Apple Mac mini

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Apple Mac mini
  • Apple Mac mini
  • Apple Mac mini
  • Apple Mac mini
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Stylish design, small footprint

Cons

  • Hard to upgrade

Bottom Line

If you're after a simple, flexible machine for productivity or browsing the Internet, Apple's budget PC-killer is a great choice.

Would you buy this?

It's no secret that Windows is a high-maintenance OS. New threats hit the Internet daily, and connected Windows PCs need constant patching to protect against viruses, worms and Trojans. While addressing these security issues is no problem for a tech-savvy user, the average consumer just wants a computer that works.

Apple understands that most users don't want to worry about patching, viruses, malware, and the other issues currently plaguing the Windows platform. Instead, the Californian company has designed the Mini as a flexible computer for surfing the net and handling basic tasks, and MacOS suffers far fewer security issues than its Microsoft counterpart.

The Mini is available in three build configurations, starting at $799 for the base system with 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 40GB hard disk and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, and ranging up to $1099 for a bells-and-whistles model with a 1.42GHz processor, 80GB hard disk and a SuperDrive capable of burning DVD+/-RW discs. A middle system ($949) includes both the faster processor of the $1099 model but eschews the DVD burner in favour of a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive. All three share the same 512MB of DDR memory and an ATI Radeon 9200 video processor, and the top two models also feature Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.

The Mini runs Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger and ships with an adequate bundle of utilitarian and leisure software, including iLife '05, AppleWorks, Apple Hardware Test, and a 30-day trial of iWork '05.

Though the brushed aluminium and white plastic machine measures 17 x 17 x 5cm and weighs a mere 1.3KG, the small rear panel offers a reasonable selection of ports, including two USB sockets, Ethernet, modem, DVI, a single Firewire connector, and a Walkman-style audio jack. These should be ample for most users, but you may want to factor in the cost of a USB hub if you want to connect additional peripherals like a printer or USB webcam. The $799 asking price is also a little misleading. The mini doesn't ship with a monitor, keyboard and mouse, so you'll have to budget for accessories when speccing up a system. Apple has targeted the Mini at existing PC owners, though, so there's a good chance buyers will have a spare keyboard and mouse lying around.

In operation, the system works flawlessly, and even the 1.25GHz model feels responsive when running a number of applications and browsing websites via Safari. Better yet, it's quiet, so you could comfortably tuck a mini away in a corner of a family space like a lounge room or kitchen.

The only real problem is that the small dimensions make it hard to upgrade. It's possible to add more RAM, but your options are otherwise limited. The mini isn't a powerhouse, but it's great for surfing the net and performing basic tasks. It runs quietly, features an attractive, lounge room-friendly design, and is rounded out by a one-year warranty.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?