At a Glance
- Faster than ever before
- Small size
- Least expensive Mac available
- Hard drive and graphics performance underwhelming
- Slower, shorter-ranged 802.11g wireless networking
Apple made little noise about this update to its Mac mini line, which is highlighted by the addition of Intel Core 2 Duo chips to replace the older Core Duo processors. The minis also now ship with 1GB of RAM, up from 512MB, and more hard-drive capacity. However, the minis continue to use an integraged Intel graphics processor that shares memory with the system RAM, hampering performance in graphic-intensive applications.
The latest Mac mini models have made some impressive gains in terms of performance, without gaining bulk or higher price tags. Still a great bargain, especially for those who already own a mouse, keyboard, and display, the Mac mini’s size and price allow it to fit into spaces and budgets that other Macs cannot. While the 2GHz model is the top performer, if DVD burning isn’t something you need, the 1.83GHz Mac mini still gives a lot of bang for the buck.