I have a friend who has asked me about the Mac Mini. Any comments?
It Was the Best of Times, it Was the Worst of Times....
Or so says Charles Dickens.
There are plenty of pros and as many cons in dealing with the Mac Mini.
The new ones with the Intel Core 2 Duo processors, should be strong performers, and you can install Windows which is a big plus. Well, unless you're an OS X addict.
The Mini is essentially laptop technology, which is cool 'cause it's small, but no so good when it comes time to service it.
Personally, I would rather have a desktop. I do my own service, and a desktop is easier to work on.
OK, you can shrink the computer, but you can't shrink the peripherals, so you wind up with pretty much the same space occupied anyway.
The Mini can get a tad expensive, if you order it fully loaded.
Anyway, it is a nice quality piece of equipment. My objections to it are; I have a bit of trouble with the idea that it's not quite a laptop or a desktop.
You don't get the convenience of the laptop's portability, and it lacks the serviceability and expandability of a desktop.
Count me out on Apples', integrated desktop pieces as well, what is it, the "Imac" or "Emac". Conceptually that's like buying a TV with a DVD player built in . Just something I won't do. Actually I think the Mini is a better idea than those, since you can connect whichever monitor you choose.
The Mini is a nice computer but hasn't been properly updated in quite a while. It shared the same components at the laptops & iMac for a while (integrated VGA, wireless chipset, CPU, etc.) but Apple has been keeping it on the sides for a while now (to the point where some sites were expecting an anouncemnt that it would be discontinued). It still hasn't made the move to the Santa Rose platform for example.
If you have peripherals that you wish to keep (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.), it's an interesting option. Otherwise get an iMac which a much more interesting price/bundle ratio if a Mac is what you really want.
It completely depends on the purpose. What would it be used for? The mini is great connected to an hdtv to play back 720p hd movies, or watch dvds, video podcasts, photos. It probably isn't a good buy for gaming or intensive hd video encoding/transcoding.
Opening them up to upgrade the RAM or HD is possible (you can even buy an Intel Core Solo and replace it with a Core 2 Duo if you want), but its a somewhat tricky removal, not near as easy as a full tower. But then again if you want a full tower Mac you are paying $2500 or more.