Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The New MAC Mini

Vidit Bhargava
Apple just yesterday launched the new MAC MINI. They've updated the whole thing quite a lot. For they've updated the design to a uni-body Aluminium enclosure. The specs have been upgraded and 'there is' an option to manually upgrade the RAM.

So what is this 'MAC mini'? Apple itself doesn't provide computers like we have, either they have an All in one iMac range or they have the MAC Pro which is for the server people. Mac Mini is a mini CPU of sorts. Of Course its branded so you cannot customize much. This is how a MAC Mini looks:

Lets get to some technical specifications.

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo2GB memory320GB hard drive8x double-layer SuperDriveNVIDIA GeForce 320M graphicsMac OS X Snow Leopard$699 (nearly 35K in India)

The specifications are good. The only concerns are the Processors and the 2GB RAM. The Core 2 Duo Processor is good but when you can get the Core i3, i5 or i7 why not add to the mini? The 2GB RAM is also just par. A 3 or 4GB RAM would have been excellent. Also a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are there and that adds to the + points.

The new Addition to the MAC mini is the Rotatable Lid at the bottom, it opens up to reveal the CPU, and then we can change 'only' the RAM. So if you're unhappy with the RAM config just get hold of a Mac ram and replace it. (Supports upto 8GB only). Other things like the Graphics card and the fan are only for viewing, you can't change them.

At the back of the MAC mini you now get a black panel, which includes:
Power On and of switch, A power plug (no bulky power supplies this time!), 1 Ethernet and Firewire Port, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, SD Card Slot, Headphone and Mic Jacks, A mini -display Port and an HDMI port.

So everything is fine when it comes to the back panel.
Overall, the Device Technically has improved a Ton. However, these are all on the paper, I dont have the actual device.

So now we can ask the question, whether to buy a PC or MAC Mini?

Talking of the Price first:An assembled CPU of the same configuration as of MAC Mini with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and others will cost around : Rs. 25K/- (approximately $600). Now we add the software to that : Windows 7 ultimate original for : Rs. 11,000 (i use the original price to make a comparison of equals, pirated versions do come but since I am comparing the two, it will be unfair to use pirated prices) and you would want the latest Office suite : that comes for Rs. 7,000 (again original prices quoted.). So The total Price of the CPU and the Software included comes around : Rs. 40,000/-

Now to the MAC Mini : iLife and OS X come inbuilt in the $699 package which in India after all the duties and taxes will come for nearly : Rs. 38,000 (I may be wrong but this is what I believe going to be the price). You need an iWork Suite which is another : Rs. 4700.
Total Price: Rs. 42,700/-

So the competition in the prices is very close. Other things include the big debate of MAC and PCS. (For me the MAC wins)

The verdict :The new MAC mini update is awesome I like it and to the question of whether a MAC Mini or an assembled PC. The competition is close. Its up to you to decide, which one do you want. The price matters very little here.

Image Credit : Apple
P.S. There were other big announcements this week : Project Natal (Microsoft Kinect), Nintendo 3DS, PS Move and all the E3 Games. A post on that coming soon! (once the E3 is ove)

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