Great Deal with the Small Apple Mac Mini (2010 Version)
Because of the great performance that Apple has been giving in their iPads and iPhones, you really can’t expect that they would go up another notch and build a newer version of the desktop: the Mac Mini. It is a regular desktop with smaller size. It is like other desktop computers; however, the latest version has a bit of upgrade in the processor and a major one in its graphic card.
The physical appearance of this new gadget is also new and, despite the size, performs very well. However, this gadget does not come with free monitor, keyboard or mouse unlike the iMac; which is more space friendly.
Launched in 2010, it has a single set-up and components can only be modified at the time of purchase. The 2010 base-model costs around $699 and is between the parts and price of the older model. The standard package came with a 2 GB RAM, a small 320 GB hard drive and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You may also opt for the server version of the product which includes a 4 GB memory, dual hard drive and Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
The product has a similar graphics chipset to the 13 inch Mac Book Pro, which is NVIDIA GeForce 320M that shares a 256 MB memory of the system. This particular chipset provides amazing graphics for gaming and movie viewing experience. It also features a built-in AirPort Extreme connectivity by Apple that supports 802.11n WiFi. You have to keep in mind that you have to upgrade the Mac Mini on the time of purchase and not after buying it.
The exterior of the Mac mini takes a whole new level of sleekness. Unlike older versions, the Mac Mini has aluminum uni-body enclosure that resembles the TV unit of Apple in shape and size. You’ll find the ever famous black Apple logo on top and the slot-loading optical drive up front.
Unlike the previous model, you’ll find new slots and ports on the latest model. The power supply unit comes built in. You can now stream high-definition content with the new ports that are built in Mac Mini. Together with the product is a HDMI-to-DVI adapter for the DVI-interface LCD monitor (for other types of monitor, you will need to purchase another adapter). With the new product upgrade, you can attach two LCD monitors to the Mac mini. It really depends on the monitor that you have since they need to be compatible with it. It’s always better to use an adaptor.
In one way or another, the company was able to squeeze a speaker into this small contraption. However, it only has limited or low volume.
You can also see the internal parts of the Mac Mini by just twisting the removable plastic panel at the bottom; a major upgrade for the latest version. The RAM or memory can also be upgraded up to 8 GB.
Like what was said earlier, you need to buy a new set of monitor, keyboard and mouse to use the Mac Mini. With this, the budget that you have might be blown off if you went for the Mac Mini rather than the iMac with which free hardware components are provided during purchase. Apple advises to use the monitor and input devices that you have. Otherwise go for the budget friendly iMac.
Another important issue that we have to bear in mind is the performance of the Mac Mini. It actually fell behind the iMac version in terms of performance. In the CPU-centered Cinebench test that was done, the Mac Mini scored 5072 in terms of CPU performance; that is 1446 points below the score of iMac. It also felt behind the iTunes encoding test because it was 48 seconds slower than the competitor. But even if seems to lag behind in a few categories, the difference isn’t actually that big.
We also have to compare the Mac Mini to other brands. The Gateway laptop blew Mac Mini away on the CPU test and was a minute faster in terms of the iTunes test. The Acer product is somewhat the close competitor of the Mac Mini because they were almost at par. The only advantage with the Acer product is that it comes with a free LCD monitor. Both computer brands are still better than the Mac Mini but don’t come with iLife ’09.
If you already have a hardware set that is compatible with the Mac Mini, then you would actually have a bargain by purchasing it. Not only will you have a better performing computer but also it will not cost you more than a thousand dollars. You’ll also expand your horizons with the operating system of the Mac. Because of its small size, you can definitely save a lot of space. The design also eradicates unnecessary clutter.
Another thing to look at is the energy efficiency of a product. Mac Mini uses minimal power when it is idle (10 watts). When you are using it, it only consumes 26 – 27 watts of power. Call that energy saver.
The product comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard. There is also one-year limited warranty and 90 days’ worth of toll free phone support for this product.
The sleekness that the new Mac Mini exhibits is quite impressive. It is very good that Apple has added some major new features to the old model. The only question for this product is the value proposed by the company. Would customers be willing to spend a bit more for Mac Mini even if it does not include other hardware components? Mac Mini would actually work for people who has a set of hardware components ready.