Pros Ultra small form factor, low noise (inaudible), low energy consumption, fantastic OS.
Cons No HDMI out (must use adapter), no blu-ray option
Summary Comparing a Mac Mini to a Gateway LX6810-01 is like comparing a sub-compact car to a van. Both vehicles will get you where you want to go, but they are drastically different in terms of target audience.
I like the Mac Mini because it works incredibly well as a Home Theater PC (HTPC). It takes up very little space, emits no noise, generates very little heat, and is easily accessible via remote control. I can promise you from experience that it quickly becomes annoying having a tower computer sitting next to your TV because of noise.
I have found only one other computer that has a similar form factor and it is the Shuttle X2700. Shuttle has long been the king in small form factor computers in my opinion and I have built three or four computers using their cases. The X2700 simply doesn't have the processing power or graphics power that the Mac Mini has though. I also considered the Dell Studio Hybrid that the review also mentioned, but the price ended up being about the same as the Mac Mini (Dell was ~$70 cheaper) WHEN comparing similar processors and memory.
Pros Beautiful design, super quiet, tiny, as powerful as my old windows laptop
Dual monitor out
Plays Hulu at 1080p with zero stutter (can't do that on my Windows machine with 3x the specs)
Cons Horribly slow drive
Pain to open but easy after you've done it a few times
Summary As has been stated when you buy an Apple you're buying more than just a piece of hardware.
As a long time PC user I never got that... till I bought a Mac Mini. I needed something to develop on and that was the cheapest option I just wish I hadn't been lied to at the Apple store. They told me it would void the warranty if I upgraded the memory and drive myself. That's a lie.
Pros mac os and ilife, it's small and everything is somewhat easier compared to windows, Extra usb compared to the older model
Cons upgrade should go at least up to 2.4ghz, no hdmi and blu-ray option
Summary I got mini thinking maybe i'll which from windows to mac, all my life i've been a windows user, but at work i use an older version of this, i was hoping upgraded version would be just enough for games, i played call of duty 4 on this and it's not as good as xbox360 i know 2.0ghz is minimum requirement and recommended is 2.4 and that's why i think there should be 2.4ghz optional and i put it to my tv and ir's working out well but wish i could put it to my surround sound and then tv with hdmi so there will not be cluttered but which i'm ok with. and blu-ray should be optional but im also ok with dvd but would have liked it alot more with blu-ray and hdmi. first few weeks were kinda boring cause i'm not used to mac at home, but i got most of my pics videos and musics here and bought a tv turner and its awesome now, ilife is great but not using them as much as i thought i would, i kinda miss windows cause i know how to do everything, i think i'll keep my mac and maybe if i can get a windows just for gaming and blu-ray.
Pros It's small, energy-efficient and, very important to me, silent when in use. It's fast enough for every-day tasks and will serve as a decent entertainment center in the living room, too. Dual-display support is very appreciated.
Cons The higher-end model should be more distinct and feature a 2.4 ghz processor. I also don't get it why Apple doesn't use 500gb harddrives - they are on the market for a while and reliable, too. And again I miss an easy-to-upgrade-design.
Summary All in all a good machine for every-day tasks and home entertainment. I know the old mini as well as the performance of the current macbook so there shouldn't be any surprise. Which is a bit disappointing - I'd loved to get a higher-end vesion with specs similar to the pro macbooks.
Still the author's comparison to a Gateway mini-tower isn't that useful. It's bigger, eats up more energy, it's (I guess) louder, and the built-in 8gb of RAM are not well-supported by the installed Vista operating system.
"More choice is good"on by mglish
Pros Excellent concept for Windows switchers and for users who want to use their preferred keyboard and mouse. Now supports dual displays.
Cons Non-standard video connector.
Summary CNET's review misses the point when it compared this unit to a Gateway tower: "From an OS-agnostic point of view". People who buy this aren't OS agnostic. I'm not being an Apple fan boy when I say that ? there are people who want to use OS X and OS X apps and this is a great way for someone who doesn't want a laptop or iMac form factor. There are lots of great 20" displays (my preferred size) in the $200 price range. Many people don't like the Apple chicklet keyboard or their dove-bar mouse. For $150 you can get a nice Logitech keyboard/mouse combo and for under $1000 you can have a great OS X system with exactly the components you want. And if you already have keyboard, monitor, and mouse you're really in luck. People who like (or can tolerate) WIndows have always been able to get a cheaper system. Everyone has a choice. The Mini gives those of us who prefer OS X a great choice which now has performance specs in line with the iMac and MacBook options.