PC Magazine review gives Apple’s Mac mini 4 out of 5 stars

“The Apple Mac mini makes an attractive entry point for the Windows-to-Mac switcher, the Mac user who needs an upgrade from a pre-1-GHz Mac, or the user on a budget who wants a small, silent desktop with a really cool design. Just be sure you already have the essential peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers), since purchasing them separately quickly makes the system not such a great bargain—especially given the low RAM and hard drive space that come standard,” Joel Santo Domingo writes for PC Magazine’s review. Apple’s Mac mini received 4 out of 5 stars in the review.

“The Mac mini was a snap to set up. Five minutes after unpacking the unit, we were typing our user info into the setup wizard, and fifteen minutes later, we were surfing the Internet with the built-in Safari browser. As with all Macs, we did not have to do the usual second setup step: install or set up an antivirus client. Macs running Mac OS X are still free of viruses and spyware. Apple’s venerable AppleWorks gives the user basic word processing capabilities out of the box, and Apple has just introduced its more powerful iWork package ($79 direct) for better-looking documents and presentations. Best of all, the fine Apple iLife ’05 multimedia suite comes preloaded on the Mac mini, which means in no time you’ll be managing and sharing photos, digitizing your music collection, creating video and music projects, and more.”

“If you’re starting from scratch and need to buy a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and so on, the Mac mini isn’t for you (you’ll save in the end by opting for a $799 eMac). But as an additional system for a Mac-centric household, or as a cheap way for Windows-based PC users to introduce a Mac into their lives, the Mac mini succeeds, stylishly.”

Full article here.


  1. I started playing with iMovie HD tonight… I love it. I just started nosing around and very quickly found how to make beautiful movies.. The iLife integration is amazing. PC users playing with this stuff for the very first time, “Look, no drivers” are going to be picking their jaws up off the floor.

  2. Has Thurrott thouroughly lost his mind or what.

    Check out that buttholes site….you won’t believe your eyes…his header is an iPod commercial and he has pictures of a Mac Mini.

    I need to roll one.


  3. When sites compare the price of the Mac mini, or any Mac, they always talk about hardware specs and seem to forget all the software that comes with every Macintosh. If you spec out a bargain basement PC with software that roughly approximates the iLife suite, Quicken, etc. you see the price differential swing decidedly into the Mac’s favor.

  4. The thing is… most PC users don’t care about the software that comes with a computer. I sold computers for 5 years at the largest/busiest computer store in Canada and it did not seem to make a difference to most buyers.

    Advanced users don’t want theire computers to come with software. They usually already have an OS and other software.

    The 4 out of 5 star rating for the Mac Mini from PC Mag is accurate. The artical was talking about switchers and upgraders. I think the mini offers more value to switchers because the likely do not own OS10 or i Life.

    Swither…still waiting for my mini to arrive.


  5. OK then.

    What Apple should do is sell it as a bre bones OSX and then make people buy each iLife application….for $5 a shot!

    That should make them start saying what good value Mac software is.

  6. Macaday. That’s some twisted logic. Speaks the language of the windows Mob though.

    Maybe they should add up the value of the software, add it to the price and make you send in a mail-in coupon to get your money back. Or let you get it without the coupon at the existing price. Appleworks + iLife takes the price from £339 to £453, and they’ll think they had a really good deal.

    Then the resellers get to do some customers a ‘favour’, by saying that they’ll register the computer for them and sort out the coupon/refund to get them the software for free.

    The problem is that free software on the PC side = shit software, so it’s not perceived as having any value.

  7. And the price of the Mini is worth it for the software alone, the computer is just icing on the cake. Come to think of it, it does resemble a cake with marzipan icing….. Kind of apt, don’t you think?

  8. I have the standard 800Mhz G4, 256Mb, FP iMac and it seems to do just fine with all of the iAps. In fact, I enjoy creating/rendering 3D animations. The Mac mini may seem underpowered by Intel/MS hog standards, but it is much more than able to handle the mundane tasks of typical home and small business users. Over half of my Dock can have li’l black arrows under them, and my Mac doesn’t even hiccup.

    I think Apple also needs to address that fact that the iAps are not the typical free, non-integrated, crapware filling up the hard drives on the Wintel dinosaurs.

    The savings of just the TIME alone that the user will save from reloading/rebooting, virus protection maintenance, and other PC babysitting that must be done will cover the total cost of the Mac mini.

    If a Wintel PC had to run the iLife aps, then the Mac mini specs would be far too underpowered. But, it is this complete ignorance of PC columnists, glaring only at a list of stats and misinterpreting them, that generates such poor conclusions and misleading articles.

    I find it even more sad that Mac users have fallen into this “must have 512 Mb to make the power light glow” fallacy. For what 95% of the Mac users do, they’ll never see the difference between 256 Mb and 512 Mb of RAM.

  9. Strange. I have a dual G5 with 1.5GB RAM and I regularly get pauses and beachballs.

    I find working on a friend’s 800MHz eMac (faster hard drive than mini, and more RAM), a little frustrating.

    I simply don’t believe you when you say ‘no hiccups’. I think you think these things are worth it in the overall picture. And that’s true, of course, but to say you never hit the limits, even briefly, suggests you’re not really doing much at all.

    One reason for needing the extra RAM is that it has a laptop drive, which is slow. So with a lot of apps open, paging becomed more of a problem.

  10. Hywel, you are absolutely correct. I don’t do anything on my computer that involves any level of power…

    ( This is how I doodle. )

    …it must be a burden to have the superhuman ability to know everything without needing any facts. I wish I had such an ability.

    But, in this case, you are wrong!

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