“There was plenty of prognostication before Macworld Expo and opinionation afterward, but here at PC World, we know you care more about how a product performs in actual use. And today we got to try out a shipping Mac Mini, Apple’s new, entry-level desktop system,” Rebecca Freed writes for PC World.
“And the Mini is a solid little (emphasis on little) machine: If I didn’t love my G4 PowerBook so much, I’d be very happy to have a Mac Mini on my desk, and I can’t quibble with the price. The test unit that Apple sent us has 512MB of RAM (DIMM), plus built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These extras bump the price up to $703 from the base of $499, but that’s still a reasonably good deal,” Freed writes.
“Though it’s small–more compact than the average lunchbox–this system isn’t rickety. It handled most tasks I tried gracefully, without hesitating or freezing. The 512MB of RAM and the solidness of OS X 10.3 have a lot to do with that, but the 1.25-GHz G4 CPU also makes a difference. I opened half a dozen applications and switched among their various windows without any slowness,” Freed writes. “My bottom line? If I were recommending a starter system to someone (who hadn’t already taken a side in the Mac versus Windows holy war), I wouldn’t hesitate to send them in the direction of the Mac Mini.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Does it feel to you like Freed wants to say something about Mac OS X and the included software, but really doesn’t feel comfortable doing it in PC World? A “solidness of OS X” comment is the best this article can muster? What about iLife, Safari, Mail, iChat, iPhoto, and everything else included? For someone who loves her PowerBook G4, the almost total lack of mention of what really sets a Mac apart from a Windows box, the software, is a very strange omission. Maybe we’ll get more info later from PC World, as this article is just a “First Look.”
As for her so-called Mac vs. PC holy war, most Mac users have used both platforms (stuck with Windows at work) and clearly chosen Mac over Windows, but most Windows users have never touched a Mac, so they have no basis for comparison. It’s more like the informed vs. the ignorant holy war; it happens all the time, not just with personal computer platforms.
This article seems to carry some subtext. On the surface, it seems like a nice, quick, positive review of Apple’s Mac mini. But, notice how the Mac mini is positioned as a “starter system” in this article and that the Mac mini’s real target (Windows users looking to try out the Mac) are ignored. Maybe Freed meant to write “Mac starter system?” That would have worked much better. There are a lot of questions that are never answered: Is there a reason that Windows PC users shouldn’t try out a Mac? Why wouldn’t PC World want Windows-only users to try out Mac OS X? Why does an artificial protective fence have to be erected by dropping in the line about a Mac vs. PC “holy war?” Why would Freed write that she’d recommend the Mac mini as a “starter system” to someone “who hadn’t already taken a side in the Mac versus Windows holy war?” Why isn’t the Mac mini being recommended as a solid “first Mac” for any Windows user who’d like to give Mac OS X a try? Would that kill PC World or something?
Off-topic: PC World is owned by IDG which also owns Macworld – which gets us to thinking. We wonder how many potential advertisers there are for PC World vs. Macworld and what would happen if PC World’s readers suddenly dropped their subscriptions for Macworld? Would that hurt, help or not affect IDG financially? Would Macworld get thicker with ads and also with articles and content? Would PC world become a shell of what it is today?
And what of other media outlets, Wintel box assemblers, software developers, and other businesses that depend on solely or heavily on Windows? What will be their reactions to an inexpensive Mac that can introduce Mac OS X to Windows users? Surely they’re secure enough in their belief that the Windows platform is best for most people, so a little taste of the Mac platform and how it does things couldn’t hurt, right?
Another thought, if Macintosh became “popular” enough would companies that dropped Mac support in the past come back to the platform? If they tried, how would Mac users treat them?