Apple’s ‘Mac mini’ should be your next computer

“The designers at Apple Computer have come up with another mini that’s going to be huge. If you’ve never been tempted to switch from the Windows PC platform, the inexpensively priced Mac mini may be hard to resist. It’s the gutsiest move yet for Apple, a company that built its reputation on innovation and, up to now, high prices,” Mike Wendland writes for The Detroit Free Press. “Like Apple’s iPod mini digital music player, which was my choice for the hottest high-tech gadget of 2004, the Mac mini is sleek, simple to use and distinctive to look at. It’s much less prone to viruses and the other hack attacks that harass Windows computers. It comes with easy-to-use software that makes a variety of digital tasks, from editing photos to downloading music, simple and intuitive.”

“Best of all, it’s a great value. Though you’ll probably need to buy some extras to get the most out of a mini, the base model sells for $499,” Wendland writes. “Apple doesn’t see the mini as anybody’s first computer. It’s designed to be a replacement for, or an addition to, the PC you already own — and a lure to get you to change the way you use and think about personal computing.”

Wendland writes, “There is something different about a Mac. Some say it’s a Zen-like quality. Others say it’s just friendly. Others use words like elegant and intuitive or charming. Mac fans — zealots by the millions — often even give their computers names. I’m not that rabid, though in full disclosure, I must say I switched from being all-PC to all-Mac two years ago and would never go back.”

“The mini runs on Apple’s rock-solid OS X operating system, the most secure and efficient operating system you can find anywhere for the average personal computer user. There has never been a successful worm or virus attack on OS X. But it’s what comes with the mini that cinches the deal: Apple’s upgraded suite of iLife software –the sweetest, most seamless and easy-to-operate bunch of programs you’ve ever used… On the mini, iLife is the secret weapon, the entryway into that nirvana of the Mac lifestyle. I wouldn’t recommend the mini as the principal computer in your house. But for a second or third one, it’s perfect. I warn you, though: If you buy one, you just may become one of those Mac zealots.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s house of cards is looking pretty shaky lately, don’t you think?

26 Comments

  1. Great that the writer promotes the operating system as well as the hardware. Perhaps Apple’s message is starting to take hold as more and more Windows users realize that they are operating an unstable and insecure OPERATING SYSTEM.

  2. Good article, but he says: “I wouldn’t recommend a Mac mini as a first computer…” . He probably means that with all of the peripherals, the mini is not such a good value.

    I disagree. I have recommended two minis to people who don’t have a computer. One bought a mini with an Apple kb/mouse, and a 17″ VGA monitor. The other bought a mini with a Viewsonic 15″ LCD, keytronic USB keyboard and Logitech mouse.

    Both thought that the mini system was a tremendous value.

  3. With the Mac mini, aside from the RAM, which everybody scrimps on, they didn’t cut back on the essentials to meet the price point like every other manufacturer does. You want to do the things the Mac mini does on a $500 Dell or Gateway you have to upgrade the processor, optical drive and perhaps even get dedicated VRAM.

    Only the first time buyer walks away with their purchase without upgrading a $500 computer. Eventually even they pay for the extras they need.

    With the Mac mini you can use $10 keyboards and mice and $50 monitors. In most cases, with all upgrades and software purchased, the Mac mini is cheaper.

  4. Al’s right and frankly a $75 RAM upgrade is cheap. Dirt cheap. Then you’re up to 512mb and you’re kicking Dell’s wrinkly a$$ all over the playground.

    And to the people who complain that there is no keyboard or mouse…remember when Apple was the first to stop including a floppy disk drive? What the hell can you do with a floppy disk anymore?

    Some people have true vision and the rest have to look through windows…

  5. “It’s much less prone to viruses and the other hack attacks that harass Windows computers”.

    Can someone PLEASE just admit that there are yet NO viruses for OS X?

  6. iVeritas, he does go on to say that there has never been a successful virus or worm attack on OS X, but I agree, I’m not sure why he wrote what you quoted. Mike is usually spot-on.

  7. You said:-
    Can someone PLEASE just admit that there are yet NO viruses for OS X?

    He said:-
    ‘There has never been a successful worm or virus attack on OS X.’

    I say:-
    It pays to read to the bottom.

  8. Bill,

    Apple announces a new computing era: a computer with no display, keyboard or mouse. Who needs them anyway?

    Now if Apple had included that remote control they’ve been working on …

    Oops. There is no NDAed information in the above. Do not sue me, or MDN.

  9. K – With a DVI to Video adapter, you could hook the Mini up to your tv, run the audio through your home stereo…ooooh, and a remote would kick ass! I’d settle for the wireless keyboard and mouse though. Think of it, iTunes streaming internet radio while enjoying your favorite visuals (don’t forget to blink) or perhaps perusing the interwebything on your widescreen tv.

    You’re right K, it is a new era of computing!

  10. I disagree with Mr. Wendland when he says, “I wouldn’t recommend the mini as the principal computer in your house. But for a second or third one, it’s perfect.”

    I’m a graphic designer who does freelance print, web, multimedia, and even some video. The fastest of the four Macs I own is my 667mhz TiBook -about half the speed as the low end mini and 10 gig smaller hard drive. I get by just fine with it, and there aren’t really any technical specs on the TiBook that make it superior to the mini. My TiBook has 768mb of RAM but you could put up to a gig in the mini. My TiBook has a 167mhz front end bus, just like the mini (I think that’s the max for the G4 – that’s the bottleneck everyone always talks about with the G4).

    I think the mini would be just fine as the principle computer in a household. Now what Apple needs to do is offer a low cost 15″ monitor again. The thought of all those Mac minis running on ugly PC monitors makes me ill.

  11. There are a lot of older people who have never got into computers but hear about them all the time and want to try. BUT, they have also heard about all the problems like viruses and spam. Just recently my mother was talking to my uncle and telling him he should get a computer. He replied that he didn’t need all the problems associated with a computer in his life. He doesn’t want to deal with spam or viruses, etc. Mom told him flat out that SHE was on a macintosh and macintoshes don’t get viruses, and she never sees hardly any spam at all. We will have to wait and see if it takes.

    It is so fun to see Mom be such an apple fan now. The other day she was visiting the hospital and they said their computer was down and she said she told them they should get Macintoshes because THEY don’t GO down. It is all thanks to OS X as far as I am concerned. She is a basic basic user and OS X added a new level of simplicity over classic that was just what she needed. (She was on OS 9 before but pretty limited in what she could do-it was mostly just email – now she is into digital photograpy, word processing, web surfing, emailing, and video chatting and actually set up an account at amazon so she can shop a bit on the web too. Next up is music.)

    I hope more potential older Mac users can find out about Macs and OS X. The problem being that the chances of some younger windoze user recommending a windows computer is too high. We need to get the word out to people like this. Macs are just what they are looking for. No problems, easy to use, and lots of fun.

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