Pros Very light and very powerful. Runs all my programs. My programs are heavy.
Cons The cost will make this product prohibitive for many people.
Summary I love how easy this is to use and set up.I don't like the cost.
Pros Cheap, 2.3GHz quad core i7 (3rd gen), 4x USB 3.0, 1TB drive, HDMI, FireWire, compact design. Mountain Lion runs well with 4GB@1600MHz RAM.
Cons No design-matching optical drive, keyboard/mouse or monitor included. Not enough USB ports. Doesn't feel much faster than a 2 year old core 2 duo Mac book Pro. Mac is gonna go same way as PC.
Summary This Apple-refurbished ($620+tax) 2012 mini was an upgrade to the 2007 iMac 2GHz Core 2 Duo 20" (4GB@667MHz). The 5-year old iMac became sluggish after a Snow Leppard to Mountain Lion upgrade and it's 250GB HDD replacement is very difficult.
I considered upgrading to a 27" iMac, but $1500+ price tag was over the budget. I wanted quad-core speed, large storage, USB 3.0, Firewire, direct HDMI connection to LG2380 HDTV (w/sound), but didn't care for discrete graphics.
1TB drive is great and USB 3.0 external drives are fast (bought two $7 2.5" enclosures), Firewire is nice but no longer necessary. A lack of optical drive was pulpable when wife wanted to burn music CDs (remote burn isn't supported). I'll need to get a USB optical drive, but don't have any spare USB ports.
Direct HDMI to LG2380 produces bad image and awful jagged fonts. DP++ to HDMI has the same problem and only a DP++ to VGA seems to work. Can I blame TV for poor support? I think not. I have to run a separate audio TV cable for sound.
Last, comparing speed to 2010 MB Pro Core 2 duo 2.4GHz with Intel 330 SSD 180GB, the mini with quad Core i7 (3rd gen) feels slower with daily use. I find this inexcusable and don't care if its the HDD, Intel 4000 GPU or whatever.
Should I have upgraded? Probably not, and I probably won't buy any Mac (or PC) for a long time. An iPad can do most of the desktop/laptop tasks, and maybe even safer for online banking.