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Apple Mac mini gets a thorough redesign

When it comes to Apple's computing products, there are a few that seem to not get much attention. The Mac Pro is one of them, and the other is the Mac mini. Today, however, Apple is showing a little bit of love for its tiny little desktop machine.

The Mac mini is now sporting an all new design, which looks to be both flatter and wider. The body is now only 1" thick and is carved from a single piece of aluminum. On the bottom of the device is a circular access panel that allows you to gain access to the memory modules.

The Mac mini now sports either a 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM (up to 8GB is supported). Graphics duties are handled by an NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated GPU with 256MB of DDR3 memory.

Storage duties are handled by either a 320GB or 500GB SATA hard drive. An 8x slot-loading SuperDrive soldiers on for your DVD and CD media.

Port selection includes one Firewire 800 port, four USB 2.0 ports, GbE, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, and an SD slot. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11n.

“The sleek, aluminum Mac mini packs great features, versatility and value into an elegant, amazingly compact design,” said Apple's Philip Schiller. “With twice the graphics performance, HDMI support and industry-leading energy efficiency, customers are going to love the new Mac mini.”

While Apple's new Mac mini is no doubt stylish, you will pay through the nose to get one. Pricing starts at a a whopping $699 (a $100 increase over the previous model) and it is available now from Apple.com.



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By piroroadkill on 6/15/2010 4:48:36 AM , Rating: 5
That isn't the point. The point is that an i5 can potentially run at a lower idle power, and that when you're paying a lot of money for a newer product, you expect that product to actually be better. a 2.4 C2D is not better.


RE: Love the form factor, but shouldn't it be an i5?
By hughlle on 6/15/10, Rating: -1
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/15/2010 5:03:01 AM , Rating: 5
Well, considering they raised the price by $100, they should have given folks a lot more than a C2D.


By hughlle on 6/15/2010 5:15:06 AM , Rating: 5
sorry, it's early, completely missed the $100 hike somehow. in that case i fully agree :)

BAH APPLE!


RE: Love the form factor, but shouldn't it be an i5?
By reader1 on 6/15/10, Rating: -1
By fsardis on 6/15/2010 11:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Except for one little problem: The entire Mac line is not selling well at all and the Mini sells the least of all since they started increasing the price. Let's face it, Apple is a gadget/toy maker, their main income is not from their desktops. Increasing the price on a piece of equipment that has 5 year old technology at its core is a bit ridiculous. The old was selling badly and the new one will sell just as badly.


By DEVGRU on 6/15/2010 12:38:44 PM , Rating: 5
Hey, they have to pay for the Foxconn workers wage increase somehow. Might as well stick it to all of their loyal sheeple, because they can. Baaaaaa.


By themaster08 on 6/15/2010 12:57:37 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The previous $699 Mac Mini was selling well enough that Apple didn't see the need for a $599 version, because people like myself will buy one anyway regardless of the price.
Finished the sentence off for you, friend.


By roadhog1974 on 6/16/2010 11:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
I want one.
Don't want to spend that much though.

So don't have one.

Of course all companys sell their products for as much
as they think they can get.

Windows could certainly be sold cheaper.


By Bateluer on 6/15/2010 5:41:39 AM , Rating: 5
My point exactly. The Mac Mini has an extremely suave and sexy design, but saddling it with a C2D is just plain insulting. An i5 would give more performance per watt.

The Mac Mini is Apple's most compelling, non-phone/ipod, product.


By retrospooty on 6/15/2010 8:17:54 AM , Rating: 4
"The Mac Mini is Apple's most compelling, non-phone/ipod, product. "

I used my friends mac mini as my primary system for a month to get to know the Mac OS... Compelling?

Dood, its a laptop without an LCD. $150 worth of hardware for $700? I dont think so.


By Bateluer on 6/15/2010 8:42:20 AM , Rating: 2
I said 'most compelling' of Apple's product line. Their desktops are outrageously expensive and only those people with lots of cash to burn or a complete ignorance of technology buy them. Their laptops are ok, but priced extremely high as well, and coupled with QA issues that Apple barely acknowledges and never completely resolves.

The form factor of the Mac Mini is ideal for an HTPC, but, as most of us seem to state, its priced itself out of its most ideal market while offering minimal hardware improvements.

Its said though, the closest OEM machine I can think of off the top of my head with a similar form factor is the Dell Zino. The Zino's CPUs are even more underpowered, though it does have the option of discrete video. If Dell were to couple the Zino with a more powerful CPU, say an i3 530 or Athlon II X2 240 and ditch the 3.5in hard drive for a 1.8 or 2.5in hardware, while keeping almost the same price point, the Zino would be fantastic.

For the moment, people looking for decent HTPCs are best served by building their own mini-ITX systems.


By omnicronx on 6/15/2010 12:00:59 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
An i5 would give more performance per watt.
While doing what exactly ? ;)..

They most likely can't package the i5 with an Nvidia integrated GPU, i.e they would be stuck with Intel graphics.

Have fun sitting at CPU high load while doing things such as watching movies at high resolutions (the new mini is suppose to easily support 1080p playback).

So in the end its how you would use your mini, the ppw advantage would dramatically decrease anytime you are using your PC for graphics intensive tasks, and when idle the power drain would not be considerably different. i.e I don't agree with your PPW assessment, if you used it as a HTPC, you could end up consuming more power.

Do I understand the price increase for marginally better hardware?(that is not even really new).. No, but I can understand the choice of sticking with a c2d.(which seems to be more of Nvidias problem than Apples)


By MonkeyPaw on 6/15/2010 7:41:21 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Well, considering they raised the price by $100, they should have given folks a lot more than a C2D.


Remember when the Macmini was affordable? This product has completely lost it's niche. I remember buying the original for, what, $399? It is now a $699 piece of hardware. I don't care how thin it is or how cool it looks, it's just too expensive. In a world where most companies update the specs of hardware and keep the price the same, Apple goes and jacks the price up some more. So much for an entry level Mac.


By Spivonious on 6/15/2010 10:11:18 AM , Rating: 4
But it's white! But it's got half-eaten fruit on it!


By Dennis Travis on 6/15/2010 12:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
Just a note. The first G4 low end Mini was $499 and not $399. I wish they would have kept a lower cost version in the lineup.


By nafhan on 6/15/2010 8:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
The reason for sticking with Core 2 might also have something to do with the graphics chip/chipset they are using. Maybe they want to stick with the Nvidia chipset for some reason.
Anyway, plastic body instead of aluminum and drop the price to $500 would be much better IMO. If you buy this, you're buying it because it's pretty or so you can tell your friends you have a Mac. I just bought a $400 laptop that had similar specs.


By KillerNoodle on 6/15/2010 9:18:41 AM , Rating: 3
Are you sure that the price increase is not due to the increased manufacturing costs at Foxconn?


By fsardis on 6/15/2010 11:47:06 AM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm?

They sacrificed 0.07% of their profit margins to help Foxconn workers and to make up for it they charge $100 extra on a piece of technology so outdated that it should belong in a museum. We are talking 2006 technology here, sold for the price of a mid-range modern system.


By KillerNoodle on 6/15/2010 1:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes.


By brshoemak on 6/15/2010 8:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
so maybe they're trying to keep costs down for the end user


Whaa? Sorry, I must have misread the title of the article, I could have sworn it said "Apple" in there. My mistake.


By omnicronx on 6/15/2010 11:51:30 AM , Rating: 1
I don't think they can combine an nvidia integrated gpu of that calibre with an i5..(as per Nvidia's legal issues) They would have to include a dedicated GPU or use Intel integrated graphics.

When it comes down to it, what will make the most impact for the kind of things the mac mini will be used for? GPU power? (so you can watch HD video etc) or increased clockspeed?

I'll have to go with the former.. CPU speed is irrelevant if you can't make use of it, and I really doubt you can do things such as output 1080p video with Intel integrated graphics, iCore5 or not..


By Pirks on 6/15/2010 12:26:35 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I really doubt you can do things such as output 1080p video with Intel integrated graphics, iCore5 or not
Read this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/3
and this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/4

Don't you see that you look like an idiot now, omni? ;)

Stop spewing BS about i5 being unable to play back 1080p videos or play old or low detail games, or else I'll drawn your sorry ass with links to i5 reviews that show how idiotic your comments are ;)

You just have to keep up to date with Anand's reviews, that should be easy enough for ya buddy :))


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