are only a little thicker overall (sometimes thinner at the front) but are made from plastic and so they are actually lighter and have faster components at a lower price.

Sure. It's all about getting the functionality, portability, build-quality/sturdiness mix right. It's extremely challenging for portable products and Apple pretty much always gets it right.

But, what's the point making a desktop 1.4" tall instead of 2.4" (or whatever?) I can see the attraction of small and silent relative to a tower, but 2.4" is still incredibly small next to a "normal tower". Where's the benefit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If you agree with that why can't you agree that the Mac Mini may not be a device you want but it can lead to others innovating in way to create a product you do want in the future.

Because I don't consider screwing over basic functionality to make a desktop computer as thin as possible, innovation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If the market can't bare it, it will auto correct so I see everyone of these statements that it's "over priced" as completely unfounded.

Well, yes saying it's over priced is just an opinion at this moment in time. Whether it is objectively over priced inasmuch as it fails in the market place, we'll see.
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post #35 of 240
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Server version is a 'reasonable value'? Check out Windows Server. Unlimited client licenses are $2200 - and you still have to buy the server software and hardware. The server is an incredible deal - particularly since you're getting a product with such stupendous quality and support.

Yes, this is right.

Apple is basically giving away Snow Leopard Server (a $500 retail value) with the Mac mini server model. If you take the $699 model (2GB RAM), upgrade the CPU and the hard drive, you are at $949. If you wanted to upgrade RAM on your own, you'd end up paying more than a thousand.

The Mac mini server (4GB RAM) is $999. For $50 more than the upgraded regular Mac mini, you get a second hard drive (which happens to be 7200rpm) in exchange for the optical drive. The server software is basically free.

I just placed an order for the Mac mini server and I don't even need the server software. I wanted the extra hard drive (yes, I have external drives as well, but I usually keep these shut off).
post #36 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Oddly, there is still no mDP- or DP-to HDMI adapters or cables that support audio. Not even from Monoprice. It's not like they have to do anything crazy to make an HDMI cable with audio.

This one says it supports audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Even more odd is that Apple doesn't offer such an adapter. Note that the Mac Mini comes with an HDMI-to-DVI Adapter which is new, whilst they've offered a mDP-to-DVI adapter since first started using mDP.

Yeah, I don't get it. If it was me, I wouldn't have included an HDMI port at all and offered an mDP to HDMI cable as an option.
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post #37 of 240
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Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Yes, way to expensive now, in the UK you get the 21.5" iMac for just £250 more, honeslty who would buy this machine when you get double the ram, a better cpu/gpu, KB & Mouse and screen for that little bit more.

Such a shame, it's beautiful but priced by a retard I think, either that or Apple assumes its customers are stupid!

The Mini isn't for everyone.

We use 7 of them in my office as workstations, primarily because we don't use Apple's monitors ( too expensive) and they are great, fast, low energy consuming devices that support multiple monitors. The tiny form factor means we can put the cube wherever and hot have to worry about overheating issues.

If we need a Blu-Ray drive somewhere, we just plug it in to whatever machine needs it. These baby Macs really are more versatile than an iMac, with almost as much power. I just love em.
post #38 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent_in_SD View Post

If we need a Blu-Ray drive somewhere, we just plug it in to whatever machine needs it.

So are you running Windows? I wasn't aware that OS X supported BD.

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post #39 of 240
It boggles the mind that many think the Mac Mini is way too expensive yet the iMac, which is a very poor deal looked at over the long haul, not so much. As I've noted before, it's 12-year monitor technology mated to six-year computer technology. To me that doesn't add up. Either one maintains the computer, including costly software updates and periodic hard-drive replacements, or throws away a perfectly good monitor roughly half way through that monitor's life cycle.

Makes a lot more sense to buy a separate monitor that can soldier on mated to a succession of computers, as happened with my previous monitor. Since buying my first Mac back in the 1990s, I've owned two monitors, a 17" Sony CRT and now a 24" Cinema Display (briefly used a Sony LCD but I'm using that as my main TV so it really doesn't count). In that time I've owned a 7200, a G4 Tower, and am now on my third Mini, trading in my last one for nearly half of what I bought it for new. Being as the Cinema Display is only a few months old, I expect that 10 years from now I might still be using that same display though the Mini I'm typing this on will be long gone.

Let's not forget that when you buy a Mac, you're not just buying a computer. The iLife software package alone retails for $99 here in Canada. The OS is another $35, which is a huge bargain compared to Windows 7. So right off the bat you can take $134 off the base price of the Mini, which lists in base form for $749 here in Canada. That lowers the price to $615 which seems to me to be not at all outrageous for a nicely engineered piece of electronic gear. I paid more for my first CD burner back in the day. You could run the thing for a couple of years and get roughly have that back in trade. Try doing that with a piece of cheap PC junk.

Turn over the Mini every couple of years and the cost, which would be around $500 after trade (taxes included), would include not having to worry about replacing a worn out hard drive as well as maintaining current iLife and OS software. That last item alone is worth roughly half the $500 you're paying. If someone had told me a few years ago that there would come a time when the annual cost of never having a computer much older than two years old would run something like $125, I'd have thought they were completely mad. That would be the equivalent of buying a $1,250 computer once a decade. I paid six times that amount in Cdn. currency for my G4 DP 500 alone, factoring in a memory and GPU upgrade along the way.

I don't doubt that there are products that could easily outspec the Mini at that price point but specs are becoming increasingly insignificant. The Mini as it sits is plenty fast, in absolute terms a very capable performer. That will continue to improve with each revision. Within the next three or four years I imagine a quad-core Mini will be a given and 4GB of RAM definitely the basest of starting points. GPU horsepower, already quite good, will be that much better.

And don't forget that the beauty of using more established technology is that it will be reliable, well-tested technology. That's one reason why Minis are quite reliable.

Thank God the rumours of the Mini's demise were greatly exaggerated. It's a good package and contrary to what many think, offers decent bang for the buck.
post #40 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent_in_SD View Post

The Mini isn't for everyone.

We use 7 of them in my office as workstations, primarily because we don't use Apple's monitors ( too expensive) and they are great, fast, low energy consuming devices that support multiple monitors. The tiny form factor means we can put the cube wherever and hot have to worry about overheating issues.

If we need a Blu-Ray drive somewhere, we just plug it in to whatever machine needs it. These baby Macs really are more versatile than an iMac, with almost as much power. I just love em.

At the previous price point it might have been a good deal, that it's versatile is a given, it's an amazing little machine. Having said that it is over priced, highly over priced!
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