If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the Mac pool, a Mac Mini is a great first computer for you. Macs are generally expensive–and rightly so. You will be hard pressed to find hardware that is so well made on the PC side. In addition, Apple is known for their superior technical support. Quality and support are the premium you pay for getting a Mac. But venturing into a new Operating System with strange, new hardware might seem like too must of a risk for some people. Truth is, Windows 7 and Mac OS X Lion aren’t that much different. Any PC user would have no trouble using OS X.
There are two things that are cool about the Mac Mini. Its price: At $599, it’s an affordable computer. It’s also very sleek and sexy and about the size of three pieces of bread.
The Mac Mini Specs
The Mini comes with an HDMI to DVI adapter, so it’ll work with any monitor that has a DVI connector on the back. Most modern monitors will have that, along with a standard VGA port. It also comes with a power cord and some documentation. That’s it. You’ll want to either use your existing USB keyboard and mouse or buy new ones from Apple (recommended). You’ll also need external speakers.
The $599 model has the following specs, which is fine for most home users:
- 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
- 2GB memory
- 500GB hard drive
- Intel HD Graphics 3000
- OS X Lion
The Mac Mini Operating System
The current Mac Operating System is OS X Lion. And guess what? You’ll receive an actual Installation DVD, so you’ll never have to worry about a recovery partition or burning your own Recovery DVDs every again. Lion has a lot of great features:
While it looks a little different than Windows 7, you’ll be able to do everything you can in Windows right out of the box, as well as a few other things. Apps are integrated into the Operating System, so you’ll also be able to use the Mac Store to download free and commercial apps to enhance your Operating System. In fact, when it’s time to upgrade the Operating System, it is downloaded like an App and installs just as easy. Lion also includes Mail, Address Book, iCal, the Mac App Store, iTunes, Safari, Time Machine, FaceTime, Photo Booth, Mission Control, Launchpad, AirDrop, Resume, Auto Save, Versions, Quick Look, Spotlight, QuickTime, and more. Read about Mac OS X Lion for more details.
The Mac Mini Concluded
PCs are great. But those who are on the fence and looking to try a Mac should try a Mac Mini. It is a tremendous value for the price and can easily integrate into your existing home network through WiFi. You can also hook it up directly to your television through the HDMI port if you want to watch HD movies or television through iTunes. So if you’re curious about Macs, this inexpensive, tiny computer is a great first step.