Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

Apple Mac mini - nVidia 9400M Edition - Apple Mac mini

The only Windows-based system I can think of that is really worth considering as an alternative to the Mac mini is Dell's Studio Hybrid. Not only do I think the Hybrid looks almost as good as the Mac mini, but it can also be specced nearly identically for around the same price. Moreover, the Hybrid offers a standard DVI output and HDMI connectivity!

Of course at this point the mini pulls out the "I run Mac OS" trump card and, it should be pointed out, also has a significantly more powerful graphics chip. Nonetheless, if OS X isn't your cup of tea or you want a simple-to-setup under-the-TV computer, the Hybrid is probably the better choice.
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Some competition to the Mac mini also comes, oddly enough, from Apple itself. Unless you're adamant about keeping your current monitor, keyboard, mouse and such like the iMac - especially the new £1,199 24in system - is a tempting alternative and offers an even more compact and powerful solution.

However, while configuring a system with a faster CPU, a load of RAM or a higher capacity hard drive may well push the price up, none of those upgrades are needed for the kind of day-to-day computing the Mac mini is geared towards. Simply add 2GB of RAM to the base system and the resulting £539 Mac mini will be more than happy to chew through any task the average user could possibly throw at.

Verdict

For general everyday computing - web browsing, sending and reading emails, perhaps the odd bit of word processing or even kicking back and watching a DVD, the Mac mini is a more than capable machine. That it just so happens to look fantastic and have an almost infeasibly small form-factor is all the better. To see and use a Mac mini is to want one, and I can't imagine any owner being disappointed with the purchase.

Scores In Detail

Performance
8/10
Value
8/10
Features
9/10
Design
10/10

Our Score

9/10
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