Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The new Mac mini

It's been a while but I'm going to offer up a non-political post! Several months ago I set up a blog specifically for geek and Mac related info. Since then I've not posted that kind of content here. I thought I'd make an exception for the readers of this blog that may not read the other. If you've ever thought of buying a Mac but didn't because of the cost, this one may be for you.

The Mac mini is Apple's grand slam. Assuming that Apple can keep up with the demand I think it is a safe bet that the Mac mini will be the Mac that pushes Apple far beyond its historical level of market share. At $499 these little Macs are the least expensive Mac ever made and they are going to sell faster than any other Mac ever made. In fact, they'll sell far more of these than any previous model.



The Mac mini is, in essence, a portable Mac. 2 inches high and 6.5 inches on the four sides, weighing in at 2.9 pounds, this Mac can easily be transported room to room or even taken to work or along for vacation. Hook it up to any usb keyboard/mouse combo, add your monitor or TV, and you're set to go. Like all recent Macs, you can add wireless connectivity with a Airport Extreme Card or Bluetooth. It comes with a DVD/CDR with the possibility of upgrading to a SuperDrive that will also let you burn DVDs. A final thought, a wish really: I think it would be cool if Apple would include a battery for even easier mobility but that's just me and it's certainly not a complaint.

The mini Mac is not perfect though and I'll offer a bit of advice for those planning to buy one: add RAM! My main complaint with Apple's computers is insufficient RAM in the base configuration. OS X is an absolutely fantastic operating system but it really needs a minimum of 512 MB. You've been warned. If you go with the 256 MB you will likely be very frustrated if you try doing anything beyond web browsing and email. In general your Mac mini will run much slower and as you open up multiple apps it will crawl. Upgrade to 512 MB and you'll be fine and the machine will perform at the speed it is capable of even with 6 - 7 open apps. I regularly run my PowerBook (768 MB of RAM) with 8-12 open apps with no problem at all. Of course you can add more than 512 but I think most folks will be happy with that.

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