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Apple Mac mini MB138B/A

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    4 Reviews
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      07.09.2010 21:21
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      An excellent invention, best for those PC users wanting to switch to a Mac!

      I had this previously to my MacBook Pro. It's an excellent little computer and ideal for those of you with a PC wanting to change to the much better option - and make use of most of the benefits of a Mac! The Mac Mini is only a desktop computer and lacks the screen, keyboard and mouse. This is good in the way it's cheaper - but it doesn't work out much cheaper if you are going to buy an Apple screen and mouse and keyboard. You may want to buy a cheaper screen and keyboard and mouse, which are still compatible and then it works out at better value.

      I paid around £400 for mine when I bought it but there are newer versions out now, which are a lot more advanced in technology and memory and speed. The cheapest one starts at £649 today - Apple's products seem to be zooming up in price! However you get a 2.4 GHz processor with a 320 GB hard drive and 256 MB video card, which are all great. This version I have has a 1.83 GHz processor with just 80 GB of hard drive, so the newer ones would be more expensive. They are also even smaller on the outside, but still larger on the inside with such specifications. The Mac Mini itself measures at just 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6 cm! This is miniature for such technology within.

      Obviously you need to hook it up to a screen and keyboard and mouse, but this is standard and doesn't take up much room. My Mac Mini is a little bit larger but still very discrete whilst sitting on the desk. The computer is silent to use once it's been running for a couple of minutes. It's literally silent, which is amazing. It only ever makes a noise when you insert a disc for example or you are pushing it to its limits with applications running and more.

      This Mac Mini does have a CD/DVD drive, but it cannot write DVDs, only CDs. This drive is on the front and has a soft covering to it, to prevent dirt getting in. The Mac Mini sucks the disc in once you have pushed it enough, and it ejects by use of the keyboard or right clicking the disc on the desktop and ejecting it. The computer is very fast to use, but won't be as good as the latest models. For such a small computer, it's very powerful and fast. The 80 GB hard drive is good too and quite large to store a lot of files on. With some demanding applications, this may not be large enough but you can always upgrade. I have played games on this Mac Mini and they work quite well with reasonably good graphics, thanks to the 64 MB graphics card, but this isn't as good as the latest ones used by Apple. The computer has a lovely design with a chrome finish around the edges and a white top with a faint grey Apple logo. A small white light on the front displays when the computer is on and on sleep mode it pulses to let you know it's still switched on but just sleeping to save power!

      It's not a very heavy computer and fits nicely on any small desk. You can get a small version of the keyboard (without the extra keypad on the right), which is probably best to fit this mini computer! The Apple Magic Mouse is great and probably worth getting too. The computer comes installed with Mac OS X 10.5 but it won't have Snow Leopard on it unless you buy it as this is the latest version. It should support Snow Leopard, which is the latest operating system with many little new features. Anyway, it comes with a range of applications including Safari for browsing, iTunes for your music, iMovie for making movies, Garageband for making music, iPhoto for all your photo needs and other applications such as iCal as a calendar for organising yourself. It has a dashboard, which can pop up at the touch of a button, where you can access a range of widgets including weather, flight status and a dictionary/thesaurus, which all come in handy every now and then! I also use the notepads with this feature quite a lot, which is useful for making notes whilst speaking to someone online or on Skype in a call.

      The computer is quite compatible and can support a lot of applications that may be of use to you including Skype, Microsoft Messenger for Mac, Spotify, Yahoo Messenger and many more for all your computing needs. My computer came in a little white square box with all the instructions you need, but also a small white Apple remote for use with the Front Row feature. This is where you can watch your movies and listen to your music with a suitable format to view them in. The remote actually magnetically sits by the side of the Mac Mini to conserve space.

      The problem I found with this computer is that it doesn't come with a microphone or webcam. This is pretty poor even for computers released at the time of this one. Obviously this is quite against the design and what it is suited for. This computer is aimed at PC users wanting to switch to a Mac, quite wisely! You can simply sell your old desktop and connect your new Mac Mini up to your screen, keyboard and mouse (as long as they are compatible). To fix my problem, I just went out and bought a webcam and microphone, which was installed easily and worked well. You can do this for under £20 and it's worth it to make your Mac Mini fully functional. The speakers in the computer are built in but quite poor too - the volume is very bad and the clarity is terrible, the bass is almost non-existant! To solve this, I'd certainly buy other speakers (I'd recommend the JBL Creature II or III speakers) or even use those on your monitor by hooking your Mac Mini up to the monitor sound.

      The Mac Mini is very green in the way it consumes a lot less energy than your ordinary computer. With added features such as sleep mode, which I mentioned earlier and other options to have your screen saver activated after a certain amount of time away from the computer, it's quite resourceful. The computer is even made from the greenest materials possible. It certainly doesn't give off any noise pollution! The Mac Mini is very easy to use and it's certainly worth trying. They are not too different from PCs with similar layouts and functions. However they are a lot more capable, generally quicker and also don't tend to get viruses. The computer has built in security, which helps to prevent any viruses from infecting your computer. There are also regular updates, which you can be notified of automatically or manually to make sure you have the ultimate protection. You can alter all your settings in the 'System Preferences', which are like the control panel in a PC. The computer is extremely user-friendly and easy to get to know - they are very easy to use! My computer is still as fast today as it has always been, although it doesn't compare to my MacBook Pro considering it has a larger processor and other features.

      Overall I would certainly recommend this, or the latest Mac Mini for any PC users wanting to try out a Mac. It's certainly worth the switch for many reasons, namely: they are generally faster, a lot safer, look better, easier to use, and very capable especially for media tasks. The computer takes up no space at all and is silent - it's almost unnoticeable! It is full of features and pretty speedy for its' day and age. You can even hook it up to a TV, which some people tend to use it for so you can have your computer on an enormous screen for whatever you wish to do. The computer comes with all the appropriate cables and instructions and I found the setup easy even though it's harder to setup than your average laptop or iMac! So go on, take the opportunity and switch to Mac!

      Thanks for reading!

      :)

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      • More +
        13.06.2010 23:22
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        love the mac mini, so well designed, and looks SO good in any office or living room!

        I am a self confessed mac fan, any mac you can think of I have it! The Mac Mini is not my favourite but it is very good. First off, the size is amazing, it really is, it looks small on the net, in person it is even smaller, about the size of a few dvd's together. The connectivity is good with wifi b and g bands, and bluetooth 2.0 for peripherals. It only has 3 USB slots, which when you have to connect a keyboard & mouse, isn't a lot. The performance is ok, with 1 GB ram and GMA 950 graphics, the video performance isn't amazing, but adequate. I haven't used it for things like movie editing, or gaming, but I think it would withstand light use like that. The operating system is one of the most brilliant parts of the computer, it is so easy and intuitive to use, and no worries about viruses! The combo drive works well, but it is a bit annoying that you can't write to DVDs. The hard drive seems to write quickly, but it isn't huge in this day and age, and it is fairly difficult to upgrade to a bigger one. The power supply is big and bulky, but looks good and 'apple like'.

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        18.08.2009 18:50
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        An excellent computer - ideally for those clever PC users wishing to buy a Mac

        The Mac Mini is an excellent computer from the Apple range, which is especially ideal for users wishing to switch from a PC to Mac. This is because the Mac Mini comes as itself without a keyboard, mouse or screen so you can just hook it all up to your previous keyboard and mouse (with USB ports) and your old screen. For this reason, the Mac Mini is cheaper in comparison to other Apple computers and this version cost me around £500 initially.

        Today, you can get a 2 GHz version for the same price, which has a 120 GB hard drive. The only problem with mine is that I expected it to write CDs and DVDs but it doesn't have the ability to do so with DVDs. However, it's got a great design and a lot of other features. It's really tiny at just 16cm x 16cm x 3cm. It will sit on your desk, rather than being a huge computer underneath your desk. It helps to conserve space.

        It also looks great. It's made of aluminium as well as plastic. The sides are all aluminium and have modern silver finish to them. There is a disc drive on the front as well as a power light, which is white. It dims and brightens if the computer is on Sleep mode, which conserves energy. This is one of the most efficient and greenest computers you can buy. It's absolutely silent and uses a lot less energy than other computers.

        It comes with the Leopard operating system from Apple. This has some great features including a Dashboard where you can make use of little widgets at the click of a button including a calculator, converter, dictionary and thesaurus, note pad, flight tracker and weather report. The computer comes with applications such as Safari, iTunes, Garageband, iMovie, iPhoto, iCal, Address Book and more built in.

        The great thing about the computer is that it's a Mac and really easy to use. It's simple and quick to do everything you want. It's very capable but not exactly the best computer for things such as gaming. Despite this, I have been able to play games on mine, which have played at a good quality. The newer Mac Minis have much better graphic cards though so are better for games.

        Overall, it's an excellent computer and I'd recommend it. It's very small, saves space and is silent when in use. It's really speedy and easy to use and is capable of anything. It's a pleasure to use and ideal if you already have a screen, keyboard and mouse as you can enjoy the benefits of Apple at a cheaper price without having to buy a computer with a screen etc. I'd highly recommend it - especially for PC users.

        Thanks for reading,

        Dan ©

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          18.05.2009 02:05
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          Ideal first Mac computer

          I must say in the three months of ownership of my Mac mini, I am amazed at just how quick and efficient it is. Obviously it looks great but the real question when it comes to computers is does it perform. The Mac mini runs Mac OS X Leopard which is a Unix based operating system that runs far more efficiently than Windows. The bundled software - iLife - is so simple to use. You can build a Website in minutes, or design your own DVDs. Manage your music with iTunes and your photos with iPhotos. Make your home movies come to life with iMovie!

          If you are nervous about leaving Windows behind then you can run Windows using an application called Boot Camp which enables the Computer to run Windows as well as Mac OS X. You can even run both operating systems at the same time using additional software for around the £50 mark

          A couple of shortfalls with this particular model are the lack of a DVD burner. However I found it cheaper to buy an external unit than to pay the premium to get one built in. Also, 1GB of RAM is not that great but it is quite easy to upgrade and certainly cheap to upgrade.

          So who does this computer fit? I think if you are frustrated with Windows and want to try an Apple but your put off by the cost or the All in One design then this is ideal for you. It comes alone - BYODKM - Bring Your Own Display Keyboard and Mouse. Any USB keyboard and Mouse and any monitor will work with the Mac Mini so you can keep your old peripherals! Perfect!

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