Apple Mac Mini (2009)
The new Mac Mini from Apple retains its small form factor but gets an updated CPU and beefier graphics.
- Decently priced, reasonably powerful, small and attractive design, DisplayPort connection
- No HDMI, 5400rpm hard drive
With the latest upgrade, the price gap between the Mac Mini and other Apple computers has widened. For the price, you get decent power and a small case that will fit into the tightest of spaces.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
It has been a year and a half since Apple updated its budget desktop line of Macs, but a new Mac Mini has finally been released. That may excite those looking for a cheap computer or powerful alternative to the AppleTV. The hardware has been improved, but the design is similar to the previous model. The lack of an HDMI connection remains the biggest deterrent to those looking for an elegant home theatre PC.
It's the Mac Mini’s internals that have undergone the biggest changes. Both configurations come standard with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor; a significant step up from integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics used in the previous model. The $999 Mac Mini offers 1GB of DDR3 memory and a 5400rpm, 120GB hard drive. For $300 more you can grab 2GB of DDR3 memory and a 5400rpm, 320GB hard drive.
Wireless connectivity includes 802.11a/b/g and draft-n over 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio frequencies, as well as integrated Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.
Testing the 2.0GHz Mac Mini with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, we encoded an album’s worth of uncompressed WAV audio files to 192Kbps MP3 audio in 1min 33sec; this is the same result as the similarly configured (but Windows-based) Dell Studio Hybrid. The Mac Mini is capable of accomplishing most office productivity, Web browsing and basic creative tasks; however, it did struggle to complete iTunes' gapless playback process on a large music library without freezing.
The Mac Mini lacks a keyboard and mouse but it is comparatively well-priced for an Apple computer. Optional upgrades aren’t expensive either, at $270 for a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and $180 for an extra 2GB of DDR3 RAM (for a total of 4GB of memory).
The Mac Mini's exterior design has gone unchanged. It still has the brushed aluminium sides, the white top with familiar logo, and a tiny white LED power indicator on the front. The back panel features a power connector, Gigabit Ethernet and five USB ports (up from four on the previous model). FireWire 400 has vanished; it's replaced by a FireWire 800 port (you can attach FireWire 400 devices if you purchase an adapter).
Both of its display ports use proprietary Apple connections: mini-DVI and mini-DisplayPort. Unless you have the Apple LED Cinema Display, using either port will require an adapter; a mini-DVI to DVI adapter is bundled, but otherwise you are looking at shelling out more cash. The Mac Mini also lacks an HDMI connection, and there is currently no way to throughput audio and video over the same connection from the Mac Mini to conventional home theatre components.
The Mac Mini's closest competitor in size is the Dell Studio Hybrid, and with its beefier graphics the Apple comes out on top.
The Mac Mini remains cool and quiet during use, dissipating heat through recessed vents on the underside and a vent on the back.
The computer's small stature can be attributed in part to the use of an external power supply. Rated at 110W, the brick is significantly larger than a power adapter of the Apple Macbook Pro but is still small enough to tuck away behind a desk. According to Apple, it also makes the Mac Mini the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer. Though it is hard to substantiate this claim, the Mac Mini definitely didn't consume much power during our tests, drawing 12W in standby mode and reaching brief peaks of 49W during intensive tasks.
MacOS X 10.5.6 is preinstalled, as is Apple’s creative suite, iLife 09, with access to software including GarageBand, iPhoto and iMovie. iWork 09, however, isn’t included, leaving the Mac Mini devoid of any competent productivity applications.
Apple's cheapest desktop computer works well as both a low-end, small-form-factor PC. It provides reasonable power in a small and competitively priced package. Unfortunately, the lack of an HDMI connection makes the Mac Mini unsuitable for your home theatre system.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
cloudandco Smart Cane
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Xbox One X
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- iMac Pro first look: Apple’s most powerful Mac is a multiprocessing beast
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Apple Roll Out High Sierra
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- ASUS' VivoMini VM45 gets upgraded to 7th Generation Intel processors
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTMid-Level Business Analyst (Digital Transformation)NSW
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - ServiceNow | ITSMQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer -VoiceWA
- FTBusiness Systems AnalystOther
- CCAdvisory Project Manager - Infrastructure ServicesVIC
- CCMS Exchange / Messaging AdministratorWA
- FTCustomer Service OperatorOther
- CCSenior MySQL Database AdministratorNSW
- CCAutomation Test ManagerVIC
- TPSenior Business Analyst - ieMR - Digital Health ProgramQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Agile - ERPOther
- CCWintel Team LeadWA
- FTMachine Learning Project ManagerACT
- FTField Service TechnicianOther
- FTPlatform Architect - InfrastructureOther
- CCJava Developers (EOI)QLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperOther
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- FTData Architect / Business Intelligence ArchitectOther
- CCControl Systems SpecialistQLD
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectVIC
- FTWireless Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNPOther
- FTAccount Manager - Enterprise AccountsOther
- FTProduct Owner - TelecommunicationsOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW