Computer Shopper reviews Apple’s new Mac mini: ‘Impressive, impressively compact, wrapped in Apple’s excellent OS’

“Apple’s Mac Mini remains an impressive, and impressively compact, piece of hardware, wrapped in Apple’s excellent OS,” Matt Safford reports for ComputerShopper. “The addition of Intel’s ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors makes it more powerful for productivity and media-processing work, even if a lack of discrete graphics limits gaming performance. Plus, the quartet of USB 3.0 ports brings fast external storage options to those unwilling to shell out for pricey Thunderbolt drives.”

“And while we did bemoan the high price of the Fusion Drive, it’s undeniably a compelling option for professionals for whom speedy storage is worth the extra price—as well as speed geeks who don’t want to configure such a solution themselves,” Safford reports.

Apple Mac mini
Apple Mac mini

Advertisement: Apple Mac mini quad-core Intel Core i7 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000 only $894 at MacMall.

“Those opting for a Mac Mini as a second or third home computer, or who don’t do much with their systems besides surf the Web, play Flash games, and write documents, will be well-served by the entry-level $599 model,” Safford reports, “This is especially true if you’ve already got a monitor and a set of peripherals you’re happy with. That said, Mountain Lion incorporates more multi-touch gestures than previous iterations of OS X, so you may want to invest in a touch pad, such as Apple’s very good Magic Trackpad.”

Read more in the full review here.

Related article:
Apple’s new Mac mini offers an attractive bang for the buck – November 2, 2012


  1. I just graduated from my Macbook 2.26 GHz, Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM. I bought the the Middle Mac Mini, the one just below the Fusion Drive. It had 4 GB RAM, 2.3 processor because Parallels was making it unbearable to run, too sloooow. The Mini was also slow with Parallels, very slow, just to run Quicken 2013. I upgraded from the 4 to 8 GHz RAM from Crucial and it zoomed like an iPad 3. Then I saw the Fusion and decided to return my first Mini. I got the Mini with 1.1 something TB drive, 4 GB of RAM, 2.6 processor and with running Parallels, Quicken and MS Office 2010 (need it for work). It turns on and off like magic, slower than an iPad with SSD but like magic fast. Love it. Point is if you’re running Parallels 8 with Windows programs and your ‘puter only has 4 GHz of RAM, it will run slow even with wth the Middle Mini with 4 GB of RAM, get 8 and it will scream, so parallels need a machine that can allocate 4 GB for it and 4 for the MAC, 8 total. Not sure how the Parallels would run on the Fusion Mac Mini with 4 GB, since I started from the beginning with 16 GB RAM from Crucial. I’m not a pro, but here’s my comparison of the middle mini and the fusion. Loading 700 GB of data from my Time Machine, it took 8 hours. The Fusion, it took 4 hours to transfer the data to my latest Mini. 1/2 the time.

    1. “Those opting for a Mac Mini as a second or third home computer, or who don’t do much with their systems besides surf the Web, play Flash games, and write documents, will be well-served by the entry-level $599 model” People who write things like this don’t do much office work. I have such a Mac Mini and it’s the server plus the secretary’s computer, and it’s the print server.

  2. I want something like this JUST to act as my pre 2005 windows games PC running the games at full feature graphics. The monitor would be my iMac through thunder port. If it wasn’t for the graphics I would have bought one.

      1. Previously the size of the Mac mini was primarily governed by the size of the optical drive and then the hard drive. Once Apple move to solid state storage, the only factor absolutely limiting the physical size would be the space needed for the various connectors and they’re getting smaller, as well as giving way to wireless alternatives in some cases.

        Apple will always be looking to make products smaller, lighter, thinner, more efficient and above all, much better. They don’t make products any bigger than they have to be. With a computer that is often hidden out of sight and has no operational controls beyond the on/off switch, the smaller the better as it then becomes more versatile. There is certainly no advantage in making it bigger than it needs to be.

        I would love to see a very small version on the Mac mini which was a lot smaller and thinner, but with fewer ports and more reliance on wireless connections. It could then be concealed behind a flat panel display and wall mounted in bedrooms and kitchens. The existing Mac mini is just a tad too big for what I need and Apple TV isn’t quite powerful enough from a computational point of view. It seems inevitable that one or the other will soon morph into becoming the device that I need.

      2. I don’t know. Why does it need to be as small as it is now? If it was a bit larger, it could use a 3.5-inch hard drive instead of a lower capacity higher cost per GB 2.5-inch hard drive.

        Now that it no longer has an optical drive, it could actually get smaller right now, even if it continues to use Intel. And it probably will, at the next design update.

  3. Pricey thunderbolt drives? Try the buffalo from I bought the 1TB thunderbolt for 179. Hardly expensive.Rigged that up to be the system drive.. Nice inexpensive speed and size update to the internal HD without having to disassemble the MM.

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