New Mac Minis: Still too expensive

The entry-level Mac Mini still costs $599--and that's still too pricey a proposition for some folks. Why won't Apple do a $399 Mac Mini? The market is begging for one at that price--or at least editor David Carnoy is.

The new Mac Mini starts at $599--the same as the old Mac Mini. Apple

First off, an admission: I've always wanted a Mac Mini . Sort of like I've always wanted a Mini Cooper convertible . But then I take a look at the price tag and it always seems too expensive. Call me cheap, but when you're at $600 (for the entry-level Mini) you start to ask yourself: what can I get for a few hundred bucks more--aside from the step-up $799 Mac Mini?

The answer is always a laptop. Now, the Mac Mini, of course, is basically a laptop without the screen. It uses laptop components. This new base system features a new 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, the same 1GB of RAM, and a larger 120GB hard drive (see Rich Brown's full post here ).

The step-up model doubles the RAM and includes a 320GB drive (you really don't get $200 worth of extras for your $200, do you?). Nvidia's MCP79 chipset drives both new Mac Minis; that translates into the Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip driving its display. A nice upgrade from the old model, to be sure, but it would be a lot nicer if Apple had a configuration that started at $399, not $599.

I know what so many of you are about to tell me. Apple doesn't bother with low-margin products . It just wouldn't do a $399 Mac Mini. That's why it's raking it in while other PC makers are having an awfully hard time these days. I understand. I get it. But that doesn't mean I can't ask for a $399 Mac Mini. And it isn't like the Mini was flying off the shelves at $599 before, so why should it fly off them now?

Again, call me cheap. But I want a new $399 Mac Mini--and I'd put an order in for one right now if it existed. Anybody agree?

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.


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