Conclusion: Apple's least expensive desktop computer has grown into a competent performer even in its base version. Step-up versions are performance powerhouses -- except when it comes to gaming -- that can keep up and even beat like-priced Windows competitors.
Pros: Fast performance, Small, unobtrusive case, Strong connectivity
Cons: No optical drive, Still uses 3rd generation Intel processors, Monitor, keyboard, mouse all not included
Excerpt: As soon as it was unveiled on stage in October, I started looking forward to getting the new iMac in for review. See, my main machine is a 13-inch MacBook Air, which I mostly love.
Pros: Gorgeous display, Slim, light design, Powerful performance, Gorgeous display, Slim, light design, Powerful performance, Great design, HDMI port, Good media performance
Cons: No optical drive, Speakers are worse than previous model, No optical drive, Speakers are worse than previous model, Graphics performance worse than last model, Fusion Drive only available on high-end mini, Doesn't ship with mouse or keyboard
Summary: With a suggested price of USD 600, the Mac mini is not a cheap computer, but it is one of the cheapest ways to get into the Mac world, even if you have to purchase a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Excerpt: The Mac mini has long been the lovably lost scamp of the the Mac family, produced and sold with as seemingly little fanfare as possible. (Quick: where are the minis located in your local Apple store?
Pros: Solid performance, Small, beautiful case, HDMI port
Cons: No optical drive, Magic Trackpad required for full Lion experience, Expensive
Excerpt: If you’re a PC user with a spare monitor, looking to dip your toe into Mac waters, the Mini is a nice introduction to Apple computers. All others, though, should weigh this tiny PC's value versus an iMac.
Pros: Very compact, Decent performance, Great connectivity for a tiny chassis
Cons: Keyboard, mouse, monitor not included, Not upgradable, Costly for what you get
Excerpt: My Mac Mini is a mighty big performer. i recently purchased the Mac Mini 183GHz with 512MB RAM on each of the Intel Core2 Duo processor. It has been easy from the moment I opened the box. New models come with Apple's latest Leopard on the Apple OS system.
Conclusion: The role of the Mac mini has changed dramatically over the past five years. What once was a way for Apple to tempt users into trying OS X is now a fairly expensive, niche Mac. As an HTPC the new Mac mini is great.
Conclusion: In addition to being as powerful as a tower PC, the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) innovates and sounds the death knell for the optical disc.
Pros: Super compact design. Aluminum unibody construction. SD slot supports SDXC cards. Included HDMI-to-DVI adapter and HDMI port. Internal power supply. Thunderbolt interface. Second generation Core i5 processor. 3D performance rivals a tower PC.
Cons: Hard drive is hard to upgrade. Thunderbolt peripherals are scarce. No optical complicates some installs.
Conclusion: One of the most aesthetically beautiful business servers we've ever seen, this tiny, peppy machine makes for a quiet desktop server that's perfect for light-duty home and SMB server tasks.
Pros: Setup in as little as 10 steps. Faster processor and more memory than the Mac mini client. Lots of storage for SMBs or a home network. New features add to the ultra-easy Mac experience. Powerful command-line option for advanced tasks and management.
Cons: Tricky Active Directory integration. Not for heavy-work-load environments.
Conclusion: The Apple Mac mini (HDMI) is an all-around improvement with a new unibody aluminum chassis to match the rest of the Macintosh line. The mini is the mainstream, compact PC you've been searching for, and it defines its category.
Pros: Super compact design. Aluminum unibody construction. SD slot supports new SDXC cards. Included HDMI-to-DVI adapter and HDMI port. Extremely low power usage. GreenTech Approved. Internal power supply. Accessible memory slots. More 3D power than anything in its class.
Cons: Still no Blu-ray. Hard drive is hard to upgrade. No eSATA port.