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Date First Available
October 15, 2014
Warranty & Support
Amazon.com Return Policy:
You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
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The entry level Mac Mini isn't a bad computer... the 1.4 Ghz CPU isn't fast, but it's decent for many casual users. The trouble is, although the current lineup has some nice new features, such as 3x faster WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports, you can no longer upgrade the memory on your own.
Let me repeat that. You can't upgrade the memory. So if you buy the entry level model, which comes with only 4GB of memory, that's it. You're stuck with it. In the previous generation, you could upgrade the memory to as much as 16 GB.
To me, the most important thing you can do to speed up a computer is add RAM. Even if you don't plan on running more than one program at a time, you will eventually find that programs will continue to get bigger and bigger, until your system will slows down to a crawl.
Last week, I actually bought one of the entry level 4GB models to use as a secondary computer. I knew it would have limits, but the speed difference was so dramatic, I returned it a few days later... and bought their middle configuration, which costs $200 more, which nearly doubles the CPU speed to 2.6 Ghz... and doubles the hard drive size from 500GB to 1TB (1000 GB)... but more importantly, it doubles the RAM to 8GB. Doubling the RAM had a dramatic effect on the speed. It's not a little faster... it's like an entirely different computer.
Love my Mac mini, I must first say. I am a web development student and we use a lot of adobe programs for our classes. My very old windows computer couldn't handle the adobe monster. Mac mini is a powerhouse. I downloaded a ton of adobe programs and It works effortlessly. I use a I-MAC in school, so I was used to the MAC OS. I see no really big difference between the I-mac at school that I use everyday and the mac mini that I use at home. OK, I-Macs are beautiful that's it.. The mini comes with 4 usb's which is pretty good. But, I hooked a USB hub to one of the USB on the mini. It's not convenient to pick up the Mini and turn it around and place flash drives in it every time. But, I do the same thing with the $ 4000 I-mac at school too. Things that make the mini great is it works with my HP IPS monitor perfectly, just plug it in and calibrate it.( It looks a little like a IMAC display) I didn't need to download any monitor display programs, I use with it the rocket fish web cam(plug & play on mac), I also use with it the samsung SE-208 external dvd writer( for listening to my CDS and it's plug and play too) If, you are a student like me or someone who likes doing more than one thing at a time... I use the Split screen app for looking using two windows at one time. I like to use photoshop and go on google chrome at the same time... best $6.99 that I ever spent for a app. Don't forget to get dropbox also for uploading files . (It's a lifesaver and saves up room on your computer) The only thing that sucks with this edition mac mini is that apple made it tough to upgrade the system hard drive. But, people are doing it on youtube, so it is possible. If, you upgrade the hard drive yourself that would void your warranty. With that in mind, I purchased this model with 8GB and the 1 terabyte on the recommendation of a classmate who works for apple care. I must say she was correct. It is great for anyone who is entering the apple system the first time or anyone who doesn't have $ 2000 and more to blow on a I-MAC. I bought my mac mini from apple. It cost me $723 with student discount( apple calls $ 20 bucks a student discount), ouch. Amazon is a good deal for buying one.
There are some benefits and some drawbacks to the new Mac mini. We've tested a bunch already and they are solid units. From what we've written on the Macminicolo blog of ten things to know.
1) The machine received a second thunderbolt 2 port and lost its Firewire 800 port. A few years ago, this would have been a big loss, but I don't think it's as big of a deal now. The Thunderbolt drives are getting less expensive and have more options available. And with the addition of USB 3 in the 2012 mini, that covers a lot of what people need for speed.
2) For home users, the increased Graphics will be a very welcomed upgrade. In a data center, that will be useful for those who process a lot of images and will likely help when screen sharing.
3) The RAM can no longer be upgraded by the user. This option will be sorely missed by a lot of people. At least Apple has decreased the price of the RAM upgrades when you build and order a machine on the Apple Store. Also, nice to see the two higher versions come with 8GB of RAM by default now.
4) If a hard drive is ordered in the Mac mini, you can get to it and replace an SSD but it won't be easy. As was before, replacing the hard drive is not covered under warranty.
5) On the previous mini there was one Gigabit ethernet port, and to get a second one you'd have to take the only Thunderbolt port. Now that there are two Thunderbolt ports, you can have a second Gigabit port and a Thunderbolt drive.
6) There is no more "Server" version, so no more dual-drive Mac mini. From our experience, nearly everyone used that second drive for a cloned backup. Very useful, but having a backup on the outside of the Mac mini can be useful too. (It's much easier to plug that external drive into another Mac and boot from it. This makes for a quick recovery if needed.)
7) Because there are fewer parts in the mini now, the Applecare is down now as well to $99. (Previously $149)
8) It's nice to see the return of the $499 Mac mini. It started there, then the base price went to $599, $699, back to $599 and now a full circle back to $499. It's still incredible having a Mac under $500.
9) When ordering an HDD option, it looks like it is still a 5400RPM drive. That's too bad. The 2011 Mac mini had the faster 7200RPM and that was a nice bonus. I guess we're living in an SSD world now. If you want speed, you know how to get it.
10) Overall it's a nice upgrade. Though to be honest, with these components, it really should have happened about 6 months ago.