Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be mentioning computers a lot. I’m in the market for a new machine, and since writing about any given topic helps me better understand said topic, why not post my thoughts here? I thought you’d like the idea. Here’s the kicker: I’ll be taking your advice, too. Whenever you see a post with the title “Futurebox: ______”, read the post, mull it over, and offer your thoughts in the comments. Simple, eh? I thought so.
The Mac mini
I’ll say it: the Mac mini is an odd box.
I was on Apple’s website doing some “window shopping” when I spotted the mini (all lowercase letters, because apparently Apple can use this device, as well as the iPod and others, to alter basic ideas of capitalization). At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of it—after all, it’s a very small box (6.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″), and the box is all you get. No mouse, no keyboard, no display (unless ordered separately). That explains the cheap cost; the mini starts at $599. Of course, that’s barebones, and you know this guy wants to upgrade. For the machine I customized, complete with the Apple keyboard/mouse combo, the cost would be $924—and I’d still have a monitor left to buy, which leads me to another point.
From what I’ve read on forums, the mini has issues with some monitors; some consumers have reported getting a distorted image, while others say their display had a greenish tint to it. That isn’t to say that all non-Apple monitors are incompatible—apparently, most DVI monitors work rather well with the machine. That would still put me at around$1200, which doesn’t seem like much of a bargain, considering I could get a bigger, speedier machine for the same price, without having to order the keyboard/mouse/display separately.
So, a list:
- Small box = less space taken up, easily portable
- Comes with iLife, a software bundle that is hard to beat
- Built-in wireless
- Ships with Leopard
- Doesn’t come with keyboard/mouse/display
- Apparent display compatibility issues
- Upgrades I want bump me into a price range that doesn’t seem fair
- Maximum HD space is 160 GB.
Overall, I don’t think I’m going with the mini. The negatives outweight the positives, in my view. That’s not to say I wouldn’t consider any other Mac desktop—the iMacs all look great, and I’d bet you’ll see a Futurebox post on them sometime in the near future. For me , the novelty of the mini isn’t backed up by solid features. Still, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue, so leave a comment with any questions/comments/suggestions you may have.