Im a fan of mac products. They are expensive no doubt, but the strength in their product lies in their design, use of materials, some of which are free from toxic chemicals and environmentally harmful manufacturing processes and last but not least, reliability.
I have the mac mini, and I have used it for 10 months. Ever since then, The mac mini has not suffered any major hardware breaking glitches. Not once. It has hanged once or twice i must admit, but that is all there is to it. It’s that stable. One must use a mac product to fully appreciate the stability of the OS and its robustness in the system. The latest Snow Leopard performs well. And the Windows 7 that I installed through Boot Camp has been stable as well too. So for a computer system with 2 OSes that works perfectly side by side. It couldnt get any better. My mac mini is a workhorse and running strong.
So its natural, that with the announcement of the new Mac Mini quietly making the headlines, I would be ecstatic. Not that I would want to change for the newer slimmer model, but the fact that the Mac Mini line is still going strong and at the same time, evolved into something of a hybrid between a PC and an Apple TV. The design is astounding as usual. Who would’ve thought that they can make it even slimmer? Though its slightly broader, due to the fact that they manage to cramp the power adapter (a brick sized one laying on the floor right now) into the entire product design as well.
While I rave the new one-piece aluminium finish that comes with it., the performance bump is nothing short of lackluster or more accurately, not a bump at all. The specs are the same as the previous model, leaving the wow factor when it comes to the peformance upgrade to just a ‘meh’. Another thing I’m starting to doubt the sellability of such a model is the price. Despite a design overhaul with almost the same specs, its more than 100 bucks (in US dollars) more expensive that the previous model that im having. Converting to local SGD dollars, thats teetering close to 1000 bucks for an entry level mac pc with barebones specs by today’s standard (core i3,i5,i7). Don’t you think the price is a tad pricy. It might be the tipping point for first time mac consumers to have second thoughts when buying the Mac Mini. Even I would have second thoughs when comparing to a DIY PC or basic spec PCs for a fraction of the cost.
Despite the new looks, the price might be the Archiles Heel when it comes to the latest iteration of the Mac Mini. But then again, people might look at this product from another angle. This Mac Mini is new perfect for a HTPC set up. With an HDMI connection output, you can now connect the Mac Mini to your PC, and all your media, be it music, and movies, just about anything digital media could be played back on your big screen TV. Though its lacking a blu-ray drive, combined with itunes and other downloaded videos off the net, the Mac Mini can be serious contender when it comes to the HTPC sector. Its ease of use, powerful OS, and easy set up, makes it a viable option for those wanting to add a PC in their living room.
So all in all, the new Mac Mini does have its strengths and weaknesses. Strength in its design and overall new purpose for the use of the Mac Mini as an HTPC, weaknesses, in its price and performance specs.