"Excellent work and home-entertainment computer."4.5 starson by tracksuit
Pros: -Beautiful design and size
-Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
-Better than similarly sized PCs
-Adequate processing/graphics speed, and storage for most purposes, except gaming.
-Low power consumption
-Runs Windows 7 and Mac OS
Cons: -Pricier than some PC's with similar tech specs.
-Difficult to swap hard drive.
Summary: A week before this model of the Mac Mini was released, I was researching qulaity small form-factor PCs that could sit attractively beside my TV for HD home entertainment, and relatively intense image processing and multitasking. Unfortunately no PC or net-top fit the bill. The closest competitors in size to the Mini were the Dell Inspiron Zino and the Asus Eee. While close in size, neither of these comes close in terms of processing power/capability, functionality, and good-looks to this Mini. When the Mini was released in June with a HDMI output and new, sleeker design, it fit my bill perfectly.
While the Gateway SX2840 offers a nice, relatively inexpensive powerhouse for the money, it is still larger than the Mini, and (as far as I know) does not include Wifi or Bluetooth, though both could probably be added with relative ease.
One glaringly obvious omission from the Mac Mini is a Blu Ray drive. This computer is highly oriented towards buyers looking for full-fledged home-entertainment unit, and can handle HD video with ease, so it is odd that it wouldn't include the new industry standard for movie storage. For me, this is not a big deal since I own a PS3 and rent all of my movies online.
The only other complaint I have is the same complaint that has be rendered against Apple for years - it is too difficult for users to replace essential components. I've never owned a hard drive that didn't fail at some point in it's life, so to not allow the user to easily swap the Mini's hard drive out makes it an inevitable cause for frustration at some point in the future.
To sum up, if you're looking for a small, zippy computer to handle almost everything other than intense gaming and Blu-Ray discs, and don't mind spending a little more for the Apple aesthetic and build quality, then this is a great computer for you.