Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini

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  • Reply 541 of 575
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Always thinking about it as Apple as an island, rather than the possibility of instead of the people being up-sold to the iMac, they piss-off and buy a decently-specified-for-the-money $699 PC. Or indeed, they never walk in to the Apple store in the first place because the already know that Apple don't offer anything worth the money under $1199.



    Yep, I've tried for years to talk my brother and dad into switching. They don't even consider it because they can get nice specs in a windows box for about $700 and the Mac mini looks like a toy, despite its acceptable specs. They use their monitors three times longer than their computers, so the iMac seems unnecessary and overpriced.
  • Reply 542 of 575
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iDave View Post


    Mac mini looks like a toy, despite its acceptable specs.



    I beg to differ on the Mac mini having "acceptable" specs. For the price, the specs are very poor*, unless you specifically need something that small.



    But "really really small desktop computer" is probably one of the smallest niches out there.



    * You can get a quad-core Intel Core 2 @ 2.4 GHz, with a 320 GB HDD for under $700 from Dell.



    Am I saying Apple should rush out and match Dell dollar-for-dollar and spec. for spec.? No. But what I am saying is that if you think the Mac Mini even begins to compare to what you can get from brand-name PCs at the same price-level, you're either joking, have your head in the sand, are smoking something or are simply insane.
  • Reply 543 of 575
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Am I saying Apple should rush out and match Dell dollar-for-dollar and spec. for spec.? No. But what I am saying is that if you think the Mac Mini even begins to compare to what you can get from brand-name PCs at the same price-level, you're either joking, have your head in the sand, are smoking something or are simply insane.



    You're right, the mini is falling behind and is not really comparable to what's out there for similar prices.



    I guess what I meant by "acceptable" was that the specs would meet the requirements of my dad and brother for what they need to do. But they won't buy one because it looks like a toy compared to the "real" computers that they end up with.
  • Reply 544 of 575
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lundy View Post


    Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.



    It's a particular kind of geek too. I'd class myself as a geek but the likelihood of me actually wanting to upgrade a machine ended in about 2000. It's really kind of pointless constantly chasing specs and computers are so cheap now that a new one every few years is often more economically sensible than upgrading an old board.



    Even gamers are increasingly just settling for consoles now instead of always keeping their god box up to date.



    I'm sure there's still 'normal' people who fall for the salesman's spiel about upgradeability but most people I know seem to keep their PCs for 3-4 years at which point they discover that upgrading them beyond maybe RAM and the HD is pointless if not impossible.



    I was at the local refuse tip at the weekend and people were chucking out Pentium 4 boxes and AMD64s. I bet they worked but were a) old and b) riddled with viruses and c) probably just needed a reformat and some more ram. But when you can buy a PC for £300, why would someone spend the money for a pro to come out and clean it for them and install RAM when they can have a shiny new one with Vista installed?



    The mini is overpriced, or possibly over-specced with it's CPU to compete against the £300 PC market which is a pity. It should really be cheaper. Here it's £399 and it needs to be £299 or less. And Apple need to fix the keyboard drivers so that it works with UK PC keyboards without the user having to relearn where @, # and " went.
  • Reply 545 of 575
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    And Apple need to fix the keyboard drivers so that it works with UK PC keyboards without the user having to relearn where @, # and " went.



    A nice idea I remember someone posting here a long time ago was for Apple to include some stickers in the Mini box that could be stuck onto old PC keyboards. For example, a sticker the apple symbol to be stuck onto the "Windows" key of the PC keyboard.



    But yes, Apple fixing the keyboard drivers in OS X would help Mini users using PC keyboards. They also need to sort out their Windows keyboard drivers for UK Mac users using Windows on their Macs.
  • Reply 546 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lundy View Post


    Geeks do those sort of things, but not the average consumer customer. They do not add disks, and they do not even know what a graphics card is, except that it makes the iMac better than the mini.



    I have maintained that if there was a market for the xMac, Apple's market research would have indicated so.



    When the Macintosh II came out, and had six slots, more than 95% of the owners never added a card.



    If Apple offered the xMac, and had customers weigh "expandability" versus the compact size and built-in monitor of the iMac, the consumer will choose the iMac the vast majority of the time. It can be ordered with a huge hard drive if that is a concern, and Apple does not want people buying the cheapest one and then shopping at NewEgg for a bigger disk - they want you to buy the big disk from them to begin with.



    Geeks whose main criterion is expandability and swapping things in and out make up a very small segment of those who would want an Apple. Most geeks are gamers and would buy the PC.



    As far as the Mac mini, one look at the pricing tells you that the idea is for you to spend the extra money and get the iMac instead. The reason the mini is $599 and $799 is so that it will be within reach of an upsell to the iMac.



    I agree. Very few people change, or add cards. There will be about 300 million computers sold this year, and only a few percent will ever modify their machines.



    The Mac II had eight slots, as I seem to remember.



    I do think there would be a market for an xMac though.



    In most business articles I've read over the past two years, one of the biggest reasons why business doesn't buy more Macs is because they want a headless machine, so they can replace the computer without replacing the monitor, or to replace the monitor without replacing the computer.



    At Citigroup, where my wife works, they have done both to her machines over the years.



    And, no, they don't want a Mini.
  • Reply 547 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iDave View Post


    Apple doesn't do market research.



    Link



    I don't believe it. It doesn't matter how many times they say it. They may not have a major market research department as many other companies do, but they must do some.
  • Reply 548 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Although I'm not a particular advocate of the xMac, I guess the point is perceived extra value. If Janet and John go to their local PC World, they'll look at the PC and think that for less money they can buy a machine and upgrade it when they have a bit more money. The fact they probably never will doesn't really matter.



    This is a very big point that I've been trying to make for a long time. It doesn't matter if people won't mod their machines. They want to believe that they may.





    It's the same reason why, over the years, people would buy Nikons, or Canons. The excuse would be that they have much better, and larger lens lines. But these people rarely would buy anything other than the basic lenses. The fact that they COULD buy the expensive lenses made them feel more important though.



    It's different with pros. Those of us involved in a profession where we need more, buy more. But, if we aren't, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are more professional if we have more professional equipment.
  • Reply 549 of 575
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    At Citigroup, where my wife works, they have done both to her machines over the years.



    And, no, they don't want a Mini.



    What is the mini missing that CG needs in a workstation?



    Just asking. Not trying to start a fight.
  • Reply 550 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    What is the mini missing that CG needs in a workstation?



    Just asking. Not trying to start a fight.



    No, but like most businesses, they buy medium priced towers that THEY can fix when they go wrong. Apple is out on two counts there. They have no towers like that, and they don't authorize companies to repair their own machines.



    They do add their own network cards, and sometimes spec a specific graphics card and HDD.
  • Reply 551 of 575
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    No, but like most businesses, they buy medium priced towers that THEY can fix when they go wrong. Apple is out on two counts there. They have no towers like that, and they don't authorize companies to repair their own machines.



    If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?
  • Reply 552 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?



    No it wouldn't.
  • Reply 553 of 575
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?



    it also needs to be better priced next to other desktops.
  • Reply 554 of 575
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    I keep thinking that I’d like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac – which has better specs. Then I stop and think I don’t want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I don’t. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.

    Scr__ you, Apple, I’ll make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didn’t see fit to make Leopard work with.



    I’ve convinced several in my family and some friends to switch to a Mac and I praise it.

    I only wish Apple was as loyal to me as I am to Apple.
  • Reply 555 of 575
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I keep thinking that I?d like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac ? which has better specs. Then I stop and think I don?t want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I don?t. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.

    Scr__ you, Apple, I?ll make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didn?t see fit to make Leopard work with.



    You, sir, are part of a very large group I think.
  • Reply 556 of 575
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    If Apple remedied this by making the Mac mini user-serviceable like I mentioned earlier today, would that satisfy "most businesses"?



    I think it would take more than that to completely rectify the situation (price is a big factor too) but it would go some way to satisfying some businesses yes.
  • Reply 557 of 575
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I keep thinking that I?d like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac ? which has better specs.



    Here's a sober question for you then... Imagine tomorrow Apple released an update to the Mac mini. Its specs are:



    Penryn Core 2 Duo, 2.1 GHz

    Intel GMA X3100 graphics

    Super Drive

    160GB 5400rpm HD

    1GB RAM (up to 4GB)

    801.11n, Bluetooth

    $599 / £399



    Penryn Dore 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz

    Intel GMA X3100 graphics

    DL Super Drive

    250GB 5400rpm HD

    2GB RAM (up to 4GB)

    801.11n, Bluetooth

    $799 / £499



    The casing and internal layout have also been changed so that both the RAM and HD can be swapped with a few screws.



    So... Do you buy now?
  • Reply 558 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I keep thinking that I?d like the Mini, but when I start adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more memory, it gets into the price range of an iMac ? which has better specs. Then I stop and think I don?t want an AIO. I go round and round with this until I make myself crazy and I want to go back to a PC. No, I don?t. It has Windows, not OS X. I WANT an Apple OS. I want an xMac which Apple probably will never make.

    Scr__ you, Apple, I?ll make do with my 800 G4 Tiger which you didn?t see fit to make Leopard work with.



    I?ve convinced several in my family and some friends to switch to a Mac and I praise it.

    I only wish Apple was as loyal to me as I am to Apple.



    There are ways to get Leopard to work with your machine.



    Format and install the OS in another machine, or put it into an external drive case and do it. then put it back into your machine. That works.
  • Reply 559 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Here's a sober question for you then... Imagine tomorrow Apple released an update to the Mac mini. Its specs are:



    Penryn Core 2 Duo, 2.1 GHz

    Intel GMA X3100 graphics

    Super Drive

    160GB 5400rpm HD

    1GB RAM (up to 4GB)

    801.11n, Bluetooth

    $599 / £399



    Penryn Dore 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz

    Intel GMA X3100 graphics

    DL Super Drive

    250GB 5400rpm HD

    2GB RAM (up to 4GB)

    801.11n, Bluetooth

    $799 / £499



    The casing and internal layout have also been changed so that both the RAM and HD can be swapped with a few screws.



    So... Do you buy now?



    If you add at least $100 to each of those prices, you would be closer to a real world possibility. Possible even $125 to $150.
  • Reply 560 of 575
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    If you add at least $100 to each of those prices, you would be closer to a real world possibility. Possible even $125 to $150.



    I think the prices are a near definite. They hardly ever change the price range of an existing product. More likely is that the specs I mentioned are a little high, although they are perfectly in line with the MacBook updates.



    Slightly slower chips, 120GB drive on the base model maybe, but I can't see Combo Drive being sold any more (unless I'm naive!). If they up the price however I'd be rather fuming, as I'm sure a lot of other people would be.
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