What is it? The Mac mini is Apples entry-level desktop Mac. It is slower than Apples other desktop computers, the iMac and Mac Pro, but it remains fast enough for general-purpose use.
Whos it for? Apple targets first-time Mac users with the Mac mini. If youre switching from a PC, you can use your PCs keyboard and mouse with the Mac mini. The Mac mini is also ideal as a secondary Mac in your home, and it can integrate into your home entertainment center.
What are the specifications? What makes the Mac mini stand out is its small size. It doesnt take up a lot of desk space.
Apple sells two Mac mini models. The $599 model has a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU and a 5400-rpm 500GB hard drive. The $799 model includes a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 processor and a 5400-rpm 1TB hard drive. Both Mac minis come standard with 4GB of memory and an Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics processor.
The Mac mini does not include a display, keyboard, or mouse. Youll have to provide your own, or you can customize your order to include these devices, for an additional fee for each.
Since the Mac mini lacks an optical drive, you need to buy an external USB optical drive if you want to read or burn CDs and DVDs.
How do I connect stuff? Like Apples other Macs, the Mac mini has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It also has USB 3.0 (four ports), Thunderbolt (one port), and an SDXC card slot.
The Mac mini provides a FireWire 800 port for connecting external hard drives and other devices. It also has a gigabit ethernet port, in case you want to connect to a wired network.
To connect a display, you can use the HDMI port or the Thunderbolt port. You might have to buy an adapter if your display doesnt have HDMI or Mini DisplayPort (which connects to the Mac mini's Thunderbolt port). If you own a display with VGA and/or DVI output, you need either the Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA Adapter or the Mini DisplayPort-to-DVI Adapter, which each cost $29.
How fast is it? The Mac mini wont set any speed records. The $599 Mac mini is the second-slowest Mac in Apples current lineup. The $799 Mac mini is 25% faster than the $599 modela significant boost. Regardless, dont let the performance turn you away from the Mac mini. For general use and for editing of short videos, the Mac mini does just fine.