Linked by Kroc Camen on Tue 15th Jun 2010 10:03 UTC
Apple Apple have updated the Mac Mini. It now sports an aluminium (no, I am not going to spell it "aluminum") enclosure, an HDMI port, an internal PSU (no power-brick!) and oddly, an SD card slot in the back. There's also an access hole on the bottom to change the RAM easily.
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RE[6]: UK Price
by Neolander on Thu 17th Jun 2010 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: UK Price"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Lot of sensible comments recently in my opinion. I'd especially like to congratulate StephenBeDopper ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?430432 ) and spiderman ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?430409 ) for their respective interventions.

Apple hardware IS more expensive. If you go to Newegg and get the cheapest parts in a beige box then you can cut the cost to about half what the Mini is quite easily. Most of the people on these boards (me included) grew up "rolling their own" and it was always cheaper. Now that Apple hardware is line-item comparable with windows hardware it makes the cost difference a bit harder to take.

BUT...

in the case of the Mac Mini find a comparable Windows machine that will sport a Core2Duo, and 8GB ram, BT, wireless N, etc. in the SIZE of a 3.5 hard drive enclosure. You won't find it at a $699 price point, and certainly not in the RETAIL channel. Without being demoted to Celeron M instead of Core2Duo or worse Atom and integrated Intel graphics instead of Nvidia, you won't find any wireless or gigabit networking or firewire 800 in Windows desktops at that price point either. The only real competition Apple has for the Mac Mini is in the embedded industrial PC market.. and those start at twice the price for half the hardware. The Mac Mini is highly unique and because of that Apple can pretty much pick whatever price they want.

The challenge is not if you can go to some obscure vendor with one website and cobble together something for way cheaper (without including any cost for Software, assembly time, or shipping though) Find something like the Mini in the RETAIL channel that's turnkey. They don't sell for anybody else other than Apple. Dell has some equipment that's close to the Mini, but the cost is equally bumped up to match the Mini "because they can". Dell has the Zeno, but the only model comparable to a Mini is the most expensive one. if you take the Dell Studio Hybrid, you are in a similar size and style, and the price is about the same... for lower specs on CPU, GPU, and ram. The Mini is not as "overpriced" as it feels like, it's just not "cheap".

This post surprised me. I'm not informed enough on hardware pricing to know if your information on PC pricing is correct (for me, hardware is just a boring necessity which I only care about when upgrading my computer and totally forget afterwards as long as it works. By the very nature of computer science, the most interesting part lies in software, as long as it's not crippled by the hardware of course), so I'll let other more informed posters correct you if you're wrong. However, if you're right, congratulation for pointing out some very interesting fact ! ;)

As I don't know yet if I can rely on this information, I just wanted to ask some questions which are not related to the pure hardware spec/pricing ratio.
1/Do the customers of a mac mini-like computer really need such high-spec'd hardware ? (somewhat related to the cellphone plan pricing debate where plans keep getting more and more expensive for average use even though they get filled with useless things in compensation)
2/Considering that they can buy a nice laptop for average use at ~400-500$, and home computers like Asus Eeetop and Dell Studio for around the same sum, in what way does the Mac Mini help people enough to justify its price tag ? Are there some usage patterns which a Mac Mini can fit and which a laptop or some other competing product cannot ?
3/Apple has shown in the past that they were able to provide the same product (mac mini) at a much lower price. Customers sounded happy with it, and I mentioned in an earlier post some usage patterns which this low-priced mac mini could fit. Now, mac mini pricing gets higher and higher, and more and more of its usage patterns vanish. Can you explain what customers are granted as a counterpart ? Do you think it is enough ?
4/Considering that Apple makes more and more people buy a mac when they wouldn't have bought one otherwise because of the infamous iPhone SDK licensing terms, making price of the low-end Mac fly high sounds like pure and obvious business logic targeting higher benefits. Such a behavior sounds like a motivation to hate the brand, and boycott this product as a customer in order to express his disapprobation against such unfair commercial tactics. Can you provide an alternative explanation, or some kind of sensible counterpoint to this one ?

(Well, I'm pretty proud of this post. I just find it very well-written, compared to my average rant quality ;) )

Edited 2010-06-17 09:10 UTC

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