Apple Mac Mini Core 2 Duo

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Apple Mac Mini Core 2 Duo
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor, size and price, it has a DVD burner

Cons

  • The Mac mini operates at the slower speed and shorter range of the 802.11g when compared to the iMac and MacBooks, it doesn't come with a mouse, keyboard and monitor

Bottom Line

The latest Mac mini models have made some impressive gains in terms of performance, without gaining bulk or higher price tags. Still a great bargain, especially for those who already own a mouse, keyboard and display, the Mac mini's size and price allow it to fit into spaces and budgets that other Macs cannot. With its faster performance and DVD-burning capabilities, the 2GHz Mac mini is worth it, but if DVD burning isn't something you need, the 1.83GHz Mac mini still gives a lot of bang for the buck. If space is not an issue and you don't have a spare keyboard, mouse, and display hanging around, you may be better off with an iMac, whose superior graphics and hard disk performance may be worth the extra money.

Would you buy this?

It was a welcome surprise when Apple quietly updated the Mac mini to include Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

With its low price and small size, the Mac mini has always offered a versatile and economical Mac experience. But, while Apple has regularly updated its line of consumer notebooks and desktops, this year the Mac mini seemed to have been all but forgotten by the company.

In fact, many industry pundits predicted that the mini would be eliminated from Apple's product line. So it was a welcome surprise when Apple quietly updated the Mac mini to include Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the same processors the MacBook, MacBook Pro and iMac have been using since the end of 2006.

The good news for those remaining loyal to the Mac mini, or for people just looking for the least expensive Mac available, is that this under-hyped upgrade gives the Mac mini an impressive performance boost in several applications.

Out of the box

Externally, the Mac mini continues to use the same white plastic and aluminium design that it has sported since it was introduced. The Mac mini still requires you to supply your own keyboard, mouse and display, and there are plenty of ways to connect these peripherals.

On the back of the Mac mini you'll find four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, a power button and combination optical and analogue audio in and out jacks. There is also a security slot, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a DVI port for connecting an LCD display with up to 1920x1200 resolution (the same as Apple's 23in Cinema HD display); a DVI-to-VGA cable is included for hooking up an analogue LCD or CRT monitor.

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