Apple Mac mini (preview)
The smallest of Macs gets a power boost, but still looks the same
- Upgraded internals keep the mini up to date
- It's no smaller or sleeker than the last model
The updated Mac mini gets its makeover internally rather than externally, with Ivy Bridge processors and storage upgrades hidden inside the same cuboid chassis. We would have loved if it got even smaller than it already was, but we're not really going to complain about its size. It's now got the power to compete with other mini-PCs.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
It didn't even rate its own press release in Apple's end-of-year refresh for its notebooks, desktops and tablets, but the Mac mini deserves some attention: it gets the same Ivy Bridge processor refresh and Fusion Drive storage tech that went into the new iMac.
Apple Mac mini: the hardware
Since the exterior of the Mac mini remains the same — an aluminium unibody shell that has the company's recognisable rounded corners — you'll need to delve a little deeper to see what's changed in the latest iteration.
The Mac mini gets itself a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 or 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 from the Ivy Bridge processor line-up , with an optional upgrade to a 2.6GHz quad-core i7 from the more expensive model. The default 4GB of DDR3 RAM can be upgraded to either 8GB or 16GB of RAM in any Mac Mini.
This update in processors also brings along a boost in graphics power — since the mini uses the graphics processor integrated into its CPU, Ivy Bridge's Intel HD Graphics 4000 means 65 per cent more power (according to Apple, at least). It's not going to run any modern games at high resolution but it'll handle any desktop computing task you throw at it.
The mini comes by default with a 500GB hard drive, with 1TB on the more expensive model. The 1TB unit can be upgraded to a 1TB Fusion drive for $300, adding a 128GB flash storage drive that transfers commonly used files from the 1TB spinning disk for fast access without any input needed from the user. A 256GB flash storage option is also available.
The switch to newer processor and motherboard means USB 3.0 is now natively supported, with the mini sporting four USB 3.0 ports alongside Thunderbolt, SDXC, audio in/out, FireWire 800, and Gigabit Ethernet. 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi is also built-in.
A Mac mini with OSX Server is also available; it has effectively the same specs as the high-end Mac mini, but has space for two hard drives, and comes with OSX Server installed on top of the standard OS X Mountain Lion. It can be upgraded with a 1TB Fusion drive, 3TB Fusion drive or up to 768GB of flash storage.
Apple Mac mini: Conclusion
The little Mac mini has always been one of our favourites from the Mac family — it's small and unobtrusive, good-looking, comparatively cheap, and more versatile than it gets credit for. The minor upgrade it gets in this cycle is enough to keep it competitive with other mini PCs from the Windows side of the market.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- ASUS' VivoMini VM45 gets upgraded to 7th Generation Intel processors
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Intel's modular Compute Card puts a PC in your pocket
- Dell’s Inspiron 27 7000 is the first Ryzen All-in-One PC, and it's upgradable too
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Huawei Y5 (2017)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTSAP FICO ConsultantOther
- FTLead Business Analyst - Logistics and Supply ChainOther
- FTDevOps Engineer - Blue Chip CompanyOther
- FTSenior Change AnalystOther
- CCService Management AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure/Cloud Architect - Government OrganisationVIC
- FTIT TechnicianOther
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerOther
- TPSenior Service DeskVIC
- FTBig Data DeveloperOther
- TPCyber Security Business AnalystACT
- FTProject OfficerOther
- FTCloud Infrastructure Architect - Townsville Location - PermQLD
- TPSQL DevloperNSW
- TPChange Delivery Officer / PMOQLD
- FTSystem EngineerOther
- TP.Net DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- FTSenior DevOps Engineer | Leading SaaS Product CompanyOther
- FTLand Access Coordinator / Lead - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTMobile Applications DeveloperACT
- CCProgram Evaluation ManagerNSW