Well everyone said it was coming! Mac lovers have been talking about the affordable Mac for years, PC users have been using it as the last real excuse not to buy one, myself included, and today old Steve gave everyone what they wanted. The $500 Mac.
And thank god it looks nothing like the eMac…
I LOVE THIS ONE.
Seriously I do, if it wasn’t for the three perfectly good XP boxes that I have in the house I would buy one. With a fair enough sized hard drive, a good graphics card, the usual excellent Apple sound, a fantastic form factor, wireless connectivity if you want it, a good processor, and OS X; How can you go wrong for a basic family PC. I must admit the ram needs to be a standard 512Mb rather than 256Mb and only because Mac users tend to leave every program under the sun open rather actually closing them properly.
The beauty about it is that it allows you to keep your nice new LCD and your wireless keyboard/mouse kit that you most likely have just bought as the Mac mini comes with nothing more than the sleek little silver box and a DVI to VGA video adapter.
Seriously I want one…
I want to hook it up to the LG LCD fridge/TV I am also toying with the fantasy of buying. And using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse that I will keep either on the side of the fridge with a big magnet or in the knife drawer. I probably won’t even bother with a set of speakers as I’ll just get one of those iPod FM transmitters that will play out into the house stereo. To tell you the truth this thing is so geared towards the iPod, that I would probably play out all my audio in the iPod anyway and for the price of the Mac mini, I would be able to get one of the huge iPod photos.
All sarcasm aside, I am glad to see that Apple finally has enough balls to take Dell and HP head on in the lower end market. Sure this won’t affect the guys who build clones out of their toasters but the Jones and Smiths this is the ideal second or even first family PC.
I only wish Steve had done this a few years back when I had the liquid assets to buy a PC, I don’t think I would have bought the laptop if the mini was around.
Apple also unveiled the iPod shuffle today which is basically a USB stick that plays MP3 in either the order you loaded those tracks or in shuffle mode. The design is very cool, and it definitely oozes X factor but I can’t help thinking this is another attempt from Apple to go head to head in the entry level market. Unfortunately this market is saturated with like devices that are still far less expensive.
Yet I still can’t help but envy all those students who have a bit of tuition money set aside to by a new PC and mp3 player. You can still be the coolest guy on campus and be on a budget.
I think I’ll stick it out a bit longer with this Clie, now that Sony are touting the 4Gb memory stick, maybe the price of the 256Mb and 512Mb sticks will come down low enough that I can still use this as podcast player while I am hammering out my emails and blogs… Then all I would need is for Adam Curry to produce his Daily Source Code in 44hz rather than 22Hz so that Sony’s Audioplayer for Palm OS4 could actually play it.