Ten Reasons I Love the Mac Mini

There is a rumor that the Mac Mini will get a refresh later this year. I love the Mac Mini. I don’t really use one but I love it. Here’s why:
1. It fills an important sub-$1000 niche in the Mac world. Not everyone can afford an iMac or MacBook. But for $600 you get a pretty decent OS X Leopard machine.
2. It is a low-priced option to a Mac Pro in terms of a headless Mac. Not everyone likes an all-in-old machine where you are tied to the attached LCD screen. But $2,500 would be too much to pay for being able to use your own LCD.
3. It’s kinda portable. While not being something you can use in your lap like a MacBook, it is small enough to carry from one location to another without loading something into the trunk of your car or packing it in its own case for a plane trip. So it would allow college students to bring it home for a weekend, for instance.
4. It fits well into the living room. Perfect if the Apple TV isn’t quite enough for you, like if you want to also surf the Web or run some other software.
5. It is a great machine for home, if you already have a powerful Mac in the office.
6. It is a great machine for someone who wants to have both a PC and a Mac and share the same screen and keyboard.
7. It makes a great Windows machine. If you need to test software and Web sites in Windows, like I do, but cant bring yourself to buy a normal PC. The Mac Mini runs Windows very well.
8. It makes a great home base Mac for VNC, file serving, Web serving, etc. If you want a machine to be always on and available to be connected to from outside the office, the Mini is a good choice.
9. It doesn’t try to be for everyone. If all Macs were for everyone, we’d all have a Mac Pro, MacBook, iMac and a Mini. The idea is that some models are for some people, and not for others. The Mini doesn’t try to be a computer for everyone, but just serve those who find it to be their best option.
10. It is very powerful. For the top-end of $950, you get a 2.0 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 Gigs of RAM, 160 GB hard drive, 3 USB ports, a Firewire port, DVI-out, Leopard and iLife 08. The only weak point is the integrated video.
So why don’t I use one? Well, back to point number 9. I use a MacBook Pro. That’s what fits be best. But I love Minis anyway!

Comments: 5 Responses to “Ten Reasons I Love the Mac Mini”

    3/23/08 @ 11:49 am

    I think you should do a little bit more research before posting an article like this. The Mini has FOUR USB ports.

    And how does running Windows wells makes you like the Mini? The Mac Pro should run Windows even better, so why don’t you pick that?

    And how does the Mini differ from the other Macs in terms of VNC and the other points you elaborated?

    And may I mention that it’s only portable if you have a second LCD screen, keyboard and mouse waiting for you at the destination.

    3/23/08 @ 12:28 pm

    Thanks Jackson. I could swear that the model I have in the office has 3, but having 4 only makes it better. Both the Windows point and the VNC point hinge on the fact that the machine is less than $1000. I just thought I didn’t need to keep repeating it with every point. I think it is great that you can do those things, and my other points, so well with an inexpensive machine.
    As for portability, yes, it would require you borrowing a monitor and keyboard from another machine at the second location. Or, you could bring them with you. The new Mac keyboards are very easy to travel with, and some LCD screens are very small and light.
    Thanks for the response.

    3/25/08 @ 3:33 pm

    My father was impressed when I brought over my boxed PPC Mac Mini, 17″ LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse and hooked it up to his broadband to do some downloading. He exclaimed: “wow, that’s really portable.” Yeah… well no… okay, sort of.. Certainly better than bringing over a big tower but really, a bit bulkier than a lap top. Ha ha ha. We got broadband, here, and that little powerpc Mac Mini sprits along just lovely. Cool thing is when I got a new intel Mac Mini, I simply used the one LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse in using “set up assistant” to migrate everything over. What a breeze that was. These days, I have both little Mac Minis sitting side by side, each with their own monitor, keyboard and mouse. They now form a little firewire network of two so I we can use both for surfing on-line at the same time. Good thing as, my husband’s taste in You Tube videos is rather different from mine. Yeah.. these little Mac Minis certainly work for me. Thanks!

    2/18/11 @ 10:10 am

    I love the Mac mini, and I’ve owned more that 30 macs in my life from the 1980s onwards. The Mac mini (especially the aluminium model in 2010) is a great HTPC and does this job better than any. I use mine hooked up to a LCD projector and EyeTV plugged in the back. Couldn’t be happier.

    8/28/11 @ 11:52 pm

    Well, I’m an avid Mac user. I also develop software on the Windows platform. I recently bought the Mac Mini 2011 to downsize my computers. Win7/WinXP both loaded with Parallels and actually run faster than a work laptop with the same processor running Win7 by itself. Go figure that one.

    Also, I like the idea of being able to take the box into another room and hook it up to a TV through the HDMI connector. Only complaint is I wish the 2nd hard drive bay was easier to get at so I could drop in another HD at some point.

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