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2011 Apple Mac Mini Review

By on July 29, 2011

The new apple Mac mini which debuted this summer is the cheapest and latest Mac on the block but don’t let its low cost undermine its power. It is a great device for those wishing to switch their old PCs brain with some new stuff. You can retain your old screen, mouse and other hardware with this small Mac powerhouse.

For those familiar with old mac mini there aren’t too many cosmetic changes although the mini still looks curiously different from what we have seen before. This aluminum slab is much more a showpiece than a computer and looks gorgeous just sitting there by itself. It has the same dimensions of its predecessor, 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds.

It is all silver with the apple logo on top and the side ports in black giving it a sleek refined look. On the sides you can find  an AC input, gigabit Ethernet jack, FireWire 800 port, HDMI (full-size), Thunderbolt, four USB 2.0 sockets, an SDXC slot, an audio input and a 3.5mm headphone port to complete the long list.

On the bottom side of the box is a Wi-Fi module, cooling fan, two SODIMM slots and many other cleverly hidden components. A much missed component from the mini Mac is a 3.0 USB port. Instead the only new addition is the thunderbolt which although is impressive but doesn’t quite make up for the high speed port. Thunderbolt easily handles even very high resolutions and with an improved processing unit provides enough to meet everyone’s expectations.

The new Mac mini is rigged with 2.3GHz dual-core Core i5 processor and the memory has been pegged up to 4GB DDR3 RAM( 2GB only in the base model). There is also a 500GB (5,400RPM) hard drive and Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM. The higher model comes with AMD’s dedicated Radeon HD 6630M graphics chipset. Playing 1080p files and HD videos proves to be an easy task even for the 2GB version. Even in terms of gaming the new version is far ahead of the older one.

You can play most of the current games with ease on the Mac mini even on high resolutions. Other badly missed features are an optical drive and a TV tuner card.  The HDMI port may help you connect to a TV but absence of a DVD drive might prompt many to rethink their plans.

The 2011 apple Mac mini comes with the new OS X, so if you are looking for a reasonably priced Mac then it is a good buy for you. Otherwise it has to face some stiff competition from the likes of HP slimline s5 which offers more power and storage space along with a blu ray drive at the same price.

The OS X lion is a great OS and the Mac mini itself delivers a super quiet performance plus ensures lesser heating up.  At around $600 for the base model, it is almost $100 lower than the 2010 version but with a few more features it would have made a great buy.

GD Star Rating