Dell’s Inspiron Zino HD – which is perhaps the Mini’s closest counterpart in the PC world, and reviewed here – is similarly priced, but trails behind the Mini graphically, running only to 30fps in Far Cry 2. The Mac Mini also beats the Zino HD in most of the PCMark Vantage tests – although, as mentioned, the 5400rpm hard disk lets it down. However, the Zino HD that we reviewed did include a Blu-ray Disc drive
Peripherals not included
Incidentally, there is also a new ‘server edition’ of the Mac Mini, which comes with Snow Leopard Server pre-installed. This costs £929 with 2.66GHz processor, 4GB of Ram and twin 500GB hard disks. However, this model lacks an optical drive altogether.
The design of the new Mac Mini speaks for itself – it makes most ‘small form-factor’ PCs look like bloated heaps of junk. The long-overdue addition of HDMI finally acknowledges the Mini's media centre credentials, while the improved graphics performance means that it can handle HD video with ease, and manage some decent gaming action too.
But the price is high. Apple used to say that the Mac Mini is intended as the low-cost entry-level Mac – the desktop counterpart of the popular white plastic MacBook laptop. In fact, its price and design are really more comparable to the premium-priced, ultra-portable MacBook Air.
If you convert the US price of $699 into sterling - it's about £480 - and then add VAT, the price comes to about £570. At that amount, it’d be a no-brainer upgrade for the Mini that is currently sitting in my living room. At £649, however, my brainer does find itself thinking twice. ®
More Apple Reviews
Apple Mac Mini 2010
Zino HD is not "similarly priced"
Why does The Reg keep insisting that the Zino HD is so expensive? Because it keeps quoting the jacked-up price of the blu-ray model it was sent for review.
My Zino HD cost me £329 last Christmas, and appears to be the same price today. It has internal DVD rewriter (check), HDMI output (check), 3GB RAM (1GB more than the new Mac mini), bundled wireless keyboard and mouse (neither included with the Mac mini), and a 500GB 3.5" SATA drive (not a slow laptop one).
I could have paid £20 extra for 802.11 wireless, or £80 more for a faster CPU (mine has 1.5GHz AMD dual core), or £60 more for a faster graphics card. Even with all those it would still be 25% cheaper than the Mac, but if you don't want these features, you don't have to pay.
Sadly, you are missing quite a few points here with your 'slower but more expensive' nonsense.
There used to be two Minis - one at $599 and one at $799. Apple went with a single model which is exactly in the middle of those two prices. The newer model adds:
HDMI (for some people, this alone is worth the price)
SD (remember all the people complaining about the iPad because SD is 'so critical'?)
Much faster GPU
CPU marginally slower than old high end model and marginally faster than old base model)
Stronger case with better heat transfer
Significantly lower energy usage
Twice the RAM capacity
RAM replacement easier for end user
No more external power supply
Or, if you want to take away the one negative, you could go with the upgraded CPU. The system would then be $50 higher than the older high end model, but would have a faster CPU in addition to all of the above.
Now, I can see that you might not think that it's worth the money, but I frankly don't care. The system is less expensive than the old high end system and better in almost every way (except for CPU speed which will not affect most users given the significant increase in GPU performance). But this one-sided misleading trolling about 'slower but more expensive' is just plain wrong.
With no monitor, keyboard or mouse, shit processor and feck all base memory!!!
Meh - buy yourself a PS3 or new XBox 360 for a media centre and save yourself 300 notes.
I'm a Mac fan with a Macbook Pro and Mac Pro Tower. But even I struggle to see why people would want a mini when you can have an Acer Revo with Windows 7 for a fraction of the price. Sure the Mini is shiny and has OSX but my lord, the price!
The point of the Mini was to create an entry level Mac, but they have gravitated towards producing something that is small as possible but not cheap. While it wouldn't be a good thing for Apple to be producing cheap as possible the Mini has lost much of its appeal for me due to the costs.
If you are considering the Mini but were put off by the cost like me, do take a look at the Revo. It's a remarkable little machine given the price and even comes with a Chinese rip-off of the Apple wireless keyboard I'm typing on at the moment.
... they made a product that's slower, has less RAM, still doesn't support Blu-ray, and then upped the price. It also doesn't look as nice (IMHO).
In terms of price/value, even for the wildest fanboi, it's complete crap.
A fool and his money are easily parted.