I've been waiting months for the new Mac Mini. Before jetting off to Las Vegas for CES, all the talk was of a new model getting the keynote treatment up the road in San Francisco at Macworld. But alas, it's taken Apple until today to unveil it. And unsurprisingly, the price is a major sticking point.
Before I get started, let me be clear. I can appreciate why some Apple kit is pricey. It has always been aimed at the high–end consumer and their brand is uber–desirable. You don't expect Nike trainers or Diesel jeans to be cheap and Apple falls into that same designer category. The quality of iMacs and MacBooks is undeniable, its price reflecting the apparent status it confers on gadget fans and trendsetters alike.
But the Mac Mini is a whole different beast. The new prices, £499 for the 1GB RAM model, £649 for the 2GB RAM model, are hefty to say the least. When they last got a bump in August 2007, they cost £399 and £499 respectively. The specs are nowhere near that much greater to justify such a price hike.
The whole concept of the Mac Mini is to introduce more people to the world of Apple's excellent OS. The spec sheet though, cannot justify the price. While there may be NVIDIA graphics on board, the relatively low memory and 160GB HDD on the cheaper model should mean we're looking at a price around the £400 mark, if not lower.
As for £649 for the specced up version, you may as well save up the extra and buy an iMac instead. Or grab a MacBook.
With the Asus Eee Box 206 and MSI's WindBox, Apple now has some serious and stiff competition in the shallow end of the desktop pool. While I can understand their need to keep things desirable, why not slash the cost and get even more people on the OSX bandwagon?