January 11, 2005 1:53 PM PST

Apple details Mini release

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Apple unveils $499 PC

January 11, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Computer confirmed the upcoming release of a $499 computer aimed at increasing its audience beyond the Mac faithful.

Apple chief Steve Jobs announced the Mac Mini on Tuesday at the Macworld trade show. There are two versions of the Mini--both without keyboards, monitors or mice--that will be available starting Jan. 22 for $499 and $599.

"This is the most affordable Mac ever," Jobs said. "People who are thinking of switching will have no more excuses."

The white box resembles a thick notebook computer--measuring 6.5 inches wide and 2 inches thick--and includes a slot loading combination DVD- and CD-ROM drive, 256MB of memory, 32MB of video memory, and a series of ports (including a FireWire port, two USB ports, DVI output and VGA output).

The $499 Mac Mini comes with a 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 processor and a 40GB hard drive, while the $599 Mac Mini comes with a 1.42GHz processor and an 80GB hard drive.

Both models come with wireless options, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and use version 10.3 of the Mac OS X operating system.

Beyond price points and features, the Mac Mini's case may open the most doors for Apple, according to NPD Techworld analyst Stephen Baker.

"After a while, we'll likely see unique uses for the Mac Mini, given its form factor," Baker said. "It's almost the size of a notebook computer, so you can carry it around easily, and with its array of ports, you'll be able to plug it into such devices as TVs. The form factor gives it a lot of potential."

Mac loyalists were confident the Mac Mini would bring Apple computing to a mass-market audience increasingly interested in Apple products because of the iPod.

"This is a way of seducing those people into using a Mac-based computer," Raymond Howard, a San Francisco property manager, said from the show floor. "It'll be the entry point for a lot of people who purchased iPods and are thinking about using them with a Mac."

Eric Case, a blogger support technician at search giant Google, agreed the Mini would be Apple's vehicle to convert the computing masses. "I think it's brilliant," he said. "If you're using a (Windows PC), you've already got the monitor, mouse and keyboard. $499 is a great price point to turn those into a Mac experience."

CNET News.com's David Becker contributed to this report.


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Heck, I'll buy one just for video editing
To make indy movies, this is less than cost of a cheap camcorder and looks like it comes all loaded & ready to go. Music, internet, etc is all just gravy. This qualifies as a true APPLIANCE. VERY GOOD MOVE APPLE!
-Bill (former Microsoftie)
Posted by beesh (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lame, lame and lame
Time you add the missing pieces and fix the horribly undersized memory the price won't be anything near to reasonable and you'll still be dealing with a slow processor. About the only favor they've done is not include the worthless one-button mouse.
Posted by Not Bugged (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What missing pieces?
This product is being targeted at those consumers that already
have keyboards, mice, displays, etc.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
$599 not $549
The 1.42 GHz model is $599.

Not $549 stated in the article.
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Article's been fixed
Looks like they fixed that error in the article. It now states $599
wherever appropriate.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
KVM solution for USB keyboard/mouse port?
Anyone out there know a good KVM solution that will work with the USB ports on this thing? My KVM switch is PS2, but I can replace it with another switch.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Try Belkin, for starters
There are plenty of USB KVMs now available. For example:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?" target="_newWindow">http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?</a>
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's website has one I heard
I read somewhere in a post that after you choose the Mini Mac in
the Apple Online store that you are presented with a peripherals
page, and on that page is a KVM switch. I haven't personally
checked though.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Power Bricks
It seems that this compact machine, like the new iMac and the new PS2 needs a Brick. What is the point in saving room on the desktop, room taken up anyway because of its footprint, to waste room on a floor where it will get dusty and probably be on carpet? They should of just made the Cube again. That would of given them room for the power supply and for expandability.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Poor example
The Cube had a separate power brick too.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
Never Enough
Based on the early "complaints" i've seen on two stories. It
seems that no matter what Apple produces, or the price it sells
at will never be enough. For those with these "complaints" ...
you are getting very boring.

Except for the days when Gil Amelio ran Apple, and near Sculleys
reign, Apple has always produced exceptional computers and
supporting hardware. There has always been software available,
but there are still those who think otherwise.

If you think you're still getting a bargain with bug-ridden,
insecure, and until as of late, completely unstable PCs and thier
operating systems, then I fear nothing will change your mind
and you will continue to walk off a cliff.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hear, hear!
Thanks for saying that, David. Someone had to.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
ah yes
thank you. i couldn't agree more. i'm using a PC now and after i post this, i'm restarting again for the 2nd time this hour. and why? because windows is running slower and slower and slower. it's already frozen up once, and i barely got it to restart the 2nd time. there's no reason for this! i'm running my dial up ISP, and firefox. i just scanned for spyware to make sure i was clean (i was).

when i use a mac for things like video editing, i close the program when i'm done and everything works just fine. when i'm done editing on my PC, i have to restart because after years and years, windows STILL doesn't know how to manage memory. we're going on 10 years of windows, here people. anyway i'm done with my rant now. go buy a Mac mini and start being productive for once.
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
Link Flag
Thank you for some common sense on this :)
Most people don't NEED all the extra utility that comes with the Wintel platform, because that comes with a price -- and buggy, unstable and scumware-prone is the price you pay for it (unless you're a computer geek like me -- I don't have problems with mine but I know what to watch for, etc.) My mother WILL be getting a Mac Mini for her birthday to replace that ol' PC I gave her for years ago. I'm tired of her having problems with her computer.
Posted by trellusg (13 comments )
Link Flag
I took a look at Apple's site and have a few questions.
From the looks of it, I would need to upgrade to the superdrive to burn DVD's correct? And there is software bundled to create movies captured from a camcorder via firewire.

So, with that in mind, would this make a good video editor/creator with just the upgrade of the superdrive?
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not a heavy lifter, but very functional
yes, this would be a good machine for video editing. but don't expect blazing speed. instead, think of it as perhaps a 2.5Ghz P4, as the G4s generally perform about as quickly as P4s that are double their clock speed. give or take, depending on what you're doing.

also, iMovie is great for casual-to-intermediate video editing, but if you're wanting to do more advanced things then think about getting Final Cut Express with your Mac mini. you'll get more control over your content and have more output options.

have fun!
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
Link Flag
Yes but...
You should buy your extra memory from someone else. My
buddy pointed out that you can get the exact same memory
cards for half the price. This is true for DELL, and the other

So, get it with the superdrive, i recommend the 599 product
witht the larger drive. If you get into editing, you WILL use it. I
also recommend the internal bluetooth and airport. With those,
you will appreciate the functionality of wireless and you do not
have to sit next to the computer while its displaying on your wall
mounted HDTV.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag

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