$100 increase for Apple's redesigned Mac mini seen as disappointment

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  • Reply 161 of 274
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    I believe in clearly labeled sarcasm for less confusion on text forums I'm well aware of the other changes that add cost (mainly the miniaturization of the power unit and the size of the Mini overall, plus the all aluminum nature), but the size of the Mini was fine before, so the other changes add no value for me.



    (crossposting from the Arstechnica thread with some additions)

    See I wanted Apple to go the opposite direction with the Mini. Hell, even if it was 10x10x6 it would be almost 2/3 the volume of a Shuttle PC. The original 8x8x8 Cube dimensions are even smaller still. Don't shrink it, make it bigger, start upgrading the entire desktop lineup to i5 cpus. An i5 with 4GB RAM and a DX11 ATI card at a reasonable price would have been complete switch-bait for me. I have a large desktop PC at home right now that is definitely more powerful than the Mini. I like the idea of switching to Mac, but the Mini as it exists currently is not the device to entice that switch. i5 with good graphics, yep, I woulda been there with bells on.



    Steve is obsessed with making everything as small as possible (unless it's the Mac Pro, in which case it's ginormous) so no go on that. Dimensions like I talk about would have been more in line with the long debated XMac and something like that priced at $800 or even $900 would have been more expensive, but a much greater value.



    The original purpose of the Mini was to have an inexpensive Mac to help induce switchers. Clearly that is less of a concern for them these days.



    So what you're saying is that you didn't want a mini at all. That has no bearing on it's value for those who want a compact pc. Apple wont make an xmac because there is no profit in the traditional desktop market (it's a race to the bottom), and little room for them to differentiate themselves. Apple isn't after market share, they are after profit. If you are willing to switch to a mac, but only if they have a traditional desktop, you are worth very little to them. It's that simple.



    It sucks, but that's business, and that's why I built a PC for gaming. I also own a MBP and I'd love to have the new mini under my TV. Apple chooses their markets and I purchase mac products when our interests align, and other products when they don't.



    I suspect that the value of the small form factor and the sub $1000 pricing will still be sufficient for most switchers. In fact, I find this version a lot more appealing than the last, I wouldn't be surprised to see it outsell the old one over its lifecycle, despite the increase in the base price.
  • Reply 162 of 274
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    ... See I wanted Apple to go the opposite direction with the Mini. Hell, even if it was 10x10x6 it would be almost 2/3 the volume of a Shuttle PC. The original 8x8x8 Cube dimensions are even smaller still. Don't shrink it, make it bigger, start upgrading the entire desktop lineup to i5 cpus. An i5 with 4GB RAM and a DX11 ATI card at a reasonable price would have been complete switch-bait for me. I have a large desktop PC at home right now that is definitely more powerful than the Mini. I like the idea of switching to Mac, but the Mini as it exists currently is not the device to entice that switch. ...



    I think you may be right that the Mac Mini isn't the right device to entice switchers, which is probably why Apple dropped the low-end model. I think it's much more likely that switchers will be enticed by iMacs and MacBook Pros.



    Spec obsessed gamers and HW geeks, probably aren't going to be enticed at all, and certainly not by a Mini, of any description. People looking for "budget" computers probably aren't going to be enticed either, a lot of them are buying netbooks. But, for the average Windows user, a Mac Mini at even $500-$600 dollars may not look like such a good deal, especially when they compare their current display to what they could get with an iMac or MBP, and realize that their windows keyboard isn't really ideal for Mac use.



    My guess is that Apple isn't really seeing much switching action with these systems. The workstation version probably represents a small niche that they'd like to sell to but doesn't warrant a multiplicity of models. The server version may represent a bigger, perhaps growing, market for people looking for a SOHO server. But, all in all, I'd bet that most switchers aren't buying Mac Minis.



    Also, the "Mac Mini" you are asking for isn't a Mini at all, except in the sense that what you really want is a cheaper, "mini" Mac Pro, which there are no signs on the horizon that I'm aware of that we will be seeing anytime soon, if ever.
  • Reply 163 of 274
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    You're looking at it completely wrong. First of all what you described was divergence, not convergence. Convergence would be a Mac mini with an Apple TV UI (or an iOS emulator, if Apple TV gains iOS) replacing Front Row, but still running full OSX. Essentially you'd have macs with an Apple TV mode that was easily accessible. I could see something like that coming in 10.7. What I could not see happening is the Mac Mini being split (diverging) into two computing lines, with one of them solely dedicated to media playback, running iOS on hardware that can't even support it (natively). All for what amounts to a minimal discount from a full fledged computing platform. That seems like an even worse strategy than the current Apple TV.



    Lets look at this another way. The 16GB iPad costs $499 and is capable of playing back anything in the iTunes store. Take out some of the largest and most expensive components (the screen and the battery) and add a TV UI and you have a tiny, capable, and cheap set top box that absolutely sips power (it can run off USB power).



    A revamped Apple TV will spawn from iPhone/iPad hardware if it's running iOS. There is no need for any of the Mac Mini hardware to show up in a new Apple TV, and if iPad hardware is used, there would be a ton of empty space in a case with the same footprint as mac mini or current apple TV. The Mini isn't supplementing Apple TV in that form factor, it is replacing it. Apple TV is likely destined for much bigger things (by becoming smaller and cheaper).



    I think we're both going in the same direction with our predictions, just from different starting points. I'm coming from top down, you from the bottom up.



    In think we're both at the idea that aTV will be something like the iPad but as a set-top box. I don't think there's anything wrong with either of our arguements. The point i was trying to make was that the new mac mini, seems to be incorporating more and more aspects of the aTV. And, the aTV now is sort-of being shelfed at it's current state.



    what this says to me is that they are either

    1. getting ready for a complete re-vamp of the aTV, or...

    2. getting ready to dump the aTV and create a new class of iDevice like an iHome/iTV/iWhathaveyou, or...

    3. going to eventually created a sub-set of the Mac Mini as a HTPC



    All these ideas get to a point where, im not even sure Apple knows where its going, we have some kind of home server or media center.
  • Reply 164 of 274
    timgriff84timgriff84 Posts: 912member
    Is it me or have all the Mac prices gone up? At least in the UK anyway. The iMacs still seem to be relatively the same spec as the one I got a couple of years ago but around £200 more. That's got to be the only time in history you could have bought a PC and it go up in value!



    The price of the new Mac Mini though is just ridiculous, compared to a Dell which I know isn't small and looks ugly (personally I would always pay extra for nice design, hence I have an iMac). You can get a Dell around £75 less with a better processor (are Apple the only one's still using Core 2 Duo's?), 3 times the amount of memory, over 3 times hard disk space, and 3 times the memory on graphics. I would probably pay an extra £100 for a similar spec machine to have it look really nice like this does, but Apply have just gone out of this world on this one.
  • Reply 165 of 274
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    It seems that apple really does not want to sell these things. Each time they make the product better and more comparable to other offerings on the market, the higher the price gets. People will keep choosing iMac over mac mini. Wished the price would go down $50 or so to help sell more.



    Then again apple is making a sick killing with the iDevices, so i guess they don't really care how many macs they sell any more.
  • Reply 166 of 274
    carmissimocarmissimo Posts: 837member
    Price increase? What price increase?



    Take a new mini and take the memory up to 4 GB to take the price to $859 here in Canada. My current mini, bought last fall cost me roughly $899. Yes it has a 2.53Ghz processor, rather than the new configuration's 2.4 Ghz processor. But with a much faster GPU, the new configuration would likely run circles around my version.



    In other words, for $40 less I can now get a better all around performer, the elimination of the power brick, an HDMI port, an SD reader, and easier memory access.



    The bests news for me personally is that rumours of the Mini's demise were greatly exaggerated. Clearly if Apple went to the trouble of setting up a new form factor with integrated power supply, there are no plans right now to kill off the Mini. My plan is to buy a new Mini every two to three years because Minis are great at holding their value and when you renew every two or three years you get a new OS, the latest iLife, a faster machine, a new hard drive, and all for a very reasonable price. If my last upgrade is anything to go by, in a year or two I'll be able to trade up to a new Mini for less than $500 Cdn. For a software upgrade and new hard drive alone that's not really so bad. I don't think it's farfetched to expect that two years from now the Mini will have even better graphics and moved ahead from the Core 2 Duo. Memory will go up and there might even be Blu-ray available. Not that it matters if Blu-Ray is missing because I'm going PS3 soon enough, not to mention standalone Blu-Ray players are now dirt cheap. If Blu-Ray flourishes an external drive would be easy and cheap to add.



    Making snap judgements without looking closely at what Apple has done is what causes folks from the PC side to misjudge the true value of a well-designed Apple product.
  • Reply 167 of 274
    axualaxual Posts: 244member
    "... one prominent Wall Street analyst said he believes is somewhat disappointing."



    Why is this analyst being paid? What kind of Idiotic statement is that? Do us all a favor ... either write credible responsible analysis or keep your mouth shut.
  • Reply 168 of 274
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Also, the "Mac Mini" you are asking for isn't a Mini at all, except in the sense that what you really want is a cheaper, "mini" Mac Pro, which there are no signs on the horizon that I'm aware of that we will be seeing anytime soon, if ever.



    Well when they introduced the Mac Mini it was significantly smaller than every other desktop computer they have, thus it was a mini by comparison. The larger dimensions I mentioned are STILL smaller than all the other desktops, other than the current Mini. I've even said on these boards before that I seriously doubt they will ever actually release the XMac, but that doesn't mean I can't hope



    There are gaming companies instituting Mac divisions again and Steam has been producing a lot of interest on the Mac platform. Apple will be foolish if they don't pay some attention to that. Yes the 320M is a better graphics card than the 9400M, but they're both inferior to curent DX11 parts. Heck, it has less than 1/3 the performance of an NVIDIA GTX 480M http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-...M.28701.0.html I'm not a big FPS person, but it would be nice to at least manage over 23fps in World of Warcraft on high. Dalaran is a bitch, especially if you're trying to run in high detail w/shadows on full, you need a bit of a buffer for your framerate so it doesn't turn into a slideshow.



    Apple made changes to OS X to support more cores and to make better use of available power from graphics cards with Grand Central and Open CL, yet so much of the lineup is still on the C2D with no hyper threading. Quad core i5s with hyper threading turned on is 4 real and 4 virtual cores. Add in a good graphics card and the performance of OS X for pretty much everything should shoot up. This isn't limited to games either. Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, Mathematica, all of these programs can benefit from more horsepower in the systems.
  • Reply 169 of 274
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Well when they introduced the Mac Mini it was significantly smaller than every other desktop computer they have, thus it was a mini by comparison. The larger dimensions I mentioned are STILL smaller than all the other desktops, other than the current Mini. ...



    I don't know, I think my iMac has a smaller footprint than a Mac Mini.
  • Reply 170 of 274
    Well I can move the Apple TV up to the bonus room now, hello front row. Sitting on the couch, bluetooth keyboard and mouse in hand, surfing, emailing, creating movies on iMovies, slideshows on iPhoto, paying bills online, well maybe that won't be so great, but everything else is perfect.
  • Reply 171 of 274
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    Yes it has a 2.53Ghz processor, rather than the new configuration's 2.4 Ghz processor. But with a much faster GPU, the new configuration would likely run circles around my version.



    Likely your benchmarks would look something like this: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/lapt...ode=benchmarks



    Compares the base 13" MBP, which has the same processor speed, RAM and video card
  • Reply 172 of 274
    user23user23 Posts: 199member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post




    Also... for the $100 price increase, which is what this is... apple ought to have



    1- HDMI (check)

    2- Blu-Ray playback (not done) there are plenty of Superdrives which can read BD also.

    3- Nvidia 330m chip (not done) this is a much better graphics chip than the 320m




    After all these years & years & years & years....the same old complaint.



    Apple ought to have done what?



    In a market-driven economy, you have more power in your hands by NOT purchasing a product you don't like than you do by diluting a site like AI with complaints about what Apple should do. No offense intended. It's possible you might be the sort of fellow who would be better off building a hackintosh....something I recommend to anyone disappointed with Apple's desktop or laptop models.



    fwiw: Wu is a total knob. Such a fence-sitter in his analysis. What is it Wu, is it the most significant update to the product, or is it disappointing? Maybe it's just a significantly mediocre update, or insignificantly significant, or....or...





    edit: How does the new Mini compare to Dell's Inspiron Zino HD?
  • Reply 173 of 274
    steve666steve666 Posts: 2,600member
    This is ridiculous. Apple is playing with fire with these ridiculous price points.

    They would have been better off leaving the form factor alone and instead just improving the graphics and CPU Speeds and keeping the price the same.

    Who needs it to be even smaller anyway? Having the Drive so low to the desk is not an improvement, IMO.
  • Reply 174 of 274
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, it's not often I'm accused of that. Thought I'd fly it as a trial balloon, see how it goes.



    I hope you aren't too discouraged with the results.
  • Reply 175 of 274
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I hope you aren't too discouraged with the results.



    Still waiting for the numbers from the west coast, but, so far, results seem mixed.
  • Reply 176 of 274
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


    I think we're both going in the same direction with our predictions, just from different starting points. I'm coming from top down, you from the bottom up.



    In think we're both at the idea that aTV will be something like the iPad but as a set-top box. I don't think there's anything wrong with either of our arguements. The point i was trying to make was that the new mac mini, seems to be incorporating more and more aspects of the aTV. And, the aTV now is sort-of being shelfed at it's current state.



    what this says to me is that they are either

    1. getting ready for a complete re-vamp of the aTV, or...

    2. getting ready to dump the aTV and create a new class of iDevice like an iHome/iTV/iWhathaveyou, or...

    3. going to eventually created a sub-set of the Mac Mini as a HTPC



    All these ideas get to a point where, im not even sure Apple knows where its going, we have some kind of home server or media center.



    I've bolded the portion I disagree with. You had said that you expected Apple to take a Mac mini, remove the superdrive, lower the top, and slap iOS on there instead of OSX and that would become the new Apple TV (by a different name). That just makes zero sense to me, a mac is not a mac without OSX, and there are better and cheaper hardware options for iOS than mac hardware.



    I see 3 possibilities for Apple TV outside of leaving it as is or discontinuing it:



    1. Apple TV is integrated into OSX, taking the place of front row and giving all macs the potential to function like Apple TV (including a shorter mini without the superdrive, like you described, if they made it).

    2. Apple TV revamped, running iOS on iPad hardware.

    3. Both 1 & 2.
  • Reply 177 of 274
    lukeskymaclukeskymac Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    Price increase? What price increase?



    Take a new mini and take the memory up to 4 GB to take the price to $859 here in Canada. My current mini, bought last fall cost me roughly $899. Yes it has a 2.53Ghz processor, rather than the new configuration's 2.4 Ghz processor. But with a much faster GPU, the new configuration would likely run circles around my version.



    In other words, for $40 less I can now get a better all around performer, the elimination of the power brick, an HDMI port, an SD reader, and easier memory access.



    Exactly. Watching people whine about how they wanted Apple to magically fit a quad-core in that tiny (gorgeous, by the way) little box, or how they wanted discrete graphics (something NO low-cost LOW-FOOTPRINT computer has, BTFW) or yadda yadda. Mr. Lemon Bon Bon is the worst of them all, I nearly punched the screen when I saw how much [email protected]p someone who's not supposed to be a troll can spill.



    Some people think unibody cases and HDMI licenses are free... Oh well...



    Quote:

    Making snap judgements without looking closely at what Apple has done is what causes folks from the PC side to misjudge the true value of a well-designed Apple product.



    What's more ironic is how other PCs fare against the new OH-SO-EXPENSIVE Mac Mini. I just went to the Dell Online Store and built a C2D Studio Hybrid, which is, in my view, the only fair comparison since it's also a compact computer with low energy consumption that uses notebook parts. Here is what it has.



    Intel C2D 2.1GHz, 800MHz FSB and 3Mb cache

    4GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM

    A 320GB 5200rpm HD

    Intel GMA X3100



    So you get a slower processor with slower FSB. But you get 4Gb! Yay? NAY! IT'S FREAKING DD2 RAM WITH HALF THE FSB OF MAC MINI'S! THIS is what you should be complaining about.



    Oh and what's THIS! The new Mini's GPU is twice as fast as a 9400M! Which is 1.5x times as fast as the X3100. [sarcasm] Wow, the Mini's integrated GPU SUCKKKKKS [/sarcasm]



    The price? With Windows 7 ultimate? $839
  • Reply 178 of 274
    Does anyone know if the new Mac Mini has soldered cpu or if it is in a socket? I bought a refurbed Core Solo mac mini and popped in a a high power core2duo a few years back. The previous mac mini had a soldered cpu; wondering if that changed at all.
  • Reply 179 of 274
    lukeskymaclukeskymac Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    edit: How does the new Mini compare to Dell's Inspiron Zino HD?



    That's a quite funny comparision, since the Zino's top processor doesn't even brek the 2GHz barrier



    For $630 you get



    A 1.8GHz Athlon with 800MHz and 1Mb cache (33% lower clock, 20% lower FSB, only a third of the cache)

    2Gb of 800MHz DDR2 RAM (Older AND slower RAM)

    The same 320Gb HD

    And Old ATI Radeon HD 4330 (it may be "discrete", but it is still worse than the 320M)

    A fugly plastic case

    Windows 7 Ultimate



    Notice I always put up Windows 7 Ultimate when I do such comparisons. Mac OS X has ONE version with all features, so it should be compared to the one Windows version that also has every feature.
  • Reply 180 of 274
    sky kingsky king Posts: 189member
    Fascinating.



    This guy (WU) cannot either design or write code for a computer. He has a job, working for a company (voluntary servitude). He does not own a company and likely has no plans to try.



    But he can criticize anything.



    Let's call things by their real name. He is not an "analyst". He is a "critic".



    No one has ever erected a statue to a critic.
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