New Mac mini tomorrow – $100 cheaper? - Macenstein

New Mac mini tomorrow – $100 cheaper?

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

On this, the eve of what everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, is predicting will be Apple’s new iMac unveiling, I would like to make my own prediction. Sure, we’ll see the new iMacs, and maybe the rumored long-overdue .Mac update. But one thing we will not see is the death of the Mac mini.

No, the Mac mini will not only escape the cold, icy hand of the Grim Reaper (aka Steve Jobs), but I predict the mini will be taken off life support, and surprise us all by being able to breathe on its own. You heard it here first (and likely last), the Mac mini line receive a minor update tomorrow, including a $100 price drop! (kind of).

I have this on no other authority than my own “inner tipster” (a voice I occasionally hear before big announcements, but which has to date never been right). I affectionately call him “Dan Lyons”. Dan claims a single new Mac mini will be released tomorrow, taking the place of the 2 models currently available. The mini will sport a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, a 100GB hard drive, SuperDrive, and cost $699. Oh, and they will be aluminum (or at least more aluminum). Unfortunately, for an imaginary friend, Dan’s imagination isn’t all that great, as he thinks the graphics card will remain unchanged. Still, you gotta hand it to Dan for going out on a limb, and being his own imaginary man.

As a Mac mini owner I agree with Dan. The mini really is a great little machine, and with a current processor, it would be a real contender. I feel, however, that the current $599 model is too anemic for all but the most basic computer user, while the $799 model is far too overpriced for what you get (especially with the current processor). However, a single $699 priced mini with a modern CPU and a SuperDrive could still be affordable enough to make inroads into the education market (where most classrooms already have monitors and keyboards available) and can expand its move into the digital living room as a DVR, until the Apple TV evolves into a more robust platform.

Also, in all the talk about the new iMacs, I have not heard any reason to get excited about them other than that they will be aluminum instead of white. I would think that unless Apple were bleeding money, they would like to wait for a truly big announcement that would distract the media from an acknowledged “failure” at this point – maybe the next iPod or iPhone. Add to that the fact that the mini is essentially a squished version of Steve’s beloved G4 Cube which he had to grudgingly pull a few years back. I think his ego will want to give the mini one last chance at greatness before letting the realities of economics bury the mini in a potter’s grave next to the Cube.

So there you have it, the only prediction for a rosy future for the Mac mini. I’ll admit my prediction may be somewhat influenced by sentimentality. In a way I think of the mini as the “Bumblebee” of the Mac lineup (from the old 80’s Transformers cartoon, back when he was a tiny, lame VW Bug, not a supped up Camaro). The mini may be small, but he has a heart of gold, and his death would be like a watching semi truck running over a bunny parade. I just don’t want to think of the reality of it.

[UPDATE:] Well, looks like I was sort of right. Still 2 models, but they did update the minis. Specs about right. Happy to see the mini still going strong.

2 Responses to “New Mac mini tomorrow – $100 cheaper?”
  1. Barry Shulam says:

    I have used my mini for a dvr, pvr and computer and love it. I think its a great computer for a person wanting to connect to a TV or exisiting system like an old windows user.

    I would hate to see the mini go away. Its very portable which makes it a great machine.

  2. Yang says:

    I agree, let’s keep the mini around. I still keep my aging G4 mini- I use it like an AppleTV for the tv, a NAS (with USB that allows access to ext HDs), music server, VPN client (for Hamachi), and if I had an airport card on the thing, I’d use it for a router also!

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