February 6, 2005

Mac Mini is Wack

Posted at February 6, 2005 10:29 PM

Division Two says the Mac Mini is another triumph of hype over substance for Apple. I'm still wondering how they could release this thing without an audio input on it?

Apple is a master at hype, everyone knows this. Its founder, Steve Jobs, is well-known throughout the industry for possessing a “reality distortion field” which makes people crave Apple computers and one-button mice despite their exorbitant price and in the face of all rational logic. Both the Apple hype machine and Jobs' reality distortion field have kicked into overdrive this year with the recent release of the bold, innovative and affordable G4 Cube...oops I mean the Mac mini...

...Don’t get me wrong, I am an admirer of Apple’s iPod and I applaud the company for doing things right when it does. I am glad to see that they have found a way to cut corners where they can to bring the price of their computers out of the stratosphere and somewhat closer to the price of a Windows PC. By leaving out a USB keyboard and monitor, two things you may already have if you have an old Mac, Apple can shave some money off the price of its system components and the size and weight of its packaging. By using cheap Asian child labor to assemble the units, costs have been reduced even further. I would like to see them continue this trend, possibly strike a deal with China to use inmates to assemble the Mini for even less, like Lenovo does. Think about it, a Mac mini for $299. Now that would be an easier price to swallow given the system’s limitations. $499 sounds like a decent price at first, but consumers need to be aware that once they add on the basics like a keyboard, monitor and mouse, plus shell out for some antivirus software, the Mac mini price is scraping the ceiling of $1600, hardly a “computer for the rest of us.”

So is the mini a maxi value? For me, clearly, no...

...But will Apple's famous marketing team be able to sell the the emperor an invisible computer anyway and turn the mini into a maxi hit? That’s the question that remains to be answered.



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