Thinking of a Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by JON35Y, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. JON35Y

    JON35Y Member
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    Hey there, could anybody take the time to give me the idiots guide to the Mac mini?! All the pro's and con's. whether they are worth getting or worth going straight in for a real Mac? As you can probably tell I am completely new to the Mac scene and haven't really got a clue. I know there may be a new one coming out on 23rd so may wait until then and buy the version out now. Basically space is tight at my home and I would use the mini on my tv. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance


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  2. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I'm not sure the computer experience is best served on a TV, unless you are using it as an HTPC. I have an older Mac mini hooked up to my television for HTPC. There are times I need to use it for updates, surfing and it's not the ideal experience.

    Most in the market for a Mac mini, do so as an easy transition from a PC. The Mac mini lets you bring your existing monitor, mouse and keyboard.

    It's a very capable computer and you'll certainly get the Mac experience with one - just not sure if a TV as your monitor is the best option.

    I highly recommend the Mac refurbished market. Check out refurb.me for an idea of what's available.
     
  3. JON35Y

    JON35Y Member
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    Thanks for your input, the monitor and keyboard was a question I was going to raise. Just remember that it was supposed to be an idiots guide....HTPC? :D


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  4. Kadelic

    Kadelic Genius
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    I got my my first Mac almost two years ago. All my previous Windows machines had been desktops and I really wanted the portability option of a notebook. I had the money at the time to splurge a little so I went with the mid-level 15" MacBook Pro with a faster processor and HDD. If I had to do it over I would make the same decision, but with that being said, I think I've used my Mac as a laptop only about 1%-2% of the time I've had it. Docked to a 22" monitor, external keyboard and a Magic Trackpad, my MBP happily operates in desktop mode most of the time.

    Ok, I know you're asking about the Mac mini so enough about my notebook. The Mac mini has actually popped up on my radar recently for a couple of reasons. One is that I foresee myself using my MBP in laptop mode more frequently. Docking and undocking the notebook isn't that big of a deal, but it would be nice to just have a permanent desktop setup and not have to go through the hassle. Another reason is that my girlfriend and I will be moving in together sometime next year and it would be nice if we each had access to a computer at any given time (that and I would like to end her suffering through her current Windows experience. ;)) Since I already have the monitor, keyboard and trackpad, the mini seems like a no-brainer as a plug-n-play desktop. Sure, an iMac would be nice, but I don't really need everything it offers above and beyond what I can get from the mini. And for the price, well that's a no-brainer too.

    The super compact size along with the pre-existing monitor (your TV) seem ideal for your situation. All you'd need is a wireless keyboard and mouse/trackpad (highly recommend the Magic Trackpad) and you're set. As far as cons go, the only ones I can think of are that there isn't an optical drive, built in HDD or SSD size is limited, and processor speed is limited. External optical and other drives are readily available and cheap, so that's no biggie, and if your a power user you're probably not looking at the mini in the first place.

    I say go for it!
     
  5. JON35Y

    JON35Y Member
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    Thank you for taking the time to reply.....you may have just swung it for me, just gotta convince the better half now :/


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  6. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    Be advised that new Mac Mini models may be out soon. I had one for a while hooked in to a KVM switch that let me share monitor and keyboard with my PC. I may get another one. Who knows?
     
  7. Kadelic

    Kadelic Genius
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    From the OP:

    :)
     
  8. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    I'll advise the miscreant to read the whole thread next time.
     
  9. diverdown

    diverdown Contributor
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    I believe that Chris is using his Mac Mini as his home theater hooked up to his TV. That's how I have mine setup and I am running Plex on it. I have the wireless keyboard and mouse and have it connected to my TV via HDMI. It works great and does not take up much room at all. I use the TV as the monitor as well, but as Chris said its not ideal as the TV is usually tied up by my family when I want to use the computer as a computer.

    All in all the Mini is a great machine and it you have an existing keyboard, mouse and monitor is a very good choice.
     
  10. laughjimbo

    laughjimbo Member
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    I've had my MacMini for a few months now, I upgraded mine to 8bg RAM and a 255gb SSD and even though there is now a newer model out I don't think that I will be changing it. I love it for when i am at home and will be passing it onto my daughter for their room next year when i may get an iMac but that is another story. I have to say that I have mine connected to a Samsung 22" monitor and it has been great. I too have the Apple Wireless Keyboard and a Trackpad and it is brilliant. You would not regret getting one of these. The performance on mine is adequate for what I use. I have a MacBook Pro also but it is nice to sit at a desk sometimes to do what you have to do and the Mini is superb in my opinion.
     
  11. raqball

    raqball Evangelist
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    I realize this is an old thread but I just purchased a mac mini i7 quad core and am going to use it as a media center / part time pc on my HDTV.

    It will replace my Apple TV and my Roku 3 that I am currently using.

    I am a sports junkie and with the mac mini I can run a MLBTV game and an NHL game side by side on my HDTV and also have music or pandora running behind them.

    As a cord cutter (no cable TV) this works out great for me. I get local channels via an OTA antenna but most of my viewing is done via streaming media.

    Apple TV and the Roku are great but they only allow me to do one task at a time.. With the mac mini connected to my HDTV I can so several things all at the same time.

    It also works great as a part time PC. I would not consider using it as a full time PC while connected to my HDTV but for my intended use, it flat out ROCKS!

    I ordered 16GB of RAM today so by next week this thing will be a screaming HD media displaying beast!


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  12. EverythingApple

    EverythingApple Evangelist
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    The OP here is almost 2 years old, but I'm considering getting one now. I have an old mid-2007 MacBook. I only use my Mac for photo organization, surfing the web and doing my taxes every year. I'm not a gamer. Please help me decide. Thanks in advance.

    I can get a hold of a wireless keyboard and mouse no problem. Can I use my old MacBook as the screen?
     
  13. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I'd recommend adding a cheap monitor to your budget. You can pair a good, cheap monitor with a Mac mini for $100 or so. The last generation Mac minis can be had cheaper through Apple's refurbished store and they are more upgradable than the current models. Both would be more than enough for your demands. The new Photos app is said to be faster, so it'll likely perform well on a Mac mini. Let's face it, iPhoto is no barn stormer.
     

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