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Macworld: Apple introduces Mac mini

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Apple today introduced Mac mini, the most affordable and compact Mac ever.

Starting at just $499, Mac mini is a desktop computer for anyone looking to get started with Mac OS X and features iLife '05, the latest version of Apple's suite of software for managing digital photo and music collections, editing movies and creating music. Just two-inches tall and weighing only 2.9 pounds, Mac mini redefines design for the sub-$1,000 desktop.

"Starting at just $499, Mac mini is the most affordable way to enjoy Mac OS X and iLife," said Steve Jobs, Apples CEO. "Just plug in your display, keyboard and mouse and youve got an incredibly compact Mac for a price that almost anyone can afford."

Every Mac mini includes iLife 05, which was introduced today. Mac mini offers the processing and graphics performance to take advantage of demanding consumer applications with either a 1.25 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory. Both models come with a slot-load Combo drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs, and up to an 80GB hard drive for storing digital media creations.

Mac mini includes one FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports for easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as Apple iPod digital music player, digital still cameras, digital video camcorders and printers. Mac mini offers a DVI interface that also supports VGA so cusers can easily connect to a variety of LCD or CRT displays. The new Mac mini includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for easy Internet access, and offers optional support for an AirPort Extreme Card for 54 Mbps 802.11g fast wireless networking along with an internal Bluetooth module for the latest in wireless communications.

Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther" will be pre-installed on every Mac mini and delivers features including iChat AV desktop video conferencing, Mail, Safari web browser, Sherlock, Address Book, QuickTime, iSync, iCal, DVD Player and the Classic environment. Mac mini also comes with a collection of productivity and entertainment titles designed to meet the needs of the entire family, including Quicken 2005 for Mac, Nanosaur 2 and MarbleBlast Gold.

Pricing & Availability

Mac mini will be available in the US on Saturday, January 22 and worldwide on Saturday, January 29 in two standard configurations.

The 1.25 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $499 (US), includes:
\t1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
\t256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
\t40GB Ultra ATA hard drive;
\t Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
\t ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
\t One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
\t 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem;
\t Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
\t DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter; and
\t Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

The 1.42 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $599 (US), includes:
\t 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
\t 256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
\t 80GB Ultra ATA hard drive;
\t Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
\t ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
\t One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
\t 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem;
\t Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
\t DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter; and
\t Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 1GB of RAM, SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW), AirPort Extreme Card, internal Bluetooth module, wired or wireless Apple Keyboard and Apple Mouse and the AppleCare Protection Plan.
post #2 of 57
I'm sure someone else is thinking this:

If I put an Airport card in this thing and added some open source software, I'd have:

Firewall
Print Server
iTunes Server
Wireless Access Point
Secure File Server
Web Server [public and private]
and maybe a Mail Server...

In other words, I can have all the benefits of .mac, plus an Airport Express and a huge Network File Server, for $499 in a box that sits under the couch. That's not a mini mac... that's a Media Center / Home Server. All it needs is Tivo...


Any thoughts on how hard it would be to set all that up (minus the Tivo)?
post #3 of 57
This is going to kill the prices of used old macs -
who would buy a G3 tower or Cube anymore when you
can get this for $499. I wouldn't be surprised if they
sold 1 million units in the first week.

My order is scheduled for Janruary 22 delivery -
I ordered a 1.42/512/80/Airport/Bluetooth/Superdrive
unit - can't wait!
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post #4 of 57
Two Firewire ports. I need two firewire ports for external booting!
post #5 of 57
I think Apple might have missed a few things on this one. Add in a small iPod like scroll wheel on the front, a remote control (sure, make it an additional accessory if they want to) and a few more audio/video input/output jacks, and I would put this thing in my entertainment center...

It would take the place of a CD player, DVD player, video recorder, it could play my iMovies, iPhotos on my TV with my surround sound, I could run iTunes through my home stereo speakers (with the cool visualizer on the big screen).... I think if they added a couple of things, this isn't just a cool, cheap Mac... but it's a cool, full-functioned, entertainment unit from Apple!

post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by zunx
Two Firewire ports. I need two firewire ports for external booting!

Why do you need (2) for external booting. And why do you need external booting.
post #7 of 57
speaking of ports, it seems like most anyone planning to use the iMac mini is going to have to invest in a USB hub. No PS/2 ports mean a USB keyboard and mouse, and suddenly you've got no way to connect printer/camera/camcorder/etc.

I know quite a few displays and keyboard have extra ports built-in, but I can think of quite a few friends / family members who wouldn't be able to use this thing for its intended purpose without a hub.
post #8 of 57
Love it! It's so tiny I might just have to buy one to hook up to my home entertainment system as a music server and dvd player. How do I turn it into Tivo? Is it possible?
post #9 of 57
OK, well I'm a little disappointed. I just spec'd out what I'd want (1.25GHz, 40GB HD, 512MB RAM, SuperDrive, Bluetooth) and at a minimum it's $700. Also, it runs Panther, so looking at ~$100 to upgrade that when Tiger comes out.

I was hoping with the SuperDrive to get closer to $600 max, not $800. Getting close to $1000 if you do the 1.42GHz and 80GB HD and add in AppleCare.

I don't know. I think the cost of all the "extras" is going to scare some people off. It's too bad the $599 one doesn't have some better extras at least. A barely faster CPU and slightly bigger (by today's standards) hard drive isn't that exciting.

If they'd promise me a free Tiger upgrade, I might be ordering today, but as it is I'm waiting.

BTW, is there any way to do a s-video or composite video out with this?
post #10 of 57
Trying to take the Mac mini and "supercharge" it isn't going to work. This is the case with all low end computers. If your plan is to do multimedia then you're better off spending the extra money from the start.
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post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by lhvide
Love it! It's so tiny I might just have to buy one to hook up to my home entertainment system as a music server and dvd player. How do I turn it into Tivo? Is it possible?

It is possible. All you need is a Firewire or USB 2 TV tuner. There are many available, including digital ones (for digital satellite).
post #12 of 57
Excellent!!! I have an OptiQuest Monitor that a friend gave me ... a Sun Microsystem's mouse I "borrowed" from work and an Apple Blue&White keyboard ... All i need is the brain and i'll have my frankenputer!!! Ha Ha Ha! Well actually I have all that connected to my iBook already, but being an "all-in-one" my iBook really doesn't need them!

This little computer has a ton of potential. It's already small enough and pleasant enough to look at, that it could easily fit into anyone's home entertainment center. Out of the box, it connects to the TV and to the stereo, can play music (iTunes/CD's), can play DVD's can connect to the internet. With a wireless mouse and keyboard, it could become the first real computer to be used as an appliance in the living room.

It is already perfect for me, as I don't watch TV at all so I would not need recording abilities, but because of the FireWire and USB ports, audio/video in could easily to added on. So could a remote!

Brilliant! Now as soon Tiger is available... I'll run out and buy one!
post #13 of 57
Interesting. A nice media server or perhaps a second Mac for the home. Imagine spending $500 for a Mac mini and then if you want a Apple monitor $999 for the 20incher. $1500 total and you don't even have a key/mouse setup. What about speakers too??

Not so cheap to go all Apple. Looks like all updates and new prodcuts were consumer products.

Anyone have any idea when the Pro (PowerBooks, PowerMacs) will be updated???
post #14 of 57
I can't stand all this complaining about how the Mac Mini doesn't have this or doesn't have that. IT'S 500 BUCKS! What do you expect? Apple has never done anything like this before! It's like BMW offering a very nice car for $15,000 MSRP.

I can understand people having issues with what's not included on the PowerMac G5 computers. Those babies are stacked and you're paying a fortune for one. It better have the juice.

But we're talking about a $500 Mac. The Mac community has been shouting and screaming for a dirt cheap Mac for many, many years. The day has finally come. January 11, 2005. Be happy that you can buy a Mac for half a G.

As far as the monitor goes, you don't have to buy an Apple monitor. That's the beauty of this. Apple is being flexible. You choose how your money is spent on a monitor. You can use an exisiting monitor you own: $0. Or you can get a monitor elsewhere. Buy a dirt cheap $99 monitor, or a 17" non-Apple flat screen for $300, or get a second mortgage and buy the 23" Cinema Display. It's YOUR decision.

I am happy to see that you can buy an Apple brand keyboard for $30. Mac Mini users may not want to fork over the $60 for the Apple pro keyboard. Kudos again to Apple.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by yikesmoose
I can't stand all this complaining about how the Mac Mini doesn't have this or doesn't have that. IT'S 500 BUCKS! What do you expect?...

exactly. can't anyone just get excited anymore? are we that jaded?
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post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by yikesmoose
IT'S 500 BUCKS! What do you expect?

To not have to spend $100 more a month or two later for an OS update.
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
To not have to spend $100 more a month or two later for an OS update.

Well hell, look, Windows people are used to being messed with like that. The point of this is that my friend who's power supply on his crap windows clone died yesterday might buy this. He is actually thinking of buying a Mac. He has never owned any good computer of any manufacture as cost was his main concern. He is likely to by this because he likes his ipod.

I know it sounds corny, but its true, just like they hoped... I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when he said this today it was like I was in some Apple PR twilight zone.
post #18 of 57
It is exactly the right machine for what it is intended. Many people don't need the extra RAM. OSX will run fine in 256MB. I have it running in 196MB of RAM on an old iBook at 266MHz. For non-power users the Mac Mini at 1.25GHz is going to be one very snappy little machine. Excellent job Steve!
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
pmjoe If they'd promise me a free Tiger upgrade, I might be ordering today, but as it is I'm waiting.

So wait. That has nothing to do with the Mac Mini. You're waiting because you want a free Tiger. Wait then, but don't blame it on the machine or Apple.
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post #20 of 57
This is by far the biggest news of the expo. A CHEAP Mac? Unbelievable.
I'm watching the stream now and sort of surprised how small a segment it got.
This is huge.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pubwvj
So wait. That has nothing to do with the Mac Mini. You're waiting because you want a free Tiger. Wait then, but don't blame it on the machine or Apple.

Well, I think a $129 OS update after you've owned a brand new machine model (Mac mini) for two months is a bit absurd. So I think it has a lot to do with the Mac mini. You're selling people a "new" machine and outdating it a month or so later with the upgrade cost being more than a quarter of your $499 initial cost.

To be quite honest, I think some people who don't realize this in advance are going to be downright angry.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
To not have to spend $100 more a month or two later for an OS update.

OK, so Apple's choices were:
a) Release it now
or
b) wait for 10.4 to come out and release it then.

Gee, what would you have done? Oh, I know, you'd give out coupons for three years of free OS upgrades, plus one future exchange of the computer with a newer version, because, you know those bastards at Apple, they'll release an updated system at some point after you buy yours, basically making yours 'old'.

Second, there's NOTHING that says you HAVE to update the OS when it comes out. Geesh, its like this everytime. Apple announces something, and everyone starts to complain about even the most stupidest things, just to find something wrong with it.

Did you note that in order to hook up an iPod to it, you have to purchase an iPod? WTF?
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Well, I think a $129 OS update after you've owned a brand new machine model (Mac mini) for two months is a bit absurd. So I think it has a lot to do with the Mac mini. You're selling people a "new" machine and outdating it a month or so later with the upgrade cost being more than a quarter of your $499 initial cost.

To be quite honest, I think some people who don't realize this in advance are going to be downright angry.

Then maybe Apple should delay Tiger for 6 more months.

You people whining now about the OS are really being stupidly idiotic. Considering MOST people (esp. windows people) don't update their OS after they get they're computer (hell, most don't even know there is an update), how would they be pissed?
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Well, I think a $129 OS update after you've owned a brand new machine model (Mac mini) for two months is a bit absurd. So I think it has a lot to do with the Mac mini. You're selling people a "new" machine and outdating it a month or so later with the upgrade cost being more than a quarter of your $499 initial cost.

To be quite honest, I think some people who don't realize this in advance are going to be downright angry.

It's not that hard to figure out. A Mac Mini is not even the mid road Apple computer....it's the low end. Targeted at switchers. Just because it's new doesn't mean that it's supposed to be up to par with the next generation of OS X. Hell, just look at the graphics card, it's not even going to be able to fully take advantage of a lot of the new features of Tiger.

Get over it. It's a starter machine. Nothing more.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by kocolosk
speaking of ports, it seems like most anyone planning to use the iMac mini is going to have to invest in a USB hub. No PS/2 ports mean a USB keyboard and mouse, and suddenly you've got no way to connect printer/camera/camcorder/etc.

I know quite a few displays and keyboard have extra ports built-in, but I can think of quite a few friends / family members who wouldn't be able to use this thing for its intended purpose without a hub.

Apple doesn't do PS/2 ports. PS/2 is old tech.
And I would hope that the USB keyboards people are using (like Apple's) has a USB port on it to plug the mouse into it.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Well, I think a $129 OS update after you've owned a brand new machine model (Mac mini) for two months is a bit absurd. So I think it has a lot to do with the Mac mini. You're selling people a "new" machine and outdating it a month or so later with the upgrade cost being more than a quarter of your $499 initial cost.

To be quite honest, I think some people who don't realize this in advance are going to be downright angry.


That's quite a silly expectation and a spoiled brat attitude you have there.

You buy the Mac mini now and it'll run just fine for the next couple of years without any problems ... without the need for any upgrade. Just because you have the opportunity to upgrade doesn't make what you already have obsolete. You could always wait until you feel you got your money's worth out the system. Also any consumer who buys something at any given point in time and doesn't realize that something newer could come out at any time is pretty darn stupid.

One more thing... who's to say Apple won't offer a discount? As they have done in the past, any computer purchased within a month (sometimes a couple of months) of an OS release, receive "upgrade" vouchers with the computer. At a cost of $19.95, or something like that, Apple will send you a set of upgrade CD's.

Personally, I'm waiting until Tiger to buy one of these, because quite frankly, I don't absolutely need a new computer right now.
post #27 of 57
emac g4 1.25GHz 8xsuperdrive model: $1438AUD (edu)
mini g4 1.25 +4xsuper +80GB +KM: $1018AUD (edu)

i still think the emac is competetive, esp if you want a shiny new display.

the mac mini is much cuter tho - i want one and i dont even need it
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Apple doesn't do PS/2 ports. PS/2 is old tech.
And I would hope that the USB keyboards people are using (like Apple's) has a USB port on it to plug the mouse into it.

Shoot, just get the Bluetooth module (or any USB Bluetooth module) and you can compute wirelessly (save for the power and monitor cables).

As for PS/2, has Apple EVER done PS/2? I know they had their ADB which looked very similar, but wasn't, but even that was early-mid '90s. I don't know that I remember Apple ever including a PS/2 port on a Mac, though.
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post #29 of 57
love it! just one thing... You have to have them put in all the extras in right when you order it (airport extreme, ram, etc). Or else you will never have it unless you pay an authorized technician to do it.... poo


Also, has anyone though of... cube reincarnation? In a way it's the Apple Cube again
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post #30 of 57
The iMac mini is perfect for the target market they are aiming for - the PC user who has an iPod & loves it. They would like to see what Macs are about and, at a price just over an iPod, they'll give it a try. They have everything else and can take it home and play with it as much as they want. I very big factor for them buying will be the form factor, which is fantastic.

They might get a switch so they can move between the iMac mini and the PC - for a while, but not for long.

First thing they will notice is that iLife blows anything in the PC world away. Totally. They might go ahead and pick up Office for Mac or Photoshop Elements 3. Might move to a FireWire back up drive - or start using the free space on their iPod. If they buy a stock iMac mini they'll probably upgrade memory when they start doing more than iLife and the internet.

In a very short time they are going to love their iMac mini and start making choices. Should they get an Apple wide screen display, or just move to an iMac. If they get the display maybe a PM will follow in a year or two.

They might also have family members that call them to fix the crap on their PCs - and will sell a few iMac minis to keep the hassles to a minimum.

Specs are not going to be the important thing for these users - the pleasure of using the Mac will be THE important factor. Win XP will look pretty sorry compared to OS X and, like us, they'll be totally switched.

Forget the specs - look at the beautiful box and think about how many people are going to want one.
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post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by macmike
I think Apple might have missed a few things on this one. Add in a small iPod like scroll wheel on the front, a remote control (sure, make it an additional accessory if they want to) and a few more audio/video input/output jacks, and I would put this thing in my entertainment center...

It would take the place of a CD player, DVD player, video recorder, it could play my iMovies, iPhotos on my TV with my surround sound, I could run iTunes through my home stereo speakers (with the cool visualizer on the big screen).... I think if they added a couple of things, this isn't just a cool, cheap Mac... but it's a cool, full-functioned, entertainment unit from Apple!


First: Two words ... Griffin AirClick!
http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...lick/index.php

Second: For all who have bemoaned Apple's expensive hardware and are trying to convince friends to switch ... buy one and give it to the friend. If we all could do that Apple would double its consumer base in one day. Cripes, I have a few relatives with honery PC's made by geek friends and I just might get two to give away... and if they like it they can pay me back half the cost. If they don't I'll take it back for a media server and wait for them to ask me for it when next their PC fails. Pony up or shut up.

Third: Apple or you all should bundle these with iPods anyway. $750 for an iPod mini and the Mac to run it ... add it to their stereo system and watch the light turn on in their eyes.

Fourth: Like I have the money to do any of this...but I would.
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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe

BTW, is there any way to do a s-video or composite video out with this?

Perhaps an adapter from the video port will supply s-video similar to how it is done on the iBook?

Does the PowerBook offer such an adapter? If so, then I'd assume it would work with the Mac Mini.
post #33 of 57
see Apple DVI to Video Adapter on this page (2nd row on right):
http://www.apple.com/macmini/accessories.html

Quote:
Originally posted by rrabu
Perhaps an adapter from the video port will supply s-video similar to how it is done on the iBook?

Does the PowerBook offer such an adapter? If so, then I'd assume it would work with the Mac Mini.
post #34 of 57
Jumpin' Jahosophat people, look at the website before posting your wishlists!
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post #35 of 57
MEDIA CENTER!!!?

With all those features for that low price, for all I care this could be a low end XSERVE CLUSTER NODE, and get this: for the price of one Xserve G5 cluster node you get 6 Mac minis.

I could have a 6 processor render farm with those babies for the price of one Xserve, and 3 times more hard drive space. (of course, G4's, not G5's, but im not complaining.)

I WANT 6 OF THEM!.
post #36 of 57
What I want to do with this is integrate it into my car (a Mini Cooper, of course). It could hook into a LCD display, play DVDs music etc, access the internet at wireless hotspots.

Plus if I had another of these at home (or a dekstop etc), It would sync with my home machine, wirelessly, when I am parked in the driveway. Way cool!

I am getting one!
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post #37 of 57
why is everyone so excited about this Mac? Ok it's cheap but it's very crippled.. only 256Mb RAM (and not user upgradable according to apple.com), no audio input, no keyboard or mouse (so unless you're a PC user with a USB set you have to but new) only 32Mb of graphics (isn't Tiger supposed to off-load graphics calculations to the GPU, in which case that tech. is wasted here) so add another $200 - $300 dollars and it might be useful unless you just happen to have everything it misses, which some people don't. \
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
You people...are really being stupidly idiotic.

My vote for quote of the year.
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by telekon
why is everyone so excited about this Mac? Ok it's cheap but it's very crippled.. only 256Mb RAM

What's funny about having only 256MB of RAM is that the two "low end" G5s have only 256 as well. This adds a couple of exclamation points to the complaint that Apple needs to stop Mickey Mousing around when it comes to RAM on their pro machines.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by MacGregor
First: Two words ... Griffin AirClick!
http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...lick/index.php

Second: For all who have bemoaned Apple's expensive hardware and are trying to convince friends to switch ... buy one and give it to the friend. If we all could do that Apple would double its consumer base in one day. Cripes, I have a few relatives with honery PC's made by geek friends and I just might get two to give away... and if they like it they can pay me back half the cost. If they don't I'll take it back for a media server and wait for them to ask me for it when next their PC fails. Pony up or shut up.

Third: Apple or you all should bundle these with iPods anyway. $750 for an iPod mini and the Mac to run it ... add it to their stereo system and watch the light turn on in their eyes.

Fourth: Like I have the money to do any of this...but I would.

The Airclick (thanks for the link, it looks pretty cool) would work for the remote part, but if it was going to sit in an entertainment center and function as the DVD player/CD Player/ music server/video recorder - the remote would need to be more extensive. I basically would use this not as a Mac per se, but to replace several units on my entertainment center with something small, sleek and cool. But I don't have room for a mouse and keyboard on that center... so how to control the functions would have to be worked out.

I think if Apple offers a full functioned remote and a way to put the mini into some sort of 'entertainment mode' acting as a DVD player/CD Player/ music server/video recorder... then you would hit a huge secondary market.

Maybe Steve is moving that way with the emphasis on HD that he mentioned during the keynote.
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