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Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini

post #1 of 573
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Even while at the top of its game, Apple Inc. can seemingly find faults with just about anything, including a bit of itself. The Mac maker is constantly evaluating the market segments in which it wishes to participate and those which it does not. It's an application of love-hate methodology that inevitably produces its share of casualties.

Take, for instance, the firm's petite line of headless desktop computers known as Mac minis. They retail between $599 and $799, catering to the once critical sub-$800 PC market. Conspicuously, it was that precise market segment in which Apple executives asserted little interest just months before introducing the first Mac mini at the Macworld trade show in January of 2005. Maybe management wasn't fibbing after all.

Since then, the Mac mini has been treated to a rather mundane life-cycle. It has seen just four updates since inception, one of which was so insignificant in Apple's own eyes that the company didn't even bother to draft a press release. Even now, the current minis' 1.66GHz and 1.83GHz Core Duo processors are a far cry from the silicon offered in the rest of Apple's PC offerings. And rightfully so, as the company has seen lower margins from the units, which never gained the sales traction of its more fully equipped iMacs and MacBooks.

Some have gone so far as to call the mini Apple's bastard child; the neglected Mac that never was. At the same time, the history behind its creation and the reasons for its seeming abandonment are comparatively fuzzy. There is some speculation that Apple conceived the Mac mini under pressure from shareholders who wanted a sub-$800 Mac, but never really saw much in the design itself. It's almost as if the mini stood in direct contrast to Apple's fundamentals from the get-go.

In at least one instance, during the winter months of 2005 and early 2006, Apple began toying with concepts to more closely tie the mini to the essential nature of its business. The most public of those, per AppleInsider reports, was a plan to include a built-in iPod dock atop the high-end models. But just like every other bright idea Apple had for the tiny Mac, it was shelved and transformed under more economical standards into a project that would eventually emerge as Apple TV.

In fact, it was about that time in early 2006 when Apple TV really began to take shape inside Apple and the development of the mini began its slow, inevitable decline. Not coincidentally, Apple TV turned out a lot like a next-generation mini, with the stripping-out of the optical disc drive representing the essence of Apple's long-term digital media strategy.



Still, the mini has had its share of selling points. Due to its small footprint and low cost, it was immediately nominated by seasoned techies as the perfect media server for the living room. Some even went as far as installing the the tiny Mac in their vehicles. But with the advent of Apple TV, Apple seems to have shoved the diminutive device into the far corner of what had already been a niche audience.

Therefore, it comes as little surprise that sources, for whom AppleInsider holds the utmost respect, are now pointing towards the mini's impending demise. For it's according to those people that the miniature Mac will soon follow in the wake of its similarly-proportioned counterparts of years past: the PowerBook 2400, the PowerMac G4 Cube, and, most recently, the 12-inch PowerBook.

Whether Apple will squeeze another revision from the mini, and how long it plans to allow existing models to linger, are both unclear. But as the extended Memorial Day break dawns upon us, the point being driven should be clear:

Ladies and gentlemen, AppleInsider believes in all sincerity that the Mac mini is dead.
post #2 of 573
maybe apple should merge the mac mini with the apple tv instead ?
post #3 of 573
if tne news is rite, sad so sad. But what is the alternative?

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post #4 of 573
it would be nice if it was clearly stated at the beginning that this was horse SH#T. that way people wouldn't have to waist their time reading this. even if true, the headline made it seem that it was already fact.

lame sensationalism. appleinsider can be really sad. its obvious this was posted just to generate traffic. why would they post the title in RED on the front page? im gonna have to look for a new mac site, that was sad.
post #5 of 573
i think that your quite right the mini is dead


it would make sense to kill it and push apple tv.

if you look at all the push for it the Imac was always the one shown i think we'll see a great new imac and Jobs bury ~(wrongly) the mini........

black armbands alround on that day
classic imac g3 (ebay bargin) working my way up the Apple ladder..........
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big credit card debit when new hardware and osx come out (misses beat me to it big dreams of apple now)
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classic imac g3 (ebay bargin) working my way up the Apple ladder..........
Ipod 5G black
big credit card debit when new hardware and osx come out (misses beat me to it big dreams of apple now)
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post #6 of 573
People have been able to run OS X on the Apple TV so I wonder if they will come out with a USB Keyboard/trackpad combo to use it as a computer. I think they also saw the mini as a tv based computer and media player so that's really what the Apple TV did. I think there needs to be a headless mac cheaper than the Mac Pro though and for people looking for that item the Mini was too limited.
post #7 of 573
I hate to be a rumor monger, but perhaps this means they'll slide the iMac down a little in specs to make more room for a mid-range tower... please!

Damn, I'd love that computer.

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #8 of 573
I really hope that Apple insider is wrong for this news !!

First the mac mini is excellent for someone who want an afordable machine and the freedom to choose the size of the screen ! The macpro do the same but it's huge and is very expensive !!

The apple TV is not a computer even if inside it look like a computer !!

How can apple gain some market share without affordable computer ?? This is impossible and i am worried that apple in the future will focus on ipod, iphone and mac TV and no more on computers ??
post #9 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Beatles View Post

it would be nice if it was clearly stated at the beginning that this was horse SH#T. that way people wouldn't have to waist their time reading this. even if true, the headline made it seem that it was already fact.

lame sensationalism. appleinsider can be really sad. its obvious this was posted just to generate traffic. why would they post the title in RED on the front page? im gonna have to look for a new mac site, that was sad.

I'd have to agree. This article needs to be a lot more clear. Do they have some tip indicating that they will kill it or is this just an opinion piece? The way it's written is way too confusing.

Assuming it is just an opinion piece, I have to disagree completely. The Mac Mini forms an integral part of the Mac line, offering the Mac experience to lite users with low budgets. I think it will stay around
post #10 of 573
Why would you hook up a beautiful little computer to a dirty old keyboard, mouse and monitor?
This is for a niche of nickle-pinchers and media-center freaks. It is simply not a mainstream computer. Axe it!
post #11 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya View Post

I'd have to agree. This article needs to be a lot more clear. Do they have some tip indicating that they will kill it or is this just an opinion piece? The way it's written is way too confusing.

Assuming it is just an opinion piece, I have to disagree completely. The Mac Mini forms an integral part of the Mac line, offering the Mac experience to lite users with low budgets. I think it will stay around

It's not opinion. "Sources" were cited.

Best,

K
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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post #12 of 573
I am still expecting the next generation of the 12inch powerbook (a 13" macbook pro)...I will be so if Apple does not provide one...A new mini, a mid-range tower, and a macbook pro 13" are good answers to several fan demand...

Why not giving us what we want?


PS: Welcome to AppleInsider MichaelProvence (du sud de la France? Quelle ville?)
post #13 of 573
If Apple would price the current iteration of the Mini appropriately - it would be a huge seller.

The original PowerPC minis were a couple hundred cheaper, IIRC. The Intel Mini's are too steep and don't come with enough RAM to justify purchasing one of them over a low end iMac. Even the graphics card suffers in comparison. And no keyboard, monitor, mouse... what do you expect?

Don't give me this "you're paying for the small size" nonsense. If one can get a new 1.88-2GHz mini with 1 Gb ram for $600 - that's a price point that would sell. You can't even get that with the refurbs.
post #14 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

Why would you hook up a beautiful little computer to a dirty old keyboard, mouse and monitor?
This is for a niche of nickle-pinchers and media-center freaks. It is simply not a mainstream computer. Axe it!

Actually probably just about any PC users, who won't pay for an iMac and don't want their monitor replaced. I fitted the profile about perfectly and several of my PC owning friends want one too. I'm also planning to buy more of them for work purposes (need more low-cost OSX machines for testing purposes), so I hope it's not true. The price point is really critical.
post #15 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Beatles View Post

it would be nice if it was clearly stated at the beginning that this was horse SH#T. that way people wouldn't have to waist their time reading this. even if true, the headline made it seem that it was already fact.

lame sensationalism. appleinsider can be really sad. its obvious this was posted just to generate traffic. why would they post the title in RED on the front page? im gonna have to look for a new mac site, that was sad.

wow. someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning

i don't think it is horse ****. usually when kapser publishes something it is pretty close to spot on. heck they havent even updated the mini in like a year, as if you could not have guessed this was where it was goingn

MRG
Things Ain't What They Seem!
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Things Ain't What They Seem!
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post #16 of 573
Rumors abound about apple dropping the 17'' iMac from the line up, and now this... This opens a large hole in the product matrix, maybe making room for a new machine? I think more people would prefer the machine to be between the iMac and the Macpro though rather than the mini and the iMac.

-Roy
post #17 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Beatles View Post

it would be nice if it was clearly stated at the beginning that this was horse SH#T. that way people wouldn't have to waist their time reading this. even if true, the headline made it seem that it was already fact.

Dito except for that part "horse SH#T" I'd have chosen a more poetic way to say that...

Nevertheless why would AppleTV replace the MacMini? They are completely different devices to me... MacMini is a computer, AppleTV is just an entertainment box... Or at least it was meant as such, as someone turned it into the cheapest Mac computer...

I don't think the Mini is dead... CinemaDisplay+MacMini looks better than the big tower of the MacPro...


ps I love AppleTV!
post #18 of 573
I for one, love my mini and it has served me well. It's an old G4 model and it has worked flawlessly, after all it's a mac. I can see why the mini would be dropped from the line up as prices drop on other models. It makes the mini seem like less of a deal. \ But it's an amazing little box and does what I need it to do. My next mac will be a portable, or possibly an imac, but the mini will always be what got me to switch. Long live mac mini!
post #19 of 573
IMO, this is just speculation. Apple will do something, I hope, to renovate the low-end Mac. It's affordable for people that want to buy into the Mac line. It rocks

-tj
post #20 of 573
Actually, they wanted a sub-$500 machine when they introduced the mini. The first model was $499. They should have kept that price.
post #21 of 573
The Mac Mini will be one of my favorite Macs ever. As Tech Support it never gave me problems, kind of easy install ram, not the fastest, bit cumbersome but simple enough not to bother at all. As today I never had to fix one of my customers Mini's cause it had a bad motherboard or something else. As user, what can I say... the machine is cute and flawless since I know it.
The mini is perfect for some type of user, what i never forgive to Apple its that i wanted a cheaper tower, not a strip down enclosure that I cant fit an upgrade video card since, I like video games 8(
I dont want a Mac Pro but a an smaller case with 2 pcie slots (one 16 lanes) a low end or close 128mb video card than I can replace for a 256 or even a second crossfire card. A quad processor would be nice but expensive rigth... So make it an option! Deliver it with one of those Intel Core 2 Duo's extreme. We all saw the extensive use of the so dim size of memory with the Intel Hardware, why not add 2 extra slots or at least support more memory size (x2 2gb sticks)
Well.. thats what i think and want. I hope Apple listen to us this time.
post #22 of 573
The Mac Mini is more important to Apple than shown in your article -- it's not just a price point. The Mini is a key player in winning over PC users to the Mac world. It's perfectly priced, designed and sold to PC owners that already have a LCD monitor, PC Keyboard and Mouse.

I'm a 23 year PC veteran that never owned a Mac. I wanted to create a high quality audio system out of a computer and chose the Mini for a number of reasons. The quality of the unit, the price, the suitability to the task and interest in checking out OSX.

I would have never bought an iMac, or a MacBook or a MacPro, not in a million years. The Mini was the perfect entry and I'm very happy with the Mini. I tell my PC friends about it and see others going the same direction as myself.

I have my Mini sitting directly on top of my Dell desktop PC. It's connected to my Dell keyboard, Monitor and Mouse with a Belkin Flip KVM switch. At first, I would use the Mini only to rip CDs to my external HD for the music system. But now that all my CDs are ripped I find myself using the Mini more and more. I've even started to buy software for it to do other tasks. These are tentative steps at this point, but I've only owned the Mini for 3 months. I do like OSX and my views on computers is changing with Mac's change to Intel processors and support of BootCamp and Parallels, etc.

To kill the Mini would be extremely short sighted on Apples part and throw a wrench in their plans to increase overall market share from PC user conquests.
post #23 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

It's not opinion. "Sources" were cited.

Best,

K

Sorry, thanks for pointing that out. It was confusing to have the sources cited so far down in the article. I'm used to the news convention of putting the more concrete stuff at the top of the article, with the opinion following.
post #24 of 573
Well, if this is true and Apple really does drop the Mini completely, and with rumours of dropping the 17" iMac, I see this as Apple looking to push a completely new device at the $899 - $1099 price range. Maybe the headless tower people have clamored for? It will be very sad to see the mini go though, I was able to switch three families from PCs to Macs by taking them to Apple stores and pointing out the Mac Mini. Apple is equated with high prices by a lot of people and it was refreshing to have a $499 or $599 computer to dangle at people. For the families I switched, they were looking for something to browse the internet with, do word processing, play a few simple games, without having to go through the endless hassle of Windows. The Mini was perfect, and if it is indeed dead, it will be sorely missed...
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post #25 of 573
This is good news! "Connecting the dots" with this rumor, the iMac 17" demise rumor, the ultra-thin portable rumor, and new MBP rumors indicates innovative new products coming!
-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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-JD
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post #26 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

Why would you hook up a beautiful little computer to a dirty old keyboard, mouse and monitor?
This is for a niche of nickle-pinchers and media-center freaks. It is simply not a mainstream computer. Axe it!

Completely wrong. My (reasonably small) company has purchased probably 20 of them in the last year. Almost 2/month. It's a great way for a business to replace an aging fleet of G4-class machines while leveraging monitors and keyboards that are still perfectly functional. Even if you need a new monitor for the deployment, a cheap Samsung flat-panel is a hell of a lot more bang-for-the-buck for the non-graphic artist than an Apple panel. I can keep the total cost to outfit a user with new Mac Mini and supporting hardware under $1000. Some software is more expensive than that, fer crhissakes.

Viva la mini - the ultimate business Mac.
post #27 of 573
i keep waiting for the mac mini to get just a little bit better, so that i can buy it. It never does though, it seem as though the report is right in that Apple does indeed neglect the mac mini. To discover that they didn't even release a press release for a model release, seems a bit irresponsible however, well, it gave way to the design for Apple TV, and will still be cheap on eBay, who know, Apple insider could be off and the mac mini may in fact turn into Apple tv.

if so, who-da thunk?

http://ThunkDifferent.com
post #28 of 573
After your all done whining, I think chopping the mini makes perfect sense.

Cool MacRumors member concept Mac:
Quote:
may it be touch-screen keyboard, that contains the CHIP, RAM, optical drive... and a little flash-based instant HD, then the processed info will be updated and stored in the HDD, which locates inside the monitor outfit.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #29 of 573
The Mac Mini is an incredibly versatile machine. Ih an external firewire drive as a server for about 2 years now. It has been a solid dependable machine. It's small size makes it easy to hide (perfect as a server). I use it to store the family music and photo collections.

As Laptops become dominant there is an increasing role for a home server. This is a market Microsoft has recognized and is targeting. Having a machine as a central shared device for the family is really useful, especially when storage space on laptops continues to be an issue. The AppleTV is not this central shared device. It is a semi-dumb peripheral. That makes sense in Apples Digital media strategy. However, I contend that their is an emerging role for a home server that can store our digital lifestyle artifacts and allow them to be shared amongst household members.

Come on Apple, keep the Mini and beef up this shared capability. AppleTV provides a great digital media peripheral that allows you to liberate your media to the big screen. Now let's see some developments to allow the centralization and sharing of shared albums.

I want features in iTunes and iPhoto that allow me to seamlessly break my library in to multiple locations. ie. Have a core of music on my laptop, have a mush larger family library on a shared machine and be able to sync them both seamlessly to my iPod. This is doable now with some behind the scenes file sharing but Apple could do a much better job if they set their minds to the challenge.
Mark S
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Mark S
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post #30 of 573
big mistake,this was the best media center ever... now you would have to buy a pro mac and or something else to serve or stream your dvds to the living room. through apple tv that sucks!

or rip them, who has time for that i DONT,great now i am going to have to be some crappy PC for the living room. PHUK!!!!!!!

with a mac mini it was easy and cheap,bad move apple!

lets start a petition!!!!!!
post #31 of 573
I just hope in all sincerity, that you're completely and utterly wrong, AppleInsider. (Unless it means we'll get a "Mac Pro" stripped off the highend stuff at a price point around, say, 700-800 USD.)
post #32 of 573
We've found the Mac Mini to be the perfect Mac to run the Colorburst RIP software for our Epson large format printers - we have two. A small LCD monitor, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and you're good to go. If you're really tight for space, you could even Velcro the Mini to the side of the printer! Even with Colorburst's software running under Rosetta, it more than keeps up with the printer.
I'm surprised Apple, Colorburst, Epson and HP aren't pushing the Mini for exactly this use.
post #33 of 573
I recently bought a Mini for one use - my front room media server. It is SO much better than the Apple TV it kills me. Every time I here of some new way to hack the Apple TV to get it to do something I laugh - the mini does it allready. I have it hooked uped to my TV now with the S-video adaptor (soon it will be to a new HD set with the HDMI adaptor) and optical audio out to mt surround detup. The Apple TV is currently only stereo. I can play ALL video formats I can find, All Audio formats I can find, play DVDs direectly in 5.1, stream video from the net, watch Joost, and stream-transfer files from all my other computers. Sure it cost twice as much as the Apple TV but with the Apple TV you need another computer anyway! The Mini does it all by itself! It has multiple USB and Firewire ports so expansion is no problem. Soon as I get a HD display I will add the Elgato HD TV tuner and have a HD PVR. Right now it has a Elgato EyeTV attached - works great. I guess what I'm saying is if Apple marketed the Mini as the entertainment hub and not as a do all computer (it's graphics engine and processor ar not as suited for gaming and high end stuff) it would sell many more. I sit across the room with a wireless keyboard and mouse and run everything. If they made front row work with Video_TS folders I would be in heaven, but for now I just go to DVD player and use that. Can you even play DVDs on a Apple TV?
post #34 of 573
15" iMac possible or 17" iMac can sell for $799?

interesting if mac mini disappear, something is there for WWDC, hope we all surprised NOT disappointed.

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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post #35 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gm7Cadd9 View Post

Rumors abound about apple dropping the 17'' iMac from the line up, and now this... This opens a large hole in the product matrix, maybe making room for a new machine? I think more people would prefer the machine to be between the iMac and the Macpro though rather than the mini and the iMac.

If AI's sources are correct, I find it most unlikely that that Apple would *only* offer 20" & 24" iMacs as their desktop models and nothing else.

Instead I could see a new Cube (and the fabled xMac) beginning at $1199.

Sure, there'll be some attrition of Mac Pro sales, but it's absolutely the right move. They can use a low-end, GMA/combo drive model (which will come with keyboard & mouse but no display) to upsell to the new iMac (at $1399) with integrated 20" display, SuperDrive, and graphics card -- all that for just $200 more! Higher-end Cubes with SuperDrive & better graphics will also fall in the $1399+ range.

Wouldn't that be nice?
post #36 of 573
I really want to get one for an offsite backup server (but I can't purchase it until next year). This will be annoying if true.
post #37 of 573
Perhaps someone would be so kind as to provide sales figures for the Mini in relation to the other macs. Let's see just how bad the figures are.

The death of the Mini means Steve 0 for 2 on a cube/square design. At least his glass cube store worked out for him.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
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Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
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post #38 of 573
Very sad if true. The mini has opened the Mac to a lot of people who can't afford a more expensive Mac and I hate to see it go.

The only thing I can hope for is a replacement that uses the Apple TV box. It may be a way to cut costs for both products as well as generating some excitement in the market because of an overall upgrade of the product.

Personally I can't understand why Apple would walk away from this market and hope they have something new to replace the mini.
Ken
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Ken
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post #39 of 573
I will be the first to dance on the Mac Mini's grave, if/when it dies. As far as I'm concerned, it was the biggest rip-off in Apple's fleet of computers.

Consider this:

Mac minis were always underpowered when compared against competitor's PCs, and you always got less for the money. At any time, you can go on Dell or HP, and get a more powerful computer than Mac Mini, which INCLUDES a monitor (even if it's crap), and essentials like, I dunno, A MOUSE AND KEYBOARD??

Mac Mini is ridiculous. The highest end model is a pathetic Core Duo 1.8 Ghz, with 512gb RAM, and an 80gb HDD? How do those parts add up to a 799 dollar price tag? Were they charging for the form factor? A comparable 799 dollar PC comes with a bare minimum 1 gig of ram, a 160 gig hard disk, and a much faster CPU.

Apple should let Mac Mini die, or at least price it more responsibly. Or better yet, offer a headless mid-range desktop. iMacs are great, but I want my own choice of monitor. If they stick with the Mac Mini, they should make it more powerful (at least iMac amount of power), and give me a fairer price. I can stomach 799 if it's a Core 2 Duo, plenty of RAM, and a bare minimum 250 gig hard disk. Especially since no monitors or other peripherals are involved.
post #40 of 573
I think the 'mini is a cute machine. But I won't buy one - due to it being a bit under powered. On the other hand, I won't buy a Mac tower due to it's size and noise factor. I had a MDD dual 1Ghz G4 tower and it was loud as everything. I have heard that the newer machines are quieter, but I want whisper quiet. I have a iMac 24" now and it's perfect.

What about a Mac-midi that has a full-size (replaceable) hard drive and has the speed capability of a iMac. Basically a headless iMac. If something like this were in the $1000 range or so, I WOULD be interested.
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