Apple Mac mini review: Aluminum Desktop

Salman Asad January 22, 2013 0

Apple Mac mini review: Aluminum Desktop

The Apple Mac Mini hasn’t changed much from its previous Thunderbolt version, but the addition of the Ivy Bridge processor along with USB 3.0 and a performance improvement in Fusion drive makes this version a solid update. But does it still warrant an upgrade especially for those who own the slightly older version? Read on to find out.

Design

Mac Mini - Design

The aluminum clad box is all styles and despite being just a box looks attractive. Measuring 1.4 by 7.7 by 7.7 inches the tiny box contains all the curves and looks associated with an Apple product and will slot right beside your LCD monitor or your LED TV as a home entertainment box even. The horizontal design has been kept although some of the Mac Mini’s competitors have gone for the vertical design. The Apple logo is ever present and the backside of the box can be opened without any tools for easy access for a peek inside and change of RAM even. Overall the design is tight and slick.

Connections and Ports

Mac Mini - Ports

The new Mac Mini has seen an update in this department. USB 3.0 is the new big addition along with a Thunderbolt port which can also be used as a mini display port. There is also a SDXC card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, Bluetooth 4.0 and a WIFI option as well. All this in a tiny box makes for some impressive showing.

Performance

The Mac Mini has been updated in this department as well with the addition of higher powered Ivy Bridge processors. With the power of a core i7 processor along with 4, 8 or 16GB of RAM configuration, you won’t need to upgrade anytime soon. These specs point towards excellent performance and the Mac Mini doesn’t disappoint.

Along with the core specs, the Mac Mini has also seen an improvement in the GPU category. Now the Mac Mini is fitted with an Intel HD 4000 though the option of a dedicated graphics card is a no go.

Fusion Drive

The Fusion drive is an interesting concept put to use by Apple. The concept involves two harddisks acting as one drive. Meaning that there will actually be two drives in the system physically but only one will be shown. One drive will be an SSD and the other a mass 1 TB storage. Now the system will decide what files and applications are to be on the SSD and which are to be transferred to the slower 1 TB storage. Apple has improved the performance of the fusion box as well.

Verdict

The Mac Mini offers an affordable package of $599 for the most basic box but that is quite powerful too. And with the addition of some notable changes like USB 3.0 and the Ivy bridge processors this newer version seems like a nice buy. But if you already own a Mac Mini then an update doesn’t come recommended.

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