A Small Suggestion for the mini

by Derrick Story

This week's retracted Mac mini test drive offer brings to mind a few things I've been wondering about Apple's affordable computer. My hunch is that the mini might be a tad too spartan for everyone.

You see, the thing I like about Macs is that I order one, it arrives, I turn it on, it works. I'm a huge PowerBook fan for that very reason. I have everything I need in that single stylish box. It's like dining at a four star restaurant where attention is paid to every detail.

The mini is experience is more like a church potluck. You can join the party, but you have to bring your own keyboard and monitor. And let's face it, you're not bringing sirloin steaks.

The mini misses on the very thing that Apple is good at -- the total satisfying experience. Who wants to plug a crappy VGA monitor in to a brand new mini work of art? I don't. Instead, I want a mini kit.

My mini kit would include one of those cool Apple displays, but a 17" version that was mini friendly. I'd want a mini keyboard that's real thin and stylish, and of course a mini mouse. The whole kit would be packed up in one of those outstanding Apple boxes and sell for as little as $799 working upward to $999 depending on the configuration.

Now you have the true Apple experience, but at a competitive price. There's nothing wrong with the mini. It's a tasteful entree, and for some people, that's all they want. But others, such as myself, would also like a fresh salad, glass of wine, and a little dessert.


One final note totally unrelated to computing, this weblog, or anything in my normal working life... My heart goes out to those on the gulf coast suffering from Katrina's devastation. I've sent a donation through the Red Cross. It's a small thing, but our collective contributions will help people who need it. Please consider giving through the organization of your choice.



2005-09-01 01:13:17
You mean like the eMac? Those things are still probably the best all around Mac value…
2005-09-01 05:46:16
And to make it really nice, make the keyboard wireless. Don't want any cables distracting from those curves.
2005-09-01 07:08:16
RE: Wireless
You know, I almost included wireless keyboard/mouse... but then there was the price consideration. Maybe in the $999 package?
2005-09-01 07:14:16
RE: umm
The eMac is a great value, no doubt. But it's large and not that elegant. The mini package I'm thinking about scratches a different itch -- small footprint, stylish, affordable.
2005-09-01 08:27:37
My small suggestion
I like your happy meal bundle, it'll help sales to new users.

For existing users who have monitors and keyboards I'd like to see a bundled monitor/keyboard switcher so that the mac mini could be easily slipped into the existing setup.

2005-09-01 08:33:38
The late diner menu item
.... that would be

"Steves New Cube with Peripheral Style Sauce?"

2005-09-01 12:26:52
Still liking my Mac mini a lot
I've had my Mac mini for nearly 6 months now and still like it a lot and recommend it to Windows/Linux users who want to try Mac OS/X.

Mac Mini Eye for the Linux-Windows Guy

The 17" LCD I bought has both VGA and DVI inputs. So, it works great with the mini (no adapter needed).

My recommendation for a bundle is that Apple resell those speakers I bought in Japan with the mini. See figure 10 in my article at:

Japan Primer for the Mac Techno-Tourist

The recent spec upgrade (while keeping the price the same) really helps make a case for the mini to "switchers" or "try-ers" (IMHO :-).

2005-09-01 20:52:37
Apple Needs An Inexpensive Monitor
Great observation about the Mac mini package.

I bought a Sony LCD because Apple does not make an affordable LCD. The cheapest monitor Apple sells is a 20" $799. Dell sells a 19" LCD for about $380 and it's a good monitor.

If Apple could get around to selling that inexpensive 17" monitor, Apple would have a winning combo meal.

2005-09-01 21:02:12
My Package
What I'm waiting for is the dealer who will bundle a Mac mini, projector, and wireless keyboard and mouse with a case to make it portable. I'm planning on buying a projector and computer for my office, and you'd better believe I'll get a mini and put in on the ceiling mounted stand and just leave it on. When I need a presentation, I can load it via wireless network and run it with the wireless keyboard and mouse. The portable package would be a lot easier than carrying two cases, one for the laptop and one for the projector, and a mini keyboard would allow the entire thing to fit in a case not much larger than current projector cases.
2005-09-06 17:50:18
RE: umm
Then, you're talking about an iMac? A little more expensive than the eMac (though not much if you haunt the deals section at the Apple site), but includes flat panel montior, keyboard, a much better CPU with a small "footprint." Why would they need to dupe that with a mini package?

I think the reason the mini exists is missed entirely by this article. There are a lot- and I mean a LOT-- of windows people who have a decent (or better than decent...) keyboard and monitor already and want to own a Mac, but don't want or need to shell out for a full system. The mini is a cheap way to have a decent Mac toy without the price and commitment of buying a complete second system. It's a Windows accessory.