We would never suggest that Dell's efficiency-minded
We're far more interested, however, in how well these little desktops fit into your living room. The Dell, with its HDMI port, makes it simple to pair it with an HDTV. Apple's stubborn disdain of HDMI in favor of DVI, mini DisplayPort, and a nest of adapters makes bringing the Mac Mini into the living room more complicated, and more expensive.
As we found in our review of the Zino, there's more to living room computing than simply having the right outputs. Our $468 Zion review unit and its integrated ATI video chip wasn't quite up to the task of playing back 1080p video. And though it handled Netflix streaming reasonably well, it had trouble with Hulu. The good news is that for an additional $75 you can add a discrete video chip to the Dell, which would likely smooth out its video hang-ups. That would bring the price up to about $545, still $50 less than the Mac Mini. Advantage: Dell.
Dell has received some rightful criticism since the Zino's