TrustedReviews: ‘The Mac mini is a master stroke by Apple’

“Until January 2005, ‘low cost’ and ‘Macintosh’ were words with less association than ‘Pop Idol’ and ‘talent’. In fact, according to Steve Jobs, if he’d received a nickel for every person that had asked him why Apple didn’t offer a stripped down Mac that was more affordable, he’d be a rich man. Now that may not be saying much, as he’s undoubtedly a rich man anyway, but it was certainly a good question and one that the company finally responded to at Macworld this year,” Benny Har-Even writes for TrustedReviews.

“The Mac mini is a master stroke by Apple… aimed at ‘Switcher Man’. This is the Windows user who’s already been turned on to the way Apple does things by the iPod, and is now intrigued by what else it can offer. Previously though, Apple’s high pricing was something of a cold shower for the potential switcher, but when the response to the question, ‘so how much does it cost?’ is a mere £339, Switcher Man is, perhaps for the first time, seriously tempted. However, when you actually see the Mac mini it’s not the price you get excited about, but the size. It’s breath takingly small, packing an entire computer into a box not much bigger than a desktop PCs internal DVD-ROM drive… Of course we’ve seenreally small PCs before but compared to the mini these look very, well, depressingly PC like,” Har-Even writes.

“Life ’05… may be one of the reasons people want to buy a Mac in the first place. While there are apps that do similar things on the Windows platform, none can offer the ease of use, the features and the tight integration of this suite of apps… if you’ve ever seriously considered entering the world of Macs, this is the computer that will make you cross over the edge. Forget the bargain basement entry level price – you need more RAM and a DVD Burner to make the most of this machine and you also need to BYOKM (Bring Your Own Keyboard and Mouse). If you’re cool on Macs, the mini will start to warm you to them, but for those already tempted, we heartily recommend it. If the PC user is a Neanderthal and the Mac user the evolved sophisticate, the Switcher Man, hovering between them, is the missing link – and the Mac mini will be his weapon of choice,” Har-Even writes.

Har-Even gives the Apple Mac mini various scores in his review.
Features – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 9/10

The full review, complete with criticisms of the Mac mini that explain the scores above here.

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24 Comments

  1. I found this line in the full review very significant:

    “However, as ever with Apple products, there are already a wave of accessories available for it, such as this protective case, enabling you to mount it sideways and protect it from damage at the same time.”

    This “as ever” perception is entirely due to the iPod. Now if we could just get the perception that there is software that will do as well or better than anything on the PC we would be all set. The way I see it, the thing that is needed is a CAD program since that is stated as an example of where the Mac is lacking almost every time and a superior game that is only for the Mac or is coming out first for the Mac with the PC port coming a year or so later. Apple should take take the bull by the horns and figure out how to make this happen, whether by producing the software themselves or funding the development by a third party in some way.

    As this review shows, the cost argument has been effectively nullified with the Mac mini. If we could just eliminate the AutoCAD example and be able to cite a significant example where the Mac was superior in Gaming it would effectively counteract the “more software for the PC” myth which is turning out to be the last bastion of desperate self justification and rationalization for people clinging to the windows platform.

    MAW is “wanted” pretty self explanatory.

  2. Ditto to what scott said. Also and freaking 2-button scroll mouse for heaven’s sake. I’m not going to buy a $500 computer and attach a $1000 monitor (Apple’s cheapest LCD). The mini is truly designed for PC users recycling peripherals. It’s obviously not meant for Apple users who care about overall aesthetics. Apple needs a $400 17″ LCD offering. When the cheapest monitor is twice the cost of the PC, something’s wrong.

  3. A good review, with nice big pictures and fair criticisms (such as the quotes below) that do not detract from the overall positive spin. The Verdict is quite funny, if you can get page 3 to load, but what’s a quite [sic] media server?

    Apple has made some harsh compromises – the base spec of 256MB of RAM is not enough to really enjoy MacOS X, especially once users start to delve into what the bundled iLife05 suite of applications can offer. There’s only one internal slot, so any later upgrade would involve throwing away the supplied DIMM and as the mini is not designed to be opened by the user, it’s best to do it straight away.

    The standard hard disk is also under-specced with only 40GB capacity, which could mean you’ve got the bizarre situation of your iPod photo being fed content by a computer with a smaller hard disk.

  4. Wow, now I’m getting goddamned POP-UP ads in Safari, not just pop-unders.

    Magic word “minutes”: As in I’m counting the minutes until Safari and Firefox actually stop pop-ups again.

  5. Hope someone has mailed the writer about the CAD progs for Mac. He needs to publish a correction quickly..

    I just loved this: the “PC user is a Neanderthal and the Mac user the evolved sophisticate”..

    Whoooppp whooop. Banana NoMacForYou, or Ben, or Lisa?!

  6. I don’t care if Macs get up to 95% market share, they’re all still pussies. Nothing like a real machine between your legs. Oh wait that’s my penis.

  7. Sorry, I seem to stand corrected on the CAD software issue. Not being a CAD user myself, I will plead ignorance. But why have I read so often complaints concerning the Mac and CAD stuff? I seem to remember references to AutoCAD. Is there a version of AutoCAD for the Mac? Is this like majorly popular software in the CAD world?

    I still stand by my Game Statement however. Apple should develop for fund a Killer Game and have it always come out for the Mac first so we have a prime example to throw back at the dozer gamers.

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