Mac Mini Review
Eh, pretty much what I expected. This new mini is really just an upgrade to the old, with HDMI as a connector, nothing much more than that. Still makes for a sexy HTPC if you’re willing to take the time to get it there, but I can build something better for that much coin.
First, you should note that all the HDMI port really gets you is a simpler interconnect story; otherwise you’re still dealing with a full-on computer, not an integrated media device. Second, the fact that you’re using a real computer means that you need some sort of keyboard and mouse to do anything of value — sure, you can click through Front Row using an Apple Remote, but that’s a pretty limited experience compared to even the Apple TV, and you didn’t just pay $700 for a limited experience. Apple was pretty upfront about this: they told us that the mini’s HDMI port is about offering flexibility, not making a play in the living room, and that mini customers who wanted to hook it up to a TV were probably savvy enough to find their own software and input methods.