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133 of 143 found the following review helpful:
Powerful machine and great to work with Jun 17, 2010
By Brian Stucki
We've already put these new minis thru the paces here at Macminicolo and they're great. A few things to know:
-The RAM on these minis is VERY easy to upgrade. This machine comes with 2GB but can be upgraded to 8GB. Just twist off the bottom with your fingers and replace the RAM. (Literally, no tools required.)
- If you're looking to use the Mac mini connected to your TV, you'll be glad to hear that it now comes with HDMI. Nearly every current HDTV should have HDMI and it's a great fit.
- Speaking of TV watching, the new GPU (video card) is great. A wonderful upgrade.
- This Mac mini was reduced in power consumption AND the power brick is now internal instead of the big external one from before. That makes for a cleaner looking hookup.
- We use all our Mac minis as servers here and they're great. They run 24 hours a day and have no problems.
- This machine still has the IR capability so it can be controlled with the Apple Remote or one of the Harmony remotes with no problems.
All in all, a good upgrade.
293 of 331 found the following review helpful:
MM GOOD + BAD Jul 26, 2010
The Mac Mini was updated on June 15th 2010. There are some upgrades and minor changes between the 2010 Mac Mini and 2009's model, detailed below.
HDMI audio/video output (HDMI version 1.3 and supports up to 1920-by-1200 resolution and multichannel audio.) Allows you to connect the Mac Mini to your HDTV easily.
Nvidia Geforce 320 M integrated graphics processor. More powerful than last years Nvidia Geforce 9400 which was in the 2009 Mac mini. Useful for content creation.
320 gb hard drive - Last years base model had a 160gb hard drive.
Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot - Useful for transferring photos and videos from Cameras.
Unibody aluminum body.
STANDARD FEATURES - from last years model (minor changes noted in brackets) are
Core 2 Duo Processor ( 2.4 ghz - up from 2.26ghz )
2 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 Ram
8x slot-loading SuperDrive DVD burner
Mini DisplayPort video output with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
Combined optical digital output/headphone output
Four USB 2.0 ports (1 less than the 2009 Mac Mini)
One FireWire 800 port
Wi-Fi - 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible, Bluetooth 2.1 and Gigabit Ethernet -10/100/1000.
Software included is OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and the iLife 09 suite of content creation tools. A 1 year warranty on parts and 90 day telephone technical support is standard.
As one can see, not much has changed. Apple is still using outdated Core 2 Duo processors while the rest of the computer industry has moved on to using Intel's "i" series of processors and it's still shipping the Mac mini with 2gb of ram which is completely inadequate for multi-tasking effectively.
However, whatever little has changed, is for the better.
Apple has finally acknowledged that people connect their Mac Mini's to HDTV's and use them as media centers. So it's added an HDMI port to the machine. This makes hooking up your Mac mini to a HDTV really easy. No Blu-ray drive though.
It's also included an SD card slot at the rear (Which also supports SDXC cards) - so you can transfer your photos / videos / data directly from an SD card without having to connect your camera / card reader to the machine.
Also, new in this year's Mac mini is a removable panel on the bottom of the Mac mini which allows you to easily upgrade the ram. This is a welcome addition considering that accessing the ram slots in earlier Mac mini's was a tedious and time consuming process. And since the Mac mini only comes with 2gb of ram, a ram upgrade should be one of the first things you choose to do. Kingston Apple 4GB Kit (2x2GB Modules) 1066MHz DDR3 SODIMM iMac and Macbook Memory (KTA-MB1066K2/4GR) for [...] currently. The operating system STRUGGLES with multi-tasking when there's only 2gb of ram present. Note to Apple. Stop skimping on the ram. Thanks.
Unfortunately, there are some negatives too.
First up is the power supply unit. In the 2009 Mac mini, the power supply was an external power adapter, which meant if anything went wrong with it, you'd take the adapter for servicing, not the whole machine. However, the power supply unit is now inside the June 2010 Mac mini. This may look better / cleaner from a design / clutter point of view but it also means that if it ever malfunctions, instead of the power adapter, you'll have to take your Mac mini in to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Store Provider and leave it there for repairs which may lead to more downtime.
The SD card slot is at the back of the machine, and reaching behind to insert a card gets tedious fast.
Also, the machine is STILL not designed to not let users access the hard drive easily (or without voiding the warranty). This forces the customer to be dependent on Apple for servicing, replacing or upgrading the hard drive. Considering the amount of confidential data customers store on their computers, they should be allowed to take out the hard drive when they need or feel like instead of being forced to take their machines into an Apple store if there are any issues. This is definitely a privacy / security risk for many customers and Apple should address this in the next iteration of the machine.
Also, because of the closed design of the Mac Mini, Applecare will always be a requirement, since you can't replace anything in the machine if something goes wrong except for the ram. Power supply goes bad - no Applecare - pay Apple big money. Hard drive dies - no Applecare - pay Apple big money. So Applecare becomes a $ 150 requirement to protect yourself from Apple's exorbitant repair costs. It's like a hidden cost, You don't see it until you realize you're probably going to need it.
The price has also gone up by $ 100. Cost is an important aspect to consider. If you decide to upgrade the ram and also need to purchase a LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse, once you total it all up, the Mac mini will end up costing almost as much as a Macbook(which is more portable) or the entry level iMac (21.5 inch screen, 4gb of ram, dedicated graphics and bigger hard drive). If that's the case, you better off examining those machines as purchase options instead of buying a Mini.
The Mac mini is a capable machine for general tasks such as watching videos, working on documents, listening to music and surfing the web. It's small and occupies very little space. It's also very energy efficient which is good for the environment and your energy bill. I would have loved to rate it 4 stars but I can't ignore Apple still including only 2gb of ram which is inadequate for multitasking, not including a Blu-ray drive, STILL not allowing customers to access the hard drive AND increasing the price by $ 100.
If the issues mentioned above don't affect you in any way and you want a small, power efficient and capable machine (After upgrading the ram) the Mac Mini may be the machine for you.
Hope this helps!
NOTE - Mar 18 2011. The Mac Mini is now extremely out of date compared to other computer makers current products. C2D processor, 320 GB 5400 rpm hard drive, 2 gb ram (stutter stutter). In 2011, these specs for $ 700 + $ 150 Applecare = very bad value for money.
Forget about the superficial things like how small it is. Instead buy a $ 700 dollar HTPC(Home theater PC), Excluding the operating system (which is always a matter of personal preference) you'll get a lot more bang for your buck with regards to hardware. IF you must buy a Mac Mini, wait for Apple to update it so that the hardware will justify the cost.
58 of 64 found the following review helpful:
Very Impressive Little Guy! Jun 22, 2010
By B. Miller
The new Mac Mini has been an impressive little beast so far!
It sits on your desk and looks so small, yet it packs a powerful punch inside.
I bought a Mini Displayport to VGA connector to integrate this into my KVM setup with the intention of only using it on one of my three monitors, and when I realized that I could also use the HDMI port to hook up a second monitor, it was like a new world.
The new Nvidia Graphics card handles my 24" and 22" monitors just fine.
I also picked up Parallels 5.0 software from Amazon as well, and I don't flinch when I say that this little Mac Mini is running Windows 7 Professional better than my Quad Core PC does!
I am also going to throw Ubuntu on here as well to play with.
The Snow Leopard install is very snappy, and opens programs and installs things in a breeze.
This little guy is also handling syncing to my iPad and iPhone like it was nothing, and it amazingly will handle multiple programs open with no problem.
This is actually the first Mac I have owned, and I am so impressed that I may be converted forever.
The SD card slot, HDMI, and new Graphics card is what really sets this apart from the older models.
The new case is also a very nice piece of engineering! I have no idea how they fit the power supply in there! No more power brick laying around on the floor!
So user friendly, and could be the pinnacle of a Home office or be a great HTPC in the living room!
28 of 30 found the following review helpful:
my first Mac Aug 20, 2010
By J. Lethal
While I have used computers for most of my 33 years in this world, this is the first I've ever purchased, and it is the first Mac I have ever used. Much as I can drive a car but have no idea how to change the oil, I can use a computer but have always turned to an instructor or technical support when there's a problem. If you want a highly technical product review please skip this one. If you're new to Mac or generally wary of buying a computer this review should be helpful.
First, the Mac Mini is so small I could hardly believe it. Since I bought it for an entertainment center I couldn't spare the space for a full desktop model. I connected it to my receiver with an HDMI cable from Amazon, which in turn connects to my Sharp Aquos 65" LCD HDTV. As soon as it turned on I was VERY impressed by how sharp and crisp the picture is. I did have a rather comical problem getting started though, as unknown to me the entire Mac toolbar along the top of the screen was being cut off, leading to a very confused support person having me repeatedly say "What Apple icon?! There's no such thing on my screen." Fortunately it was resolved in seconds once I knew the problem existed. I also had a hard time getting my internet connection to work initially, but that was due to my limited knowledge and not the product. By default the Mac is set to search for a wireless internet signal, a feature which had to be switched off before my wired ethernet connection would work. My Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard were detected in seconds and didn't require any setup. The SD card slot works flawlessly, so there's no need to directly connect a camera if you don't feel like digging out your USB cable.
Once the initial minor frustrations were taken care of there was no issue at all. You can set the Mac to search regularly for any updates to download from Apple so it will always run smoothly. There are help menus if you can't find something. The "Dock", the name given to the software icons along the bottom of the screen, takes some getting used to. If you're new to Mac the icons aren't very intuitive. Still, this is a review of the machine and not the software, so no points off for my own learning curve. Everything I try to do, from saving images to using iPhoto, involves getting familiar with new software, but it always works as it should. Just make sure you shut down completely and turn the Mac back on after downloading any system update, as failing to do so led to the DVD player not functioning until I did.
One feature I love is something called the Dashboard, which with the click of an icon appears on your screen with "widgets", windows of your choice with various features. I have a local weather forecast with current conditions, a calculator, sports score updates and countless other things at my fingertips without having to do a web search any more. It's positively brilliant.
I'm sorry to say that the manual is of almost no help at all when it comes to learning the software. The Apple home page is there when you open the web browser and they do have guides, but a book that lays it all out for me would be preferable. With so many Mac owners being first timers, that's a corner they shouldn't have cut.
Newcomers should know that the disk drive loads differently than you may expect. There's no tray, and unlike my Playstation 3 which sucks in a disk right away, you have to push a disk about 90% of the way inside before the Mac does the rest. At first I was worried I might break it because it seemed like I was forcing the disk in. Strangely, when you eject the disk it comes about 2/3rds of the way out, but it works and that's what matters.
Looking at all the features and feeling intimidated, I noticed that this machine comes with 2GB of RAM, and had no idea if those critical of it meant I should be worried. Not once has this machine stalled in doing anything I ask of it. I can have internet radio going with multiple web pages open and it works. I can run two videos simultaneously and there's no hiccups. The DVD player works fine, though it's impractical for me since I'm using an entertainment center with a dedicated DVD player connected.
If you are just an average person who simply wants a computer so you can check your e-mail, surf the net, copy and edit your photos, store your digital music, and other everyday tasks, you can't do better than this machine. For a grand total of under $850, I have a cutting edge computer with every feature I could ever need, a great mouse and keyboard, and my entertainment center has been transformed into a complete media hub and home office. I still have a lot of features to learn, but overall my only regret is not buying this sooner.
21 of 23 found the following review helpful:
An incredible little super machine! Aug 18, 2010
I researched the heck out of the mac mini. Once everything looked good I gave it the go. I have worked on macs at school, then worked solely on pc's at home. So I was finally able to buy one for school/freelancing (graphic/web design student).
(disclaimer here for pc user skeptics: Even though I think highly of mac's and their os interfaces, I am no mac but slave. This is so you can know that this review is coming from someone who has had experience in knowing the truth about macs and pc's. That they serve different purposes. Pc's are for server/standardized setups/do it yourself junkies (which I am :D), and macs are made to be real work horses for graphic/multimedia work. Everything about the os is made for a high productivity rate.)
Appearance: Just opening my amazon box to getting it all set up (which only took about 5 minutes) is just amazing even in it's presentation. Apple packages the product very nicely. The product is more beautiful than I had thought it was even from pictures all over the internet. It's so very small, and beautiful. I thought the older mac mini's were good looking, but this goes along with the stream lined look of the unibody mac's/macbooks.
Ports/jacks: The back of the machine is gorgeous as well, with the black face. HDMI is pretty cool, I do wish there were more ports on the back, but then again I don't mind at the same time because I got a D-link 4port powered usb hub where I plug most things in. I would actually suggest this to anyone as it not only saves the life of the mini's internal power supply, but also saves wear and tear of the usb ports on the back of the unit. Slot drive is awesome as well, no clunky tray slamming out like on my old 05 pc.
Setup: This mac is perfect for anyone who already has a keyboard/mouse/monitor. I would even recommend this to ANYONE not doing professional video editing for a living. This mac is plenty powerful for anyone's needs, and it is a SIGNIFICANT amount cheaper than any of the other macs, excluding macbooks ect. because if you need mobility, then you need mobility.
Performance: So far I have been nothing but impressed with this machine. My stats are the 2.4ghz processor with 2gb or ram. I have been able to run indesign, photoshop, flash music player, flash video, all in different spaces at the same time. And with all that it hasn't been laggy. Boots up in maybe 20-30 seconds, shuts down and goes to sleep almost instantly. For someone who only uses internet, word processors, photo, home video editing; I would say 2gb is fine. But if you are like me and use a lot of graphic intensive programs like me. You would want to slap in 4 or even 8gb of ram. I plan to put in 8 as I have a hobby of working with AfterEffects, and Premiere.
If anyone is curious, I have Adobe Master Collection installed on my mac mini, Have not noticed one bit of slow down with all those behemoth programs on the system. Also, if anyone is curious, I have not played around with premiere really yet on it, and have only spent about 10 minutes with after effects. To test it out, I opened a large complicated after effects file, and it did pretty well. I would seriously suggest though to anyone wanting to do heavy video editing that you install 8gb of ram. I would even say that you could use this machine as video student, if you have some patience. Think about it, people who were doing video editing professionally maybe 5 years ago were working on portable macbook systems that were not far off from the mac mini. If you really need a speedy machine on a budget, along with upgrading the ram, you could replace the internal 5400rpm drive with a 7200rpm or even solid state drive. Another option is to get an external firewire 7200rpm or solidstate drive for file working/scratch disk drive. Even with all that it would still be cheaper than other macs.
Other thoughts: I also have a pc, and now the mac mini. The mini is so small that I just put it on top of my desk right beside my monitor. Then I bought a trendnet kvm switch (base model). So now I can use one keyboard/mouse/monitor, and push one button to switch. Although ever since I got my mac, I have only used my pc for word, a couple games, not very often.
OSX: Love the user interface, the entire reason I bought a mac. Spaces, expose, and everything else makes osx highly productive. Took me awhile to learn how to install programs on a mac because it was so plain simple. Instead of going through tons of setup windows, you just drag the program icon into the applications folder and it's done. One step. The mini comes with iLife, which I have absolutely no need for. It gives you some basic programs to work with making a web site, photos, video, mail, garage band, calendar, ect. I Just don't use them because I am going into the field of graphic/web/multimedia, so I just use my kick-A Adobe master collection, lol. For anyone who is just a general user in these areas, they actually are pretty good, especially imovie which is so easy to use.
Conclusion:I have been so happy with my purchase. And if you're going to buy the base 2.4ghz model, you might as well buy it from amazon to save yourself the appletax price as well as regular tax and get free shipping as well! Great Deal. I would recommend this computer to anyone who is willing to try out the mac world, who is a graphic/media student, or to anyone making motion pictures, OBVIOUSLY. Great snappy little machine.
Amazon: as far as amazon on this purchase, Amazon exceeded my expectations by delivery. Arrived two weeks early! How's that for great service.
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