Apple Mac mini (HDMI) In The Air !

With a new aluminum unibody chassis and a host of new components, the Apple Mac mini ($699 list) is the best little Mac on the market—maybe even the best mini PC. Improvements include better 3D graphics, a new SD card slot, greater energy efficiency, and an HDMI port that home theater PC (HTPC) fans have been screaming for. The Mac mini is finally the mainstream, compact PC which many people have been searching for. It defines its category, and as such, it earns our highest recommendations and our Editors’ Choice.
: The Apple Mac mini has been a design favorite since its introduction in 2005. However, while the components have improved and evolved from PowerPC G4 to Intel Core 2 Duo, the box has looked pretty much the same for the past 5 years. Not anymore. The new mini measures 1.4 by 7.7 by 7.7 inches (HWD) compared to the old 2 by 6.5 by 6.5 inches. The mini’s back panel includes all its ports. The system has the same shape as the old Mac mini, but its aluminum casing looks much cooler.

There are Three new features:
- A two-pin AC cord connector
- A SD card slot and,
- An HDMI port.
Now we can connect the Mac mini to a HDTV or other monitor with HDMI for a one-cable audio/video link. The system also comes with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, so you can connect to every modern monitor, except for those that are VGA or (regular) Display Port only. You can even use a dual-link DVI monitor like Apple’s venerable 30-inch Cinema HD display. Both the Mini DisplayPort and the HDMI port are active at the same time, so you can drive two monitors simultaneously. Both are hot-pluggable, and the system automatically extends the primary desktop to any new secondary monitor.
The SD card reader is notable, because it supports all three flavors of SD: regular SD (up to 2-4GB), SDHC (up to 32GB), and SDXC (up to 2TB theoretically, currently shipping at 64GB).
One thing the new Mac mini is missing is its old power brick, being that the power supply is now built-in, like most other PCs or electronic devices.
The Mac mini features a
- 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (Windows says it’s the Core 2 Duo P8600)
- 320GB 5,400-rpm SATA hard drive, DVD and CD burning SuperDrive
- 2GB of DDR3 memory, and an IR sensor for an optional Apple Remote ($19).
The new system trumps the older one in ease of upgrading the memory, since the bottom contains a circular access panel. Just rotate it a few degrees with your thumbs and you’ll expose the two memory slots, one of the three Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antennas, and the cooling fan. You’ll have to pop out the included two 1GB sticks to upgrade up to 8GB, a minor nuisance.
For better or worse, memory is the only upgrade you can do yourself. If you want a larger 500GB hard drive, you’ll either have to order it preinstalled, or have it done at a service center or Apple Store. The rest of the system is not user serviceable. Regardless, this mini is an improvement over the old, which required special opening tools—or a putty knife—to crack the thing open.

The original Mac minis were power efficient, and the new Mac minis are even more so. As you’d expect, the system exceeds Energy Star 5.0 requirements, thanks to its 90 percent efficient power supply. You also get EPEAT Gold certification, BFR/PVC/Lead-free construction, a smaller shipping box (a smaller system means less packing material), and 68 percent less plastic with more recyclable aluminum in the chassis. The system’s power usage is down overall: The last Mac mini (GeForce 9400M) idled at 15 watts with 34 watts power usage during our Cinebench R10 test. This score was already one of the lowest we’ve seen. However, the new Mac mini only uses about 7-8 watts while idling, and 26 watts while running Cinebench R10. This score is the lowest we’ve seen in a full-functioned desktop with discrete graphics, and even trounces Atom-powered nettops like the Polywell Giada ION-100 ($449 street, ) (26 watts idle, 28 watts in Cinebench R10), since the nettop’s power usage stayed the same, even when idling. I observed a low of 6 watts while I was reading a static Web page (mostly text and graphics, no Flash), which is phenomenal. This means that if you’re using the Mac mini as a web surfing station, you’re using less power than a night-light.

Apple also sponsors an extensive recycling program: The company will take back any Apple-branded product at any time, take back other manufacturers’ PCs when you buy a new Mac, and even give you a gift card when you recycle some products. If you’re reusing an older monitor or using the Mac mini with your HDTV, that’s even more economical or green, since you won’t have to buy a new monitor and get rid of its packing materials either. For all these reasons, we whole-heartedly award the Apple Mac mini the PCMag GreenTech Approved award.

Performance : The Mac mini was a decent performer at the benchmarks that include significant improvements at the 3D tests. The Mac mini completed Photoshop CS4 test in 3 minutes, 41 seconds in Mac OS X, and a slightly quicker 3:16 in Windows 7 under Boot Camp. This time is relatively slow compared to newer quad core processors, but it’s far faster than any nettop I’ve seen. Some can take upwards of 8 to 10 minutes on the CS4 test. The Intel Core i3–powered Dell Inspiron 580s ($618 direct , ) is a better performer at the CS4 test (1:35). However, among its compact rivals, both nettop and compact desktop, the Apple Mac mini is the performance leader.
Where the Mac mini surprises is at the 3D tests, it has been tested the system using 3DMark Vantage, Crysis, and World in Conflict in Windows 7 under Boot Camp. The Mac mini blew away the nettop competition, including the Dell Inspiron Zino HD. The Zino was able to muster single-digit scores at both Crysis and World in Conflict (5 fps each). However, the Mac mini was almost playable at World in Conflict (24 fps), and not far behind at Crysis (21 fps). Yes, a larger, (much) more expensive entry-level gaming tower like the Gateway FX6831-01 ($1,300 list, ) will blow away the Mac mini at 3D gaming. However, it’s notable that the Mac mini can actually process 3D animation at more than a rudimentary level. It more than doubles the 3D performance from the previous Mac mini (2.26-GHz Core 2 Duo).

Indeed New Mac Mini Is In Air !

Reference : Review of Joel Santo Domingo

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