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Updated Mac Mini Aims For the Living Room

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the need-a-review-unit dept.

638

WrongSizeGlass noted that besides the pre-order of the new iPhone appearing on the Apple store today, Apple has revved the Mac Mini and started selling those too. "PC World is reporting on the latest version of Apple's Mac Mini. At only 1.4-inches tall the unibody aluminium enclosure includes an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and more graphics and processing power. Even the power supply is inside now. The base model comes with 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk — for $699. Graphics power comes from an NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU (as found in lower-end MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops). Apple appears to be aiming for living rooms by including the HDMI port and eliminating the external power brick."

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Expensive (1, Troll)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577778)

Buy it with a screen and a keyboard ant it will cost you more that a 27" iMac with a quad Core i7.

Re:Expensive (3, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577840)

The Mini was always aimed at people who already had a screen and keyboard.

Re:Expensive (4, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578304)

Look at the UK prices. Once you take off VAT at 17.5%, and then convert to US$, it is 17% more expensive.

Also, the Mac Mini first started at £399 when it was introduced, and affordable computer, it now starts at £649, with mediocre hardware.

It's a rip off, for sure!

Re:Expensive (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578348)

Apologies, UK is 17% more expensive than in sale in the USA.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32577926)

What's more telling is the base 27" iMac - with a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo.

A new Mac mini with 2.4GHz C2D with Dell 27" LED display is $1799.
27" iMac with 3.06GHz C2D is $1699.

The iMac has is faster, has more RAM, has wireless keyboard + mouse, and has a larger drive (3.5" vs. 2.5").

I think Apple went the wrong way... no one really wants a smaller mini, they want a bigger mini - with a 3.5" SATA drive, maybe an eSATA port and a Blu-ray option.

Re:Expensive (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578110)

If it is quiet and lacks a blinding blue LED on the front, it will appeal to a lot of people who want a media center. Its size will make it appeal to people who want a basic computer that hides away easily. Also, why pick a $1000 monitor? If people are looking for a budget Mac, don't you think they'd buy a $200 monitor? The whole setup with keyboard, mouse, and sales tax is still going to be less than $1100. Last, computers are so fast anymore, that people's experience is limited more by their broadband connection than how fast Firefox starts up (except for gamers of course).

Re:Expensive (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578232)

Because he was comparing to another Apple product and wanted the most similar display he could find.

A larger version with a 3.5" drive would appeal MORE to people who want a media center, and a lower cost machine by virtue of a 3.5" drive would appeal MORE to those who want a basic computer. $1100 is outrageous today for a machine with such modest capability.

Re:Expensive (4, Informative)

BacOs (33082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577940)

A Mac Mini sized Dell Zino [dell.com] with HDMI starts at $249.99.

Re:Expensive (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578126)

In terms of being an HTPC...

The mini didn't need to be any smaller. It didn't need a more powerful GPU. It also didn't need a price increase.

It already had to deal with competitors 1/3rd it's price.

Allowing for "more" in the mini itself would have been a better idea.

Also, moving the power supply into the main case is a DUMB idea because it
complicates cooling issues. There was really no problem with it being on the
outside. In back of a TV stand, it really won't matter if there's a power
brick back there too.

It's nice that Apple has finally decided to acknowledge HDMI though.

Re:Expensive (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578280)

In terms of being a Fisher Price walled garden...

Fixed that for you.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578322)

In terms of being an HTPC...

What the hell is a 'Hot Top PC'?

Re:Expensive (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578196)

"Mac Mini sized"? Are you kidding? The Mac Mini is less than half the size!

Re:Expensive (3, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578248)

It is worth noting that the cheapest dual-core model of the Zino is $499, still cheaper than the Mini, but it also has the trendy-retro-60s-ugliness-fit-for-goodwill type look which the Mini lacks.

Re:Expensive (2, Interesting)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578344)

I got an Acer Revo with the Nvidia Ion GPU for about that price ($250) about a year ago.

I connected a 1 TB external drive via the eSATA port and the thing works great. It is not speedy but the ION allows it to play just about any HD video with only a slight increase in CPU load. It is pretty close to silent.

I guess this mac must have better specs, but I can't imagine what would justify such a high price. Small, silent computers were expensive several years ago, but now they are cheap.

Cheap (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577958)

Buy it with a screen and a keyboard ant it will cost you more that a 27" iMac with a quad Core i7.

But what if I already have a screen and don't want to buy a screen with my Mac?

Or use it as a media PC where the screen is my TV...

You can just as easily say the screen is bundled at a discount with the iMac.

Re:Expensive (0, Troll)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578044)

Troll? Come on, one of the big differences in this revision was the price hike (the vary first Mini was HALF the current UK price). This has got to the point where the Mini is not a cheap option, even if you don't care about specs.

Re:Expensive (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578270)

The very first mini was fairly obviously intended to allow people who already had a PC to give Apple a go by making something cheap and cheerful with just about adequate performance for basic purposes.

Which was exactly what it was for me - and, I suspect, quite a few others.

Seems to me that Apple have decided that they no longer need to have such a product in their lineup.

Re:Expensive (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578408)

It doesn't actually have to be cheap in order to be the cheapest mac.

Apple TV (1, Insightful)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577798)

Looks like what they should have done years ago instead of that stupid Apple TV.

Re:Apple TV (5, Insightful)

nicholasjay (921044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578074)

Without a BluRay player, even as an option, its a deal breaker. If the only way they expect me to get content onto the device is to go through iTunes, then I'm not buying.

Even something like EyeTV for recording television seems like a half assed solution, when Apple has the opportunity to do it right.

Re:Apple TV (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578242)

Blu-Ray is dead, it just doesn't know it yet.

Remember, Apple doesn't plan a couple quarters ahead, it plans years ahead. And it knows that you can already stream an HD movie or TV show faster than you could get up off your couch and go buy or rent it physically.

Also, there's nothing to stop you buying an external BD player. Newegg has 'em under $150.

Re:Apple TV (3, Informative)

Burdell (228580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578470)

you can already stream an HD movie or TV show faster than you could get up off your couch and go buy or rent it physically

Wally-world is 3 minutes from my house. I can be there and back in 15 minutes from when I decide to go. They actually have a decent selection of Blu-Ray movies these days, including a number in the cheap bins. Blu-Ray supports up to 36 megabits per second, which is faster than the Internet access at the vast majority of homes in the US. For example, to get Blu-Ray quality video on my 6 meg DSL, for a 2 hour movie I'd have to wait for up to 10 hours of "buffering" before I could "stream" the video. If you only did half the max quality level of Blu-Ray (18 meg) and your Internet connection was twice as fast (12 meg), you'd still have to wait an hour before starting to watch a 2 hour movie. And that assumes there's a server farm somewhere that can feed a whole bunch of 18-36 meg streams simultaneously.

Also, there's nothing to stop you buying an external BD player. Newegg has 'em under $150.

Does Apple include Blu-Ray player software (complete with all the necessary DRM support so you can actually get 1080p)? A drive is useless without the software, and the software included with the drive will be for Windows, not Mac OS X.

Re:Apple TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578346)

there are lots of ways to get content onto the machine. Just because it doesn't support the one format you want, don't act like iTunes is the only alternative. This is logically false

Thanks (3, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577802)

Thanks Apple. I really needed yet another device to want to buy, especially given that I've just bought myself an iPad and my girlfriend an iPod Touch. This really seems like an Apple TV-on-steroids that I'd love to have. Thanks.

My bank account thanks you too.

Signed, an unabashed Apple Fanboi.

Re:Thanks (0)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577848)

especially given that I've just bought myself an iPad and my girlfriend an iPod Touch

*laugh* In the last two months, I've bought an iPod classic and an iPad. I hear you.

Re:Thanks (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578040)

Tell me, if Steve told you to jump off a bridge, would you ask which one?

Re:Thanks (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578054)

Tell me, is jumping off a bridge the same as a computer?

Re:Thanks (-1, Flamebait)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578112)

Well if you use Windows, you may wish to jump off a bridge.

Overpriced POS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32577808)

Leave it to Apple to charge you for $1k for 4 year old hardware.

Price to high on board vidoe and 2gb ram + core 2 (-1, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577822)

Price to high on board video and 2gb ram + core 2 at that price??

and only a 320g 5400 HDD??

For $800-$1000 you can get a core i5 / i7 or amd quad with a good video card and 4gb system ram.

and NO cable card / tru2way system?? people may want some like that for there TV as well.

Re:Price to high on board vidoe and 2gb ram + core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32577936)

Will it run osx? Will it be small enough to sit discreetly on my desk and can be easily unplugged, put in my backpack and carried to work? This things matter for some people. I don't care about fancy video cards as I don't play games, but I'm not going to condescending some that does and pay $300 for a game card.

Re:Price to high on board vidoe and 2gb ram + core (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578192)

There are any number of small PCs to choose from if you don't care about "fancy video cards" or "gaming".

Infact, by discounting both of those use cases you've opened the field to competitors that I am sure you will try to claim are inferior (and do massive backpedalling in the process).

The real question is suitability for a particular set of requirements. With more diverse choices in non-Apple gear, you're much more likely to find something that is cheaper while still being perfectly suitable for the purpose. Playing games with tech specs ultimately doesn't matter.

Re:Price to high on board vidoe and 2gb ram + core (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577946)

why was this modded troll? I think its way overpriced. Or put another way, you pay for the small design and not for the specs. Which is IMHO a valid point the parent poster made.

There are still people in this world that think specs > outer design. sigh.

Re:Price to high on board vidoe and 2gb ram + core (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578134)

Price to high on board video and 2gb ram + core 2 at that price??

Yeah. I mean, 75% of why I'd want a computer hooked up to the TV is so I could play video games on the TV. Why cripple it with a crappy video chipset?

Or maybe more to the point, why the hell doesn't Apple sell a mid-range desktop? Something that is (1) not all-in-one (so not the iMac), (2) has decent specs (so not the Mini), and yet (3) is affordable (so not the Mac Pro)?

I'm not saying I'd necessarily get one (I'd have to actually see the offering before deciding), but if they don't sell them I'm definitely not going to.

Just remember (1, Insightful)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577828)

For all its sexiness (and $699, apparently) it comes with no screen, keyboard or mouse. Granted, people will probably use this with their TV, but having no bundled keyboard/mouse is a real shame. And to think that the Mini was supposed to be an entry point (price-wise) in the Apple Mac world.

Also, no Blue-Ray option?

Re:Just remember (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577892)

For all its sexiness (and $699, apparently) it comes with no screen, keyboard or mouse. Granted, people will probably use this with their TV, but having no bundled keyboard/mouse is a real shame. And to think that the Mini was supposed to be an entry point (price-wise) in the Apple Mac world.

I think the part we're supposed to be shocked about is that they really do consider this to be an entry price.

Whenever I replace my current mini I think I'll probably go the hackintosh route with one of the small form factor PC cases. I really do like having a computer permanently hooked up to my TV.

Re:Just remember (2, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577894)

I thought the iMac was the entry point.

Re:Just remember (1)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578226)

I thought the iMac was the entry point.

Actually they call them gateways instead of entry points, you know as in gateway drug...

Re:Just remember (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577968)

I've never bought an Apple product, but presumably they sell keyboards and mice in the Apple store. That way you can choose between a standard one, and a wireless one, or whatever.

I'd prefer PCs in normal stores to come with no keyboard and mouse, the provided ones are typically crap anyway.

Re:Just remember (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578132)

The iPad is the new $499 entry point to the Apple World. Times are changing.

Re:Just remember (4, Insightful)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578308)

Agreed. I like apple products - they're pretty slick. But for half the price you could get about the same by buying a Dell laptop and keeping the lid closed. For the extra cash a keyboard, mouse, display, and Blue-Ray drive would cost, why wouldn't you?

I like apple, but GOD DAMN, do they need to look at reality once in awhile. I might buy this if it was $300-$350. That would be a pretty good deal, I think. I could build better for that price, but not in that small a form factor. A little realism in their pricing might be a very good thing for them.

Price point creeping up (1, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577844)

I have a mini. Bought it two years ago. The idea was to get my feet wet in the wide world of mac. A big deciding factor was that the mini was so much cheaper than the imac, the next lowest model. And my TV had a VGA in port so I figured it was necessary to finally get the living room computer.

So with the current mini you're looking at doubling the ram like you always have to for a stock machine and it's a proprietary case not meant for user fiddling so you have to pay the mac store to install the ram, then you have to get the mouse and keyboard which will be wireless and thus more expensive, plus any other accessories you might pick up. Over $1000 easy. Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it. My mini's hard drive took a shit at one year plus two months. They told me I was SOL.

I like OSX but Apple hardware is nowhere near the high-end, premium, top of the line reliable they keep trying to claim it is. It's the same shit that goes into all the other consumer computers and breaks about as frequently. Ok, let me take that back. HP laptops break even more frequently than that.

Re:Price point creeping up (5, Informative)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577896)

So with the current mini you're looking at doubling the ram like you always have to for a stock machine and it's a proprietary case not meant for user fiddling so you have to pay the mac store to install the ram

They actually designed the case so the RAM is user upgradable, just scroll down http://www.apple.com/macmini/design.html [apple.com]

Re:Price point creeping up (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577928)

They actually designed the case so the RAM is user upgradable, just scroll down http://www.apple.com/macmini/design.html [apple.com] [apple.com]

That's a nice change. How about the hard drive? Doesn't say whether you can get at it from there. You'd have to look at the dissection guide for the older minis to believe just how awful they were to work on. Not meant to be opened. Lots of stuff to break. Like twiddling with laptop bits, all the delicate plastic ribbon cables and parts that could bend and break just by looking at them crosseyed.

Re:Price point creeping up (-1, Troll)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577956)

Oh my fucking Christ, that was not trolling. Trolling is saying "Ha ha! Jobs is gonna die from cancer! Mac bois, where is your God now?" Trolling is modding someone down for stating a balanced opinion in light of personal experience.

Re:Price point creeping up (-1, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578088)

Why was this modded troll? Once again "Troll" and "Flamebait" are not synonyms for "Person I disagree with."

Re:Price point creeping up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578302)

Because the statement about the RAM is wrong, the case is specifically designed to make RAM upgrades easier than ever on a Mini. Also, the standard warranty is 1 year on all parts.

But you're right. It should simply sit at 0/Overrated rather than Troll or Flamebait.

Re:Price point creeping up (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578154)

so you have to pay the mac store to install the ram

It's not easy to replace the RAM as in other cases, but there are a number of guides online how to do it. The only unique tool you will need is a putty knife.

then you have to get the mouse and keyboard which will be wireless and thus more expensive, plus any other accessories you might pick up.

You don't have to get a wireless keyboard and mouse. You can use USB ones. Or if you already have one like from Logitech it will work.

Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it. My mini's hard drive took a shit at one year plus two months. They told me I was SOL.

The warranty is one year [apple.com] not one month. One year is fairly standard. And no one is forcing you to buy a service plan.

In your case the HD failed, not the MB so I don't see how your are SOL. HDs fail and the HD isn't a part that Apple manufactures so they don't have control over the quality of it. Replace it and you still have a computer. You'll lose all your data if you didn't perform regular backups

Re:Price point creeping up (1)

jochem_m (1718280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578434)

not to mention that the HDD is probably made by samsung, WD, hitachi, or some other manufacturer... all of whom will probably offer you the default factory warranty of at least 2 years.

2GB fine for living room computer (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578212)

So with the current mini you're looking at doubling the ram like you always have to for a stock machine and it's a proprietary case not meant for user fiddling so you have to pay the mac store to install the ram, then you have to get the mouse and keyboard which will be wireless and thus more expensive

If you were going to use it as a main computer, I could see the need to add more RAM - but 2GB is plenty for a media system. You can pay only $100 more for 4GB if it freaks you out to use a putty knife to open the case, but honestly it's not that big a deal.

As for the wireless mouse/keyboard - you don't have to have wireless, since they are tucked out of the way most of the time. If you have an iPad or iPhone already you can use that to control the mini. And honestly, what other media PC's ship with wireless mice and keyboards?

I like OSX but Apple hardware is nowhere near the high-end, premium, top of the line reliable they keep trying to claim it is. It's the same shit that goes into all the other consumer computers and breaks about as frequently.

Beyond hard drives dying (which happens to everything) I have found macs to be more reliable. I have a laptop I've been using daily over seven years. I have a mac mini I've been using as a media PC since the first Intel Mac minis came out, using that almost daily and it's never had an issue. And the thing is, even if the hardware is not really that much different than what you could buy elsewhere, the software reliability and resilience against viruses is still higher. It's still a more stable configuration overall, and for anyone that buys any media with iTunes it's far, far better to run iTunes on a Mac than a Windows box.

Re:2GB fine for living room computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578340)

for anyone that buys any media with iTunes it's far, far better to run iTunes on a Mac than a Windows box.

Sound like they're using their monopoly possition to their advantage over the competition... If this were the other way around you'd be crying for government action against MS.

Re:Price point creeping up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578368)

Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it.

Apple provides a one-year warranty that can be extended to three years with AppleCare. Not a "flat one month warranty" as you stated.

Re:Price point creeping up (5, Informative)

psergiu (67614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578472)

> Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it.

In what God-forsaken country do you live ? In all of the EU all the Apple products have a two-year national warranty (including a one year international warranty coverage) by default.
Also: no other company would have replaced a component they don't manufacture (the hdd) after the warranty expired.

You're a troll.

Re:Price point creeping up (4, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578482)

Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it. My mini's hard drive took a shit at one year plus two months. They told me I was SOL.

AFAIK this is totally wrong? I thought all Apple products come with a one year warranty (90 days of phone support).

You could also have bought a 3 year warranty (Which I never do on something this cheap) for like $150 iirc.

Sucks that the drive broke, but surely a slashdotter could open a mac mini and replace the drive easily enough? I've done so on many models of iMac (even back it was hard!)

Hot? (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577854)

So no real external storage with eSATA and will the thing cope with over heating better or worse than the current line?

Why is FW800 not sufficient for storage? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578022)

So no real external storage with eSATA

FW800 is more than enough to handle 1080p video.

and will the thing cope with over heating better or worse than the current line?

Mine doesn't overheat...

Re:Why is FW800 not sufficient for storage? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578278)

No issues with my late 09 overheating. 4 gb of ram user installed, works fine.

When my Macbook Pro dies... (0)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577856)

I'll pick up a Mini and an iPad.

Seems like an ideal combination.

surround sound maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32577860)

complete multimedia center would imply a better sound output than a 3.5mm audio jack.. for $700 maybe it should be able to easily connect to a separate audio system

Re:surround sound maybe? (2, Informative)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578106)

The 3.5mm audiojack has mini-Toslink built in.

World's moxt expensive DVD player (2, Interesting)

SpudB0y (617458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577864)

A home theater system with no Blu-Ray. Might as well buy a PS3.

Re:World's moxt expensive DVD player (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578358)

Blur ray DRM was viewed as an OS X killer and a hardware cash blackhole.
So you get to make blurays on a Mac and watch rented DRMed media on a set top box for now.
It could change with a new DRM OS. Until then you have VLC :)

Re:World's moxt expensive DVD player (2)

jochem_m (1718280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578474)

cheaper too!

Looks good but.. (2, Interesting)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577880)

Looks good, but sacrificing a frontal USB port just for aesthetics? .... meh.

I don't quite see it fitting into the living room. For that price I would expect a mac mini which works as a media box and has a natal/kninect interface. THAT would be killer! IMHO.

Re:Looks good but.. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578148)

It does work as a media box, it's called Front Row and it's been included with OS X since 10.5 (and was included on selected models before then).

Re:Looks good but.. (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578150)

> Looks good, but sacrificing a frontal USB port just for aesthetics? .... meh.

You forgot who you were talking about.

Re:Looks good but.. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578428)

If you care about having the ports in the front... Put the Mac Mini facing backwards. Or sideways... It is just a small box not like it is a big bulky thing like a VCR player.
Being that the device is ascetic it means you can place it in a more visibile spot where you can easily reach your arms around it and plug in the USB devices from behind.

too much form, no enough function (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578468)

Apple has got to start making some decently priced computers for those that don't want to shell out for a desktop (2500$ +) and don't need the integrated monitor.

I've seen a lot of photography hobyist jump to PCs and I expect that trend to continue.

I built a hackintosh, but thats clearly not for everybody.

Good, but not so good. (2, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577910)

I disagree with the notion that the new Mini is aimed at the living room, because this $699 box is $300-$400 more than the Boxee Box, Popcorn Hour and other less-expensive media players. It's more likely that the Mini's primary market is education and home users who want a desktop Mac for under $1K.

Re:Good, but not so good. (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578238)

Or maybe its aimed at the living rooms of Apple users.

In other words, it is not meant to make new converts, it is meant for a segment of Apple users who are (a) wealthier and less price sensitive then the average user, and (b) locked into the Apple platform to a certain extent (though much less so for mac then for iOS).

A new and aggressively priced Apple TV is probably still in the works. This is just about revenue generation - imagine their margin on this thing!

Re:Good, but not so good. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578276)

...except the previous form factor was fine for that.

They really didn't have to go jacking up the price while giving the appearance of chasing nettops.

Re:Good, but not so good. (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578430)

But unlike the boxee box, this mac mini isn't just vaporware.

Man I wish the boxee box was real, it's just what i'm after.

Deal breaker (2, Insightful)

spudnic (32107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577938)

Unless I'm missing something, this seems like a really stupid mistake that would be a deal breaker for any use in the living room.

"and if you have a separate sound system, you can use the audio out 3.5mm jack (no real surround sound here, unfortunately) for your home cinema."

Re:Deal breaker (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32577988)

The 3.5mm audio jack also houses an optical output.

Re:Deal breaker (5, Informative)

benbean (8595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578010)

It's one of Apple's magic combined analog/digital 3.5mm jacks. Plug in an optical TOS cable and you've got your digital audio. It's what I do on my iMac.

Re:Deal breaker (0)

spudnic (32107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578028)

Hmmm... It seems like the author of TFA would have known this. Thanks for the clarification.

Re:Deal breaker (1)

cehf2 (101100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578072)

One of the best things about the old mac minis is they had optical digital audio output in the 3.5mm jack as well - if they have kept that then you should be able to get proper surround sound....

Crispin

The external power brick was better (5, Insightful)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577952)

I liked more the external power brick, because it's a component that generates lots of heat and it was passively cooled. If you put it inside the Mac Mini it will inevitably cause more fan noise than a similar solution with external power supply.

Re:The external power brick was better (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578180)

No you use the apple innovative cooling system. Of picking it up and dropping it for the circuits to reseat themselves.
In reality I think the heat generated from the Power Block is small compared to what the CPU does. And the existing power cooling system may be good enough for it.

Re:The external power brick was better (2, Insightful)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578186)

Apple makes pretty silent computers. They would've figured how to make it quiet.

Re:The external power brick was better (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578414)

Heh. That's a good one. I invite you to experience the raw, thigh-scorching might of my MBP as it struggles to convert a couple hundred Canon raw files to DNG.

Re:The external power brick was better (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578250)

And if the brick dies (gets bricked?) you don't have to send in the computer for repair, assuming you know it's the brick. For products with more standard power bricks, you can probably go to a local store to get a new one.

I know some people complain about them, but they make much more sense IMHO. Maybe we'll see more of them for the newer LED-backlit LCD monitors coming out. I know one of the newest LG models is like this. Makes the panel a lot thinner too.

I'd be concerned about overheating (2, Insightful)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577966)

I don't know about you, but the internal power supply would make me really concerned that this thing would run hot.

Also, I had some high hopes when I read they were revving the mini - I was hoping it would have an i5 (and maybe even an i7 option).

Basically, I want an iMac, but I've got my own screens - just never gonna convince me to buy an all-in-one like that, but the Pros are overkill.

Better graphics: yay

Unibody (unopenable) case: BOO
Still Core2 instead of i5/i7: BOO

HDMI: MEH

I guess my MacBookPro will have to be an only Mac for a while longer.

just like the Time Machine (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578142)

No kidding.

The new Mac Mini is about the same size as Apple's Time Machine which also has an internal power supply and a well-earned reputation for suffering heat-induced death after an average of about 18 months http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2009/nov/04/apple-time-capsule-failures-early [guardian.co.uk]

Re:I'd be concerned about overheating (5, Informative)

CaptainJeff (731782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578168)

Unibody (unopenable) case: BOO

You can open it. From the bottom, which makes for very easy access to the RAM, unlike the previous design.

Still Core2 instead of i5/i7: BOO

Same reason the 13" MBP is still Core2Duo. Try to put a discrete graphics chip in that form factor without losing any of the other features.

Re:I'd be concerned about overheating (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578174)

Unibody (unopenable) case: BOO

Actually, it looks like the bottom is supposed to be easy (or at least easier) to open to allow RAM upgrades by the owner. Mini design page [apple.com]

Makes for a good server (5, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32577994)

I'm glad I waited; I was going to buy the previous version in the server configuration. Say what you will about HDMI ports, no blu-ray, etc., but the mini makes for a great server. I run Jira, Subversion, Postgres, and Tomcat for a dev team on one mini and it hasn't given me a minute of problems. If anything, I forget where it lives because it's so small. That said, I'd like to replace our existing one with a new one for the increased disk space (currently the db is on an external disk) and to possibly use the built-in Jabber server than the one we've got now.

This article confuses me because... (0, Troll)

easterberry (1826250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578024)

I could have sworn I clicked the option to have ads on /. not show up.

What's the mini for? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578032)

At first, the mini was the entry-level Mac, but now it's just a rather expensive media center. 2GB RAM? 320GB hard disk? For $699? Goddamnit, Apple! As much as I like OSX, these specs are a joke!

Re:What's the mini for? (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578260)

I'm not overwhelmed by the specs myself but it appears that Apple is positioning the Mac mini to be a replacement computer and not an entry-level. If you already have a PC/Mac and want to upgrade/switch, this is the machine.

Stories (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578056)

Stories like these keep bringing me back to iSlashdot all the mac'n time.

Come on Apple, you should know better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32578078)

I'm very anti-Apple, because of philosophical differences, however I am a firm believer than Jobs knows how to make a rock solid product. This, however, looks like someone who felt "forced" into a side project and didn't give it enough love and attention. A desktop OS will, and never will, be suited for anything other than a Desktop or Desktop Replacement (aka laptop.) It never worked on Mobile, it will never work on the Living Room. If this is pushed as a Google TV competitor in any shape, form, or fashion, it's going to be a huge disaster.

Re:Come on Apple, you should know better. (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578254)

This isn't really targeted specifically for the living room. The article bases its assertion about the living room on the fact that this model includes an HDMI connection (which people have been requesting for years). That does make it a little more convenient for the living room, but it hardly makes it the target application. Note that it still doesn't ship with the remote as a standard option, or with a keyboard or mouse (wireless or otherwise). Also, the default hard drive is still pretty small for a living room media center.

The Apple TV is still the device that's aimed at the living room (and therefore competing with Google TV, and rumors have it that there are big changes in the works to make it more of a mainstream product.

HTPC (2, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578138)

This thing would make a pretty nice little HTPC, for approximately 4x the price you could build an equivalent with Newegg parts.

Wasteful (0)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578140)

The most common use for this would be a living room HTPC we all assume, right? Core 2 Duo is a waste, replace that with a cheaper atom processor. 320GB is a joke, especially for those of us who rip movies with handbreak and like to store them, 1TB should be the minimum. The video card is overkill, an integrated graphics chip pulling 1080p would be fine. To top it off, no blu ray? Really Apple? Finally now they add HDMI admitting that it's the standard and not Display Port.

It's more cost effective to just buy a mini-atx case and pop in 400-500$ worth of parts.

Not innovative (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578170)

I already have a Linux powered ARM system that pretty much serves the same purpose (small form factor, low power, HDMI output) -- admittedly less processing power, but frankly, for rendering video and serving as a cheap home entertainment computer, it is fine.

10W server for $1000 (2, Informative)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578272)

I think $1000 for the server configuration with two 500GB drives that you can RAID is pretty darned compelling. They claim it draws 10W at idle, which makes the operating cost almost negligble. And it comes with the server OS, which is normally $500 alone.

Mac Tax (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578326)

Cue the Mac Tax complaints in 3...2...1...

£649 in the UK (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578438)

That's £100 more than the Dell Zino HD which comes with 6GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, 512mb graphics card and a blu-ray drive.

it is taller, though, and lacks the all-important Apple logo.

More processing power? Think again. (4, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32578442)

At only 1.4-inches tall the unibody aluminium enclosure includes an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and more graphics and processing power.

The new Mac Mini doesn't pack more processing power, it's actually slower than one of the previous models. The old line up included two models, one with an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.26 GHz and one at 2.53 GHz, both with the option to upgrade to 2.66 GHz. Now the new line up includes only one model, clocked at 2.4 GHz, also with the option to upgrade to 2.66 GHz.

So all in all, the new model is faster than the entry model of the previous version, but the old line up also included a model faster than what's available now.

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