Customer Review

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Especially for those who like to customize peripherals (4+ stars), March 16, 2008
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This review is from: Apple Mac mini MB139LL/A (2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, SuperDrive) (Personal Computers)
This little Mac CPU is perfect for people who want a powerful but inexpensive CPU without the frills. Just 2.5" high and 6.5" square, it fits almost anywhere: on a desk, in a drawer, on a narrow shelf. The unit comes with a Mac SuperDrive for burning and playing DVD/CDs, a remote control, BlueTooth technology, the iLife Suite (iPhoto, iTunes, Garage Band, Photo Booth, iMovie, etc.), and the newest OS X Leopard (on CDs, not installed.) That's it. You have to buy your own keyboard, mouse, monitor, and anything else you'd like to add.

Pros:

-- This little guy is fast and reliable. The 1 GB RAM is good enough for most users, although you can expand to 2 GB. (See Cons.)

-- Size. No more towers!

-- Leopard is utterly fantastic. Make sure you take the "tour" to fully appreciate its capabilities and features since many aren't immediately obvious. It allows easy sharing of files within a network, wireless or otherwise, automatics back-ups to an external hard drive (purchase separately) that can be accessed according to a specific date and time, and in-network video conferencing (again, you have to supply the web cam.) My favorite feature is setting my computer to turn on at the same time every day so it's ready to go when I walk into my home office.

-- The no-frills package allows users to buy their preferred size of monitor. Since monitors bought separately usually cost far less than what Apple charges, this ends up being a cost saver as well. The Apple keyboard works best with the Mac mini since there's a special key for ejecting CD/DVDs, but any keyboard will do.

Cons

-- The memory upgrade is not as easy as it should be. Look online for detailed instructions, including removing the Blue Tooth antenna. (Ignore instructions for the old version of the Mac Mini.) You'll have to take the unit partially apart to get to the memory slots. If you are at all intimidated by working inside a computer, get the extra memory pre-installed.

-- The power button is on the back of the machine, while the Super Drive slot is in the front. This means that the unit must be accessible, both front and back, unless you set the system to turn on automatically. This is the main reason I cannot give this unit five stars.

-- The Super Drive is noisy when it starts up.

For people who want to keep their current monitor and other peripherals, the Mac Mini is an excellent and economical choice. If you need to buy all the accessories, the price can start to add up, and you might want to look at a different computer. Even so, the small size can be a huge bonus for those who are short on space.

I love my Mac Mini, and I've never regretted purchasing it.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2008 8:06:42 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 12:38:24 PM PDT
R. Kyle says:
Debbie,

Hey you! Thanks! I was actually looking for a Mac mini to go with the Apple TV. It's a pain to run from my office to the livingroom to put in the numeric code to activate the AppleTV and half the time I get interrupted so I have to grab another code. This might just make my life a lot easier.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 5:00:57 PM PDT
I don't have Apple TV (wish list, anyone?) although I've watched DVDs using the Mac mini and my LCD flat screen monitor. Quite impressive.

And to Amanda: trust me, my no-frills leopard mini skirt doesn't work half as well as the computer's.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 6:13:32 PM PDT
DST says:
I have just received mine and it does not have a remote. I am wondering if you purchased this very item? There clearly is no place in the box for the remote, so I assume it is no longer included.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2008 11:14:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2008 11:17:04 AM PDT
Yes, I bought this same item -- and from Amazon. The only difference is that I purchased mine seven months ago, at the end of December, so they may have stopped including a remote. At the time, Leopard was included on a CD, although I understand from later reviews that it may now be pre-installed.

Edited to add: DST, you'd better call Amazon. They are still showing it with the remote. Click on the link for additional tech info.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 7:33:00 PM PST
Dave H. says:
Note that Apple regards the mini as a "non user-serviceable" machine, which means if you crack this unit open to add RAM or a different hard drive, you will void its warranty! RAM upgrades must be done by Apple or a certified reseller. It stinks, but those are Apple's rules for this unit.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2009 2:20:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2009 2:21:03 PM PST
Dave, I researched the "crack open the unit" problem -- and Apple explicitly stated that opening the Mini and installing memory would NOT void the warranty unless damage occurred while the unit was open.

Since installing the memory, I took this unit to the Genius Bar because it wasn't powering on. (The problem ended up being in the power source, not the Mini itself.) Even though they knew I had installed memory myself, they said that the warranty was still valid since the problem was unrelated to memory installation. Obviously, I didn't test it since it didn't need servicing, but they did say that it was under warranty and any repairs would be at no cost to me.
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