“The Apple Mac mini ($874 direct) is still a triumph of compact design and a cool alternative to the tower PC. Other mini PCs, however, are encroaching upon what was once the Mac mini’s sole domain and have worn down its edge a bit over the past year,” Joel Santo Domingo reports for PC Magazine as part of a “Vista Desktops Under $1,000” article. (Yup, that made us throw up in our mouths a little bit, too.)
“The Mac mini (Core Duo) targets the entry-level and mainstream computer user. The 1.66-GHz version with a combo drive starts at $599. The 1.83-GHz SuperDrive-equipped version I review here runs $799. (Apple added $75 for the tested 1GB configuration.) Both configurations are powered by mobile versions of Intel’s Core Duo processor. The rest of the dual-core, single-processor Mac line—the iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro—uses the newer Core 2 Duo processors. In a ‘low-end’ desktop, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s nonetheless a nit,” Santo Domingo reports.
Santo Domingo reports, “With this iteration of the Apple Mac mini, you’re still buying a Mac, with all the benefits and drawbacks. It will have less security problems than a Windows machine, and probably run better. But you also have to learn the quirks of Mac OS X, and it’s less compatible with some programs and peripherals unless you install Boot Camp and Windows. Though the Mac mini still is a compelling choice, Windows systems in this price range are finally comparably compact, and they offer more or better features such as media card readers, larger hard drives, and faster processors. Steve Jobs better have something amazing in his pocket for the next announcement. The competition has caught up to the Mac mini.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Corinne” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Clearly, the Mac mini’s processor is an issue. Does Apple even care about this model anymore? We think it’s around $100 too much across the board and agree with Santo Domingo that a keyboard and mouse should be included. Still, we take exception with two of Santo Domingo’s conclusions:
• You have to learn the quirks of Mac OS X… What a Windows-only sufferer might regard as “quirky,” others understand that reaction is due to being trained only on a Microsoft OS. Having to unlearn Windows’ bad or nonexistent UI conventions does not make for “quirks” in Mac OS X.
• It’s less compatible with some programs and peripherals unless you install Boot Camp and Windows… In which case, of course, it’s the most compatible personal computer available on the planet. What was your point again, Joel?
QuickerTek debuts 802.11n wireless card upgrade for Mac mini – March 26, 2007
Apple ups Mac mini speeds, all models now feature Core Duo processors, prices unchanged – September 06, 2006