Apple Mac Mini (Spring 2010) Video
Apple Mac Mini (Spring 2010) Video Transcript
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:03
>> Hi. I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at Apple's brand new Mac mini. This thing just came out today, and it's the only sku Apple has available now. It goes for 699. There's a few configurable options. But we have the baseline model here. So that gets you a 320-gigabyte hard drive, 2 gigs of RAM, a 2.4 gigahertz Core 2 Duo CPU. Those were really all the options you could tweak. There is a new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chip. Apple says that gives you about two times the gaming performance. It's probably maybe a little bit less than that. And this is definitely not a gaming computer, so make no mistake. All the specs aside, though, what's probably the most exciting about this new Mac mini is it is an HDMI port on the back. Apple previously had a mini display port which made it a little bit complicated to output the Mac mini to a TV. You needed to get an adapter. In this case, though, there's an HDMI port built right in, makes connecting it to a TV very simple. There's some software that Apple includes that lets you accommodate for what's called underscan, which is sort of a disconnect between PC output and the way TVs receive that signal. So you can manually fix the scene. Makes it nice and easy. Otherwise, though, there's not really that much different about this new Mac mini compared with the old model, at least in terms of the functionality. From a design standpoint, there is actually quite a lot to talk about. This is actually a thinner Mac mini design than the old one. It's also a little bit wider and deeper by about an inch and a half. Underneath, you can see that there's this new disk on the bottom. That pops right off and it lets you get to the memory, as well as the hard drive if you're feeling ambitious. Apple doesn't recommend going into the hard drive, but you can get there. And that accessibility is unique to this Mac mini. You weren't previously able to really get inside that easily. Now, on the back of the system, there is an SD card slot. And that's an SDXC slot which gives you a little bit higher capacity than standard SD card slots. That's in keeping with Apple's move to the SD on the iMac. One last feature you'll probably appreciate is that the power cable no longer has an inline power brick. It's simply a standard cable. It goes right into the back of the Mac mini into the wall. No brick or mess really involved. So as before, there's no keyboard or mouse included, nor is there a remote control. You also have to bring your own display. And it will, of course, run with a standard PC-style display, Apple Cinema Display, what have you. So, from a value standpoint, this definitely carries that tradition of paying a premium for Apple products. 320-gigabyte hard drive is minuscule for this price range. You can get PCs that are also small form factor that plug into TVs that have drives of one terabyte or more. So that's certainly a knock against this system. That said, its design is very -- obviously living room friendly. And the HDMI output makes things a lot easier in terms of using that Mac mini as a media center. And also, with the new graphics chip, we had a pretty good experience playing HD movies from around the Web, including QuickTime. We tried Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, Netflix. Pretty much every site we went to had no problem playing HD video. So enthusiasts will probably still want to go for a small Windows-based media center that's less expensive with more storage. That said, for the Apple faithful, as well as the design nerds among us, the Mac mini will make a great little living room box. Just be prepared to pay a little bit extra for it. So I'm Rich Brown, and this is Apple's brand new Mac mini. ^M00:03:23 [ Music ]
Own a 27-inch iMac? Dying to connect a game console, Blu-ray player, or other HDMI-equipped device? Cursing Apple for using Mini DisplayPort instead of HDMI for video input? The situation might be frustrating, but that doesn't make the Kanex XD adapter less effective. We recommend it to those looking to bridge the gap between the living room and their large iMac.
With its thoughtful features, Dell's charming little Inspiron Zino HD is perfectly suited to serve up HD content to your living room. We wish it had more general computing speed, and design purists will find the Mac Mini more sophisticated, but on balance we recommend it, especially to more casual home theater PC enthusiasts.
Logitech has melded the diNovo Mini keyboard of a BlackBerry with a flexible cursor control pad into an attractive, coffee-table-ready package that will let you master your HTPC without cluttering up your living room with clunky hardware.
The lower-cost Mac Mini offers respectable budget performance and Apple's usual compelling design, but a puny hard drive and a lack of HDMI hurt this system's value and overall potential. It's actually more versatile next to its budget-priced Windows competition than the higher-end Mac Mini, but this entry-level Mac is still best left to Apple loyalists.
Apple has improved the value of the Mac Mini as well as its general appeal thanks to its faster performance. The Fusion Drive is also a nice touch for the enthusiast who might want it.
The Polywell MiniBox2 939NP Media Center PC earns points for its dual-core processor and capacious storage, but home-theater enthusiasts will require more A/V input and output choices.
eMachines ER1402-05 is a strong living-room Nettop among others like it, but it doesn't compete well in the larger picture of living-room entertainment devices like game consoles, media streamers, and video service-equipped Blu-ray players. It's worth a look if you need a desktop of this particular type, but keep shopping if you need a connected living-room media device.
With a very Apple-like design, the SoundLink Mini is a swankier -- and better-sounding -- alternative to the Jawbone Jambox.
If you want a small, innocuous computer for sending or receiving media or other files between rooms, no other computer offers the deal that Apple has with the Mac Mini Core Duo.
Flip Video's premium, second-generation version of its MinoHD offers a slightly improved design, double the memory, and an HDMI output for the same price that the original MinoHD used to cost.
Apple Mac Mini (Spring 2010) Review
The good: Sleek, living-room-ready aluminum chassis; HDMI video output makes it easy to connect an HDTV; SD card slot; user-accessible RAM; handles Web-based HD video with no trouble; best-in-class case design.
The bad: Puny storage capacity for its price; no Blu-ray hurts in a pricier living room system like this.
The bottom line: Apple's new Mac Mini includes an elegant new design and some long asked-for features, including HDMI output and user-accessible memory. The system still faces a value challenge for its given specs, but Apple has done enough to improve the Mac Mini's appeal for Apple loyalists and design fans looking for a living room computer.
Apple Mac Mini (Spring 2010) Specs
Part number: MC270LL/A
- Product Specifications
- Product Basic Spec