Review: Apple gives Mac Mini living room polish

Apple's Mac Mini gets a living room-friendly makeover.

Apple updated its Mac Mini small-form-factor desktop yesterday, and after spending a day with it, we found that Apple was effective in suiting the tiniest Mac to the living room. As with older models, this newest Mac Mini still has a value challenge compared with its Windows-based competition. It's also begging for a Blu-ray drive, which remains absent from the Apple portfolio.

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You can read the full CNET review of the new Mac Mini. In brief, we love the design, the HDMI port is a welcome, if also overdue, addition, and we were happy with the HD video playback from various video sites around the Web. Apple's willingness to sacrifice functionality for design and ease-of-use stings given the puny 320GB hard drive. You can also find a number of Windows-based competitors like the Gateway SX2840-01 that, though certainly less attractive, will raise doubts about the Mac Mini among value-conscious shoppers.

Overall, we like the Mac Mini. It's worth your consideration as an option for getting Web and other PC-bound media into your living room. The user-accessible memory is a nice touch as well. Just be sure to consider your storage needs carefully before giving in to the Mac Mini's charms.