It’s Tuesday, there’s been loads of rumours so it makes sense that there are hardware updates from Apple. Nice bump’s across all the desktop range, especially on the iMac where extra RAM and HD size makes for a very nice product. Of most interest though was the Mac Mini. It’s been 18 months to 2 years since it’s last spec update and I’ve always toyed with the idea of using one as a media device attached to the TV. That’s despite the 360 (too noisy), the PS3 (great for Blu-ray but not fully codec compliant) and Sky HD (great for HD TV and Films but not great as a library). Apple TV doesn’t cut it for me and the Mac Mini looked to be best mixture of performance and flexibility that I wanted.
Two things have stopped me from buying one. It’s price and it’s spec which was starting to feel old. Today’s update has certainly sorted out the spec and it’s looking to be an excellent media device for under the TV. However I still have pricing issues.
Firstly, it’s price went up today in the UK. The cheapest Mac Mini before today was £391. Cheapest now is £499. Ouch. £499 feels expensive for what you get. I’ve always felt Apple overpriced in the UK when compared to dollar price so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the weak pound has lead to a price increase. Annoyingly the £499 priced Mini would be fine except it comes with only 1GB of ram. Surely that should have been 2GB by default?
Second is the comparison with Mac Mini and iMac prices. If I select the higher spec Mac Mini and bump up processor, memory and add I get the following spec:
# 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
# 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB
# 320GB Serial ATA Drive
# SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
# Apple Wireless Keyboard & Wireless Mighty Mouse
# User’s Guide (English)
That cost’s £928.02.
A 20 inch iMac with the same hard drive and memory but faster processor only costs just over £100 more at £1043. A 24 inch iMac with double the hard disk and a faster processor costs £1,199. With a gorgeous 24 inch monitor. The pricing just doesn’t add up for me. Will this be the last Mac Mini update? I can’t see these selling well with the iMac so keenly priced in comparison.
So I’ll still not be buying a Mac Mini. Probably. As I think through it more I do have a Denon DVD player that cost me around £500 and the Mac Mini would do a lot more than the Denon ever could or would. The Denon at the time didn’t seem expensive. It does now!!!