Tuesday, 11 January 2005

NOTE: Want to get a free Mac mini? Click here and you can sign up for a marketing program that lets you sign up (under my referral) for a program that you can use to get one for free. Check it out.

Steve Jobs and Apple Computers did the big message thing today, and rolled out some wow-wow stuff. Among the new announcements are the confirmation of the rumored $500 Mac and an even-smaller, simpler and less-expensive iPod Shuffle MP3 player.

The Mac mini is nifty, very mini, and the base model is $499. By the time you outfit it with more RAM, and if you want to be able to burn DVDs or have wireless or Bluetooth capability, you’ll pay more – and it adds up pretty quickly.

A $599 base model includes 40GB more hard drive and a faster G4 processor than the $499 model.

You have to add the keyboard, monitor and mouse on your own. If you already have those items ready to use, that might be a good deal. I’ve done the math, and once you add on what I’d probably want, it leaves me wondering if I should just go with the 17” iMac. This is a lot smaller case, but hey the iMac is basically a monitor with everything built in, and a more powerful processor (the iMac has a 1.6GHz G5 in the base model) so…

The 17” iMac G5 looks like this and sells for $1299 with everything you need (monitor, keyboard, mouse):

17-inch widescreen LCD
1.6GHz PowerPC G5
512K L2 cache
533MHz frontside bus
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
64MB DDR video memory
80GB Serial ATA hard drive
Slot-load Combo Drive

The better-equipped Mac mini looks like this for $599 base, but it’ll end up costing about $1000–$1100 by the time you equip it the same way, but it’s important to keep in mind you’ll get a slower frontside bus, slower RAM, and a less-powerful G4 proc:

1.42GHz PowerPC G4
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
Combo drive
DVI or VGA video output
AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth optional

And $499–$599 doesn’t give you what you need to fire it up and make it work. Add the needed keyboard and mouse (decent ones, assuming you don’t already have what you’d need) and you’re up another $50–$100. An off-brand widescreen 17–inch LCD display will run you $390 or more. An Apple-branded display costs significantly more than that.

If it was a G5 machine, I’d be all over the mini right now, just for size reasons. As it stands, I think I will wait for performance reports from the field. Sure, $500 is a much less expensive entry price, but when you stack the two above models next to each other, well… $500 is still $500, ya know? It’s still important to spend smart.

I’m going to buy a Mac – some kind of Mac. Will it be a mini? Time will tell. But I’ll let someone else do the early-adoption on this one.

Add/Read: Comments [3]
Tuesday, 11 January 2005 22:16:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Referred by:
http://search.daum.net/ [Referral]
Wednesday, 12 January 2005 11:04:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, as a long time laptop user, I'm seeing the Mini as a PowerBook (or iBook) companion. I've often had two laptops at the same time, but you tend to neglect one of them in favor of the other. The Mini will give laptop users the option of storing aps and material not often used, or, needing to be backed up, on a second computer that doesn't cost much. Also, the processors in the Mini are faster than those in older Mac laptops, meaning a power boost in running applications. Attach the Mini in hard disk mode and one should be as in business as s/he would be with a second laptop, but without the cost. Another use would be as the base computer for a stable wireless network. Don't be surprised if laptop users snap'em up.
Friday, 14 January 2005 14:19:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I'd personally go with the iMac G5 instead of the mini. The mini wouldn't do as good for what you want it to do. Maybe I'll get a Mac some day, a laptop would be sweet, and put portage (from Gentoo) on Mac OS 10.x... *drool*
Wednesday, 19 January 2005 13:26:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hey Greg,

There has been lots of buzz online about the Free Mini Mac sites...I've looked it up and it seems that it is being run by the same people that ran the free iPod promotions which I read about in the newspaper. I signed up, but do you think that this will really work? I just got a new G5 tower so I'm not wanting to spend more money for a smaller less powerful computer now that I have it, but I can't wait to check it out. I agree with you that if it had a G5 everyone would be crawling all over it. I'm not sure what the hype about the iPod Shuffle is. I have a 4G 20 GB iPod and I can't imagine not having a screen on that puppy or a touch wheel. Do you really think that the Shuffle will stand a chance in the low priced flash based MP3 market??

Here is the link (which you can remove because I know it is a referral): http://www.macminis4free.com/default.aspx?r=171854

Love the site, keep up the hard work! :-) -Chris
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