Open mouth, insert foot! Ok, after years of being one to point out plenty of Mac problems and faults to everyone I know, I have finally found a reason to buy one. I have been building and using HTPC’s for years and it took some time to find the hardware and software I was comfortable with. Setting things up like my iMon Remote proved to be fun, but useless. The hardware, the OS, and all that stuff cost me nearly the same price as the new Mac. So, what has changed?
One of the biggest changes here is the fact that the new Mini comes with an HDMI port! Apple has refused for some time to integrate this little bugger but now with the inclusion the HTPC market may just change dramatically. Aside from the inclusion of the much anticipated HDMI port, the Mini is smaller than a Wii at just 7.7 inches wide/deep, just 1.4 inches tall and only uses 10 watts of electricity when idle!!!
The Mini also provides an SD card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Firewire port, and 4 USB 2.0 ports to boot. If you were worried about a brick for power, DON’T… it doesn’t have one! Accompanying the Gigabit Ethernet port is a built-in wireless N adapter and Bluetooth adapter.
Whats else is under the hood:
- 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (2.66GHz available)
- 2GB memory (expandable to 8GB) SO-DIMM
- 320GB hard drive (500GB optional)
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive
- NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard
What should be included free:
- Wireless keyboard ($69.00)
- Wireless mouse ($69.00)
- Apple Remote ($19.00)
With the small design comes a bit of flexibility that we are not used to with the previous Macs. The bottom of the Mini reveals a removable bottom panel and a simple twist will allow you to remove the panel and add more RAM all by your lonesome; saving you the hassle of dealing with the sandal wearing fan fare at the Mac Store.
Without owning one yet, the only complaints I have about the new Mini are that it doesn’t have the option of a Blu-ray drive and that it is made by Apple. From the technical specs, it features more firepower than my latest HTPC build and comes with all the amenities (except the mouse and keyboard) I would expect for the same amount of money while saving me a ton of space and using far less energy. Lacking an included wireless keyboard and mouse puts a small damper on my excitement, but can be overlooked by spending only $19.00 on an optional remote. If you are deadset against running Mac OS X on your HTPC, install Windows on it! So how much will this thing set you back? $699.00