The folks at AnandTech have put together an 18-page review of the Mac mini that includes comparison of the US$499 Mac mini to a similarly priced Dell. Their finding was that the Dell unit is a better hardware value, but their conclusion is that this doesnit matter, because "the Mac mini removes the biggest barrier to Mac OS X adoption - price."
The IT-oriented publication compared the Mac miniis feature to a Dell with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz processor, more RAM, and an included 15" LCD display. While some of the features were inferior compared to the Mac miniis (CD-ROM, integrated graphics memory), the larger amount of RAM and the LCD display were found to make the Dell the better hardware offering. However, AnandTech said that none of this matters to the kind of consumer at whom Apple is targeting the Mac mini.
"All that matters is price and whether or not the thing works," the unnamed author wrote. "If that statement werenit true, then you would never hear the phrase, iIive had my computer for 5 years, I need a new one.i Instead, everyone would be a performance fanatic like the rest of us and upgrade every year at worst."
In addition, the site praised what the author called the Mac miniis style, and noted that cheap PCs in the Wintel world never have such a feature.
All this is covered in only the first page. The full article is 18 pages long, and includes a painstakingly detailed pictorial of taking the Mac mini apart, a look at iLife, a look at performance (AnandTech strongly recommends buying a minimum of 512 megabytes of RAM), and many, many other features.
We recommend it for anyone interested in tech aspects of the Mac mini, and potential Switchers, and any Mac user that simply wants to know more about Appleis newest Mac. It is certainly the most in-depth review of the Mac mini in the dozens that have been printed since the Mac mini was released in early January.