The Mac Mini is currently cheapest way to access Apple's OSX operating system. Its essentially a desk top version of Apples Macbook range.
The unit is made from laptop components hence the tiny case and also low power consumption. This also means that the unit is virtually silent - I have mine in the living room and leave it on most of the time with no annoying fan noise that you would get with a comparable PC.
For general desk top use and web browsing the Mac Mini is perfect however if you need more storage or a bit more memory you can upgrade the RAM and hard drive. This is quite tricky to do as the unit is not really designed to be opened up however there are loads of guides on Youtube. One tip is to have a thin wall paper stripper handy as these are great for prising the case open. Once inside its just a case of removing some plugs and screws. I would only recommend attempting this if you are confident with computer components though!
The unit has connections for 4 USB devices and a display-port lead for a compatible Apple monitor - for non Apple displays you may need an adapter so check before you buy. It also doesn't come with a keyboard or mouse although any USB models will do.
If you want to experience OSX but don't wont the expense of the Macbook range this definitely the way to do it!
The mac mini is a great small desktop computer for the casual user. The specs of the machine are ideal for storing and editing photos, watching videos, browsing the web and anything else you need to do. I use my mac mini to edit photos for college and also to design and make websites, the mac mini easily manages to have a multitude of programs open all consuming memory but the mac mini does not flag at all. As the mac mini is the computer only you will need to invest in a monitor and the rest. A problem i have found is that the small number of USB ports does make for a small irritant although it is easily solved by purchasing an external usb hub. The 160gb hard drive offers plenty of storage for all your family photos and videos as well as an extensive music collection. The main advantage of the Mac Mini is the fact that it runs the Mac operating system. Many people will be worried about switching from Windows to Mac but i assure you that it is the best decision you will make computer wise. The Mac operating system has run smoothly for me since day one and i have not had a single problem with it, the user interface is very simple and easy to understand while still being extremely fast and useful. Another bonus of using the Mac OS is that there are no viruses to ruin your experience. Overall the Mac Mini is great value for money and is highly recommended.