113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
My first Mac,
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This review is from: Apple Mac Mini MD387LL/A Desktop (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this computer along with a Chromebook S 550. They are a perfect compliment. I have wanted to buy a mac computer for a while because of the good things I have heard and my past experience with Apple products (ipods). But, they always seemed too expensive for me. But, with this comp, it was a perfect fit because I already had a keyboard, 19 inch digital display, and mouse. I did an extensive analysis on comps for several weeks and you know what, even when you compare the mac mini to several other desktops, it is NOT more expensive for what you get. I thought the price would be premium. That DOES seem to be the case the the imacs, but not the mac mini ($599 late 2012 edition).
My first impressions: Everything was so simple and user friendly from when I first booted it up and walked through registration. It seemed to run very quickly. I upgraded the ram when I first got it to 8gb from the standard 4gb, because of all the reviews on how easy it was to upgrade ram in this comp and the price being very inexpensive. I paid about $40 for 8gb of ram compared to $100 to upgrade through Apple. Installation was super easy.
Also, my wife is a performing artist and needed a quick demo video for a conference she was being considered for. Sadly, we have limited footage of the type we needed. But, one of the reasons we bought the mac was for ease of video editing. It was time to put the new mac to the test. The only footage I had was on a DVD. I had serious doubts about the mac and imovie being able to "rip" footage from a DVD to the comp easily without downloading some complicated software. All I did was insert the disc into the external DVD drive that I already owned. And an import bubble opened immediately to easy capture the footage into imovie! I was amazed! Plus, I was able to learn imovie pretty quick, even though I am used to premiere and final cut. Most things were intuitive and the rest I just Googled/youtubed the answer.
Finally, I was hesitant that my other devices would not be compatible with the mac: keyboard, mouse, screen, DVD drive, printer (3yrs old). Especially bc the people at the Apple store will not let you even test the devices out on the mac. I got different responses from the employees at the store. It seemed like I knew more than them.
But, to my delight, all the devices work great (with minor exceptions)!
19 inch display: great: mac mini comes with a hdmi to DVI converted which is what my monitor has
Printer: very good: I though this might be tricky bc it is about 3 years old and is one of those printers that has the special "windows specific" software. I read online that there was a mac driver for my printer, but one reviewer said it was incorrect, which made me nervous. I was willing to buy a new printer for about $120 if need be, but did not want to when I already have a great "all-in-one" laser printer.
Long story short, I downloaded the mac printer driver and it printed just fine, whether connected directly to the mac via usb or when the printer was connected to my router via Ethernet (printer has no wifi) The only issue came when I tried scanning to the mac. Since there is no fancy software for the mac for this printer, it is very basic and I discovered it only works consistently when the printer is connected directly to the mac via usb (which is fine for me). I did manage to print wirelessly to the printer while the printer was connected to router via Ethernet, but it did not work consistently.
DVD drive (HP): usually works, but sometimes the disc is not always read and I have to take it out and put it back in. The apple employees warned me that non-mac disc drives usually do not work, but it has managed to accomplish my goals.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 1, 2013 1:25:13 PM PDT
Roger Lier says:
Thanks for the review. What monitor would you recommend?
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2013 1:35:52 PM PDT
David Shaheen says:
No prob. I just used the one I had from 5-7 years back which still works well. It is a Westinghouse matte screen. To get the best picture, you will want to have a monitor with at least DVI or the latest (HMDI) port.
Posted on Dec 29, 2013 9:23:57 PM PST
"when you compare the mac mini to several other desktops, it is NOT more expensive for what you get."
For 580 dollars you can get a desktop (that is upgradable in all aspects, not limited to just RAM and HDD.) NewEgg currently has a pre-built desktop that is geared toward gaming/entertainment. The desktop is not only upgradable, but has an actual GPU, not that crappy mobile graphics that's integrated in the Mac Mini. A 6-core CPU that is far more capable than the i5 or i7 in the mac mini. Double the RAM at 8GB. 300W power supply. Twice the amount of storage on the HDD at a higher RPM (7200) so it's read and write speeds can out-do the Mac's. Oh yeah it also comes with keyboard and mouse peripherals.
I guess the only ways the Mac Mini comes out on top is:
Portability (not sure why you'd move a "desktop" around but this is definitely smaller, and lighter)
Design (Apple products have phenomenal design)
If you think I've written this because I dislike Apple, that is incorrect as I am typing this on a MacBook Pro. I just think the Mac Mini is a waste of money and that for what you are getting, it is quite overpriced. The laptop that I am currently typing this comment on outperforms the current Mini in every way. My Macbook Pro is even older, being from late 2011. My laptop also has a screen, keyboard, and trackpad which the mini does not and can be used without being plugged into a wall or any other power supply as it has an internal battery. The fact that the Mini fails on all of those points to a laptop, that is older and outdated I think helps to show how much of a waste of money that the Mac Mini truly is. I like the rest of your review, and how you described how easy the editing software is on Macs. That's why I love mine.
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