Apple launches ‘Mac mini Test Drive’ promo: try it for 30 days – full refund if you don’t love it

Apple today launched the “Test Drive a Mac mini” (try it for 30 days – send it back if you don’t love it) promotion in a show of confidence that buyers will like their Mac mini so much that they won’t want to give it back.

Apple Mac mini Test Drive (ends on October 31, 2005)

Choose from three Mac mini models starting at just $499 and an optional Apple keyboard and mouse.

Just 6.5 inches square and 2 inches tall — and with a miniscule price to match — Mac mini delivers what you need to have more fun with your music, photos and movies. It works with both Mac- and PC-compatible peripherals, so it’s easy to upgrade from an older system or set it up side-by-side with another computer. Simply plug in a monitor, a USB keyboard and mouse, and you’ll be up and running in minutes.

Your Mac mini includes more than a dozen full-featured applications for emailing, instant messaging, browsing and more. And it comes with Apple’s award-winning iLife ‘05 digital media programs. You can make home movies, edit and print photos, burn custom mix CDs, even compose your own music. Best of all, everything runs on top of Mac OS X Tiger, the world’s most advanced, stable, easy-to-use operating system.

We’re so confident you’ll love your new Mac mini, we’ll let you test drive it for 30 days with no risk. If you decide you don’t want it, we’ll take it back. Here’s how the test drive works:

1. Purchase a new Mac mini from the Apple Store online. You can also get an Apple keyboard and mouse, such as our new Mighty Mouse.
2. Set it up and start enjoying it.
3. If you don’t love it, call us within 30 days of your order and we’ll arrange for you to return your system — including the Apple keyboard and mouse — for a full refund.

Hurry — this test drive ends on October 31, 2005.

More info: Apple Mac mini Test Drive (ends on October 31, 2005)

Terms & Conditions

If you make your purchase between August 30, 2005, and October 31, 2005, Apple will allow you to evaluate any combination of a Mac Mini, a keyboard and a mouse under its “Test Drive” program, subject to Apple’s standard Sales and Refunds Policy and the Return & Refund Policy below:

RETURN & REFUND POLICY If you are not satisfied with your online purchase of a preconfigured (non-customized) Mac mini (model nos. M9686LL/B, M9687LL/B, and M9971LL/B only) and any Apple keyboard (model nos. M9034LL/A and M9270LL/A) or mouse (model nos. MA086LL/A and M9269Z/A) you purchase at the same time, please call 1-800-676-2775 for a Return Material Authorization (RMA) request within 30 calendar days after you receive your products. Please have your web order number and your products’ serial numbers available for the Apple operator, as you will need them to request an RMA. If you return your products in their original, unmarked packaging, including any accessories, manuals, documentation, and registration cards that shipped with them, we will exchange your products or offer you a refund based on your original method of payment. The Mac mini may not be returned if the UPC has been removed from the box. You must return your products to the Apple warehouse within 14 calendar days of the issuance of the RMA or the RMA will expire. Apple will refuse any returns unaccompanied by a valid RMA. Apple will not charge a restocking fee.

NOTE: Apple recommends that you (1) use a carrier that offers shipment tracking for all returns and (2) either insure your package for safe return to Apple or declare the full value of the shipment so that you are completely protected if the shipment is lost or damaged in transit. If you choose not to (1) use a carrier that offers tracking and (2) insure or declare the full value of the product, you will be responsible for any loss or damage to the product during shipping. Please note that the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers limited tracking capabilities and that there is a 30-calendar-day waiting period before the USPS will initiate a trace.

This Return & Refund Policy will only apply to one Mac mini, one Apple keyboard, and one Apple mouse, even if purchased with other items on the same web order. Apple’s standard Return & Refund Policy will apply to those other items.

Windows-only users, you have no excuses now!

In 1984, Apple ran the “Test Drive a Macintosh” promotion which “allowed people to borrow Macs from their computer dealers to try out. The idea was to get potential customers hooked on the Mac interface so that they would buy it rather than having to return it. Unfortunately it coincided with the Christmas rush, and dealers simply wanted no part of the additional hassle involved in administering loaner units. In retrospect, Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki called it: ‘Right thing, wrong way.’ The ‘Test Drive a Macintosh’ program also was problematic in that it was primarily aimed at consumers instead of businesses, and made potential business customers feel it demonstrated that Apple lacked discipline and focus.” – Leigh Kimmel

Ads and brochure for that campaign can be found here: (scroll down the page a bit)

Related articles:
Apple enhances Mac mini with double the memory across the line – July 26, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini, iPod shuffle take Gold in 2005 Industrial Design Excellence Awards – June 24, 2005
Popular Science: ‘Apple’s tiny and affordable Mac mini does it all’ – May 20, 2005
PC World: Apple Mac mini an ‘impressive small system could tempt you to become a Mac user’ – April 29, 2005
The Baltimore Sun: Apple’s Mac mini is ‘a little jewel of a computer’ – March 25, 2005
Tired of defending Windows? Apple’s Mac mini might be the machine for you – March 24, 2005
Apple’s rapt attention to Mac mini’s design is evident inside and outside the box – March 23, 2005
Personal Computer World review gives Apple’s ‘Mac mini’ 4 out of 5 stars – March 22, 2005
Dell can’t match Apple’s Mac mini – March 21, 2005
Apple’s $500 Mac mini may cause Windows PC homes to become Macintosh homes – March 20, 2005
PC Pro: Apple’s Mac mini offers ‘lovely touches that Microsoft can’t match’ – March 17, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini ‘a true desktop beauty’ packed with software that amazes – March 17, 2005
Apple’s Mac Mini turns commodity computing into fine computing – March 15, 2005
Sick of your Windows PC? It’s time to move on with your iLife with Apple’s new ‘Mac mini’ – March 09, 2005
Tech writer Fasoldt: Apple’s Mac mini includes ‘outstanding, superb’ software – March 09, 2005
Educators and students will want Apple Mac mini computers – March 07, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini ‘a money-saving option for PC users who want to test-drive Apple’s reputation’ – March 06, 2005
TrustedReviews: ‘The Mac mini is a master stroke by Apple’ – March 01, 2005
Apple iMac G5, Mac mini models hold top 5 spots on Amazon’s Desktop Computer Top Sellers list – March 01, 2005
PC World gives Apple’s Mac mini 4 out of 5 stars – February 26, 2005
Apple Mac mini ‘perfect for computer user who wants to leave the tyranny of Window and viruses’ – February 26, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini might well convince Windows users to switch to Mac OS X – February 22, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Apple’s Mac Mini is a device of the most cunningly crafted evil’ – February 18, 2005
CNET Executive Editor switches to Mac and he ‘ain’t ever going back’ to Windows – February 17, 2005
Tom’s Hardware: Apple Mac mini’s size, design, attractive price sets it apart – February 16, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini is a convincing shot across Bill Gates’ bow – February 15, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini makes using a Mac more affordable and more attractive than ever to Windows users – February 08, 2005
Washington Times: ‘Mac mini raises the bar for what a good, low-price computer can and should do’ – February 08, 2005
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New Mac mini helps Apple get its secret weapon – creative software – in front of Windows users – February 08, 2005
The Seattle Times: Apple’s new Mac mini is ‘tiny, beautiful and dirt cheap’ – February 05, 2005
BusinessWeek: Apple’s Mac mini comes with elegant, stable Mac OS X and very good software – February 03, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini is an attractive option to Windows-based PCs – February 02, 2005
Computerworld: Apple Computer ‘has a hit on its hands with the new Mac Mini’ – February 01, 2005
Apple’s Mac mini offers relief from Windows viruses and malware – January 30, 2005
Associated Press: With Apple’s Mac mini ‘you could abandon Windows altogether’ – January 27, 2005
CBS News: Grab a new Apple Mac mini ‘and kiss the old Wintel machine goodbye’ – January 27, 2005
AnandTech reviews Apple’s Mac mini: ‘tempting Windows users everywhere’ – January 26, 2005
Classic Restorations first to offer custom Apple Mac Mini auto installations – January 14, 2005
Apple introduces Mac mini, most affordable Mac ever starts at just $499 – January 11, 2005


  1. Windows users still have an excuse. Most of them don’t have an extra
    $599.00 laying around. After their day job at 711, and with the rising cost of everything, especially gas for the pickup, we don’t have any money to buy diddly moreso a mac mini with.

  2. This is brilliant. It shows confidence and lets people feel like they have an “out” if it doesn’t work for them (I suspect a small minority). I agree with G: Apple needs to ADVERTISE!

  3. Well, all the people who have whined about Apple not doing this, stop whining.

    Ben Duncedale, nice negative spin. Why does everything have to be a sign of weakness on their part? To guys like you the glass is always half empty.

  4. Ben: How do you know that the mac mini isn’t selling?

    Sculley tried this when he was at Apple and failed miserably then again Apple doesn’t have the quality control problems that it had back then.

  5. What is a good (cheaper) alternative to an Apple display?

    I want to send this promo to a friend, but need to recommend a whole package. I know that she will not consider spending $999 on a 20″ Apple display.


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