Europe welcomes Dell's
Mac Mini Zino HD
Small, colourful mini PC
Watch out Mac Mini, because Dell has launched its rival Inspiron Zino range of cute and colourful mini PCs into Europe.
Dell's Zino HD: the flagship of the Mac Mini-esque range
Zino measures 197 x 197 x 89mm and comes in two flavours: a base model with an Intel Atom 230 processor and an HD version packing your choice of AMD Athlon Neo X2 6850e, 3250e, 2850e or 2650e CPU.
The base Zino machine only offers 1GB of 533MHz DDR 2 memory, while Zino HD buyers can have up to 8GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory installed. The HD version also trumps the base machine’s measly 250GB HDD with up to 1TB of storage capacity.
Staying true to its name, the Zino HD boasts an optional Blu-ray drive and single HDMI connector. The base Zino, unsurprisingly, lacks an HDMI port and will only spin DVDs.
Zino: same size, less processing power
Zino HD’s graphics are handled by an integrated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 core as standard - you can upgrade to an Radeon HD 4330 GPU - with the base model’s only option being Intel’s integrated GMA 950.
But there are some similarities between the two machines. For example, both have four-in-one memory card readers, two USB 2.0 ports, and a single VGA connector.
The Zino HD offers more colour for your money
If you’re looking for mini machine to brighten up your living room or study, then go for the Zino HD. Why? Because it is available in a rainbow of colours. The base model only appears to come in black.
OSX doesn't cost $29
The true cost is hidden in the price of the Mac hardware. Much as I love Linux, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn't technically minded as I would spend all day answering questions about it.
Apple vs. Blu-Ray
There's a good reason why Apple don't fit Blu-Ray hardware as standard: most of their sales are in the laptop sector. Their desktop models are—with the sole exception of their Mac Pro series—also based on laptop components. (Including the iMac.)
So Apple need Blu-Ray drives that are (a) laptop-size, and (b) cheap enough to not push the prices up too high. (There are also some licensing fees involved for the DRM side too. Dell don't have to worry about that: they don't make operating systems or video playback software. Apple do.)
Finally, there's the small matter of iTunes. Apple's approach to media is that the internet should be your primary source. Instead of buying physical media, you simply download it. At present, iTunes doesn't support the higher HD resolutions, but most consumers will be hard-pressed to spot the difference on a typical 720p TV. (Most of the flat screen TVs already sold aren't capable of full 1080p in any case; "Full HD" TVs have only been affordable for about two years or so.)
The only other advantage of Blu-Ray is archiving. For backups, most people just buy another hard disk; it's quicker and much, much easier.
Nice to see an AMD offering from Dell.
Pity it wasn't cheaper.
Between a mac mini and a dell I suspect if I ever was in the market for one of those, I'd probably get the mac unless there was a significant difference in price/specs.
The design seems rather eccentric. A 'four-in-one' card reader but no Firewire?
Granted, the technical specifications are fine for the majority of home and office users, but I see nothing here to tempt the Apple faithful (I'll wager you can't install OS X on it). Love those wacky colours though.
I've never needed AV software on my systems - I just don't visit dodgy sites and bother to understand what's going on in/on my system. Not to mention how viruses are far and few between now, it's mostly user installed malware via social engineering or crappy 3rd party software.
My windows stats on infections....
Total instances virus infections over a 10 year period: 0
Total instances of malware infections over a 10 year period: 0
Your point of running windows without them is what exactly? all you're proving is that education is a far effective tool in combatting infections than bloated scare ware.
The Dell machine *is* over priced crud, but then what to you expect from a mainstream maker? The mac mini certainly has a better CPU, video adapter and bus speed, but you're paying for it. As usual.
And before you go off on a foaming fanboy rant, I also own Apple machines.. I'm happy with them, they do what I need to, tho I still need to keep my windows machines around because they have their own flaws (crappy file browser, ever tried to record the audio of an application using audacity with a macbook? recent problems with active directory and SMB browsing since snow leopard that is *still* to even be addressed by Apple! To name a couple).