capsule review

Mac mini/1.5GHz

At a Glance
  • Apple Mac mini/1.5GHz

    Macworld Rating

    One of two Intel-based Mac minis, this model features a 1.5GHz single-core processor. The form factor of this mini remains unchanged from its PowerPC-based predecessor, although it adds two additional USB...

Even priced $100 more than its PowerPC-based predecessor, the Mac mini Core Solo remains an attractive desktop -- especially when you consider features like built-in wireless networking now come standard on this machine. It's worth noting that this Core Solo configuration underperforms compared with the Mac mini Core Duo in almost every respect; however, it's still a good entry-level Mac for the money.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    One of two Intel-based Mac minis, this model features a 1.5GHz single-core processor. The form factor of this mini remains unchanged from its PowerPC-based predecessor, although it adds two additional USB 2.0 ports for a total of four while dropping S-video and composite ports. Internally, the new mini has a faster frontside bus and built-in wireless networking via AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth. The mini uses the Intel GMA950 as its graphics processor; since the chip doesn' have its own dedicated video memory, it shares memory with the main system RAM. The mini also gains the remote-and-software combo that makes up Front Row, allowing you to control audio, video, and photos from across the room.

    Pros

    • Analog- and digital-audio input and output
    • Four USB 2.0 ports
    • Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
    • Front Row software with Apple Remote
    • Improved performance in many native applications
    • Gigabit Ethernet

    Cons

    • RAM is difficult to upgrade
    • Improvements over G4 Mac mini not as dramatic as Core Duo model
    • Unable to play HD video without dropping frames
    • Integrated graphics reduces available RAM
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