Feeds
75%
Apple Mac Mini Core i5

Apple Mac Mini 2011

Style over substance?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Optic nerve

Apple's view is "these days, you don’t need one" and the blurb goes on to say “...removing the optical drive gave us room to do one more thing with Mac mini: lower its price.” Considering the previous models housed chips that were a couple of generations old, they were just too darned expensive anyway. So I guess this is one way of maintaining the margins.

Apple Mac Mini Core i5

According to Apple you don't need an optical drive

Incidentally, you’ll need an optical drive if you want to use Apple’s own Boot Camp software to run Windows on the Mac Mini, as Boot Camp requires you to download various Windows drivers and burn them onto DVD. It’s safe to say that I’m not yet convinced of the imminent obsolescence of the DVD burner.

Thankfully, this year’s models do still include an HDMI interface for your TV, along with an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor in the box, so that you can hook it up to a conventional monitor. They also gain Apple’s new Thunderbolt interface, although given the paucity of compatible gear out there, in the short term at least, I doubt that’ll have much appeal for the home users that are the Mac Mini’s primary audience

Verdict

I’ve always liked the compact design of the Mac Mini – which is still streets ahead of most of its PC rivals – and the much stronger performance of this year’s i5 models is a welcome improvement. However, cost-cutting decisions such as the removal of the optical drive mean that the Mac Mini still seems overpriced for what is, after all, meant to be a low-cost ‘affordable’ Mac. That said, if an optical drive and gaming graphics performance are not your concerns, then the entry-level model looks a much better deal. ®

More Desktop PC Reviews

HP
TouchSmart 610
Sapphire
Edge HD
Dell
Inspiron
Zino HD 410
Apple
iMac 27in
Acer
Revo
RL 100

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

75%
Apple Mac Mini Core i5

Apple Mac Mini 2011

Compact desktop Mac with long-awaited CPU upgrades.
Price: £529 (2.3GHz), £699 (2.5GHz + AMD GPU) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.