Mac Mini on the Cheap Cheap

Apple's Mac MiniReady to join the cult? Rick Broida at The Cheapskate dug up a brand new, non-refurb Mac Mini for just $459 including shipping from J& A sweet deal, no doubt, even if this is last year’s model sporting last year’s specs.

At my compulsive worst I would have jumped on this thing but, like Rick, I just don’t need another desktop. I currently have two, a custom PC and a PowerMac G5, the latter of which I’ll probably dump on eBay within the month. My MacBook gives me all the  neo-industrial aesthetic I can stomach and won’t require (twist my arm, really) a keyboard, monitor, mouse purchase.

If you’re in the market, curious about OSX, or just need to spend your tax return before your wife can, there are plenty of less appealing ways to do it.


Apple’s iMac is Updated and Affordable

Apple iMac

Exciting news out of Cupertino yesterday. The iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro were all updated with much improved all around specs. And surprisingly, at affordable prices. Top of the line hardware specs and affordability have been missing in Apple’s Mac line of products recently but we’ll get into that later. For now, let’s focus on the updated iMac.

Here’s what Apple has to say about today’s developments:

Available today, the new iMac line includes a 20-inch model for only $1,199 and the flagship 24-inch iMac which is priced more affordably than ever before. For the same $1,499 price as the previous generation 20-inch iMac, the new 24-inch iMac delivers a 30 percent larger display, twice the memory and twice the storage. It features the Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at speeds up to 3.06 GHz, 4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, a 640GB or 1TB Serial ATA hard drive, and several options for graphics processors.

Now that’s music to my ears.

My biggest complaint about Apple over the last few years is that the hardware specs didn’t live up to the price. I know, I know… you get a solid operating system and virus free computer. And yes, I know that “everything just works.” But realistically, when compared to a PC with similar hardware specs, the difference in price for a Mac was substantial. Well, not any more.

Take the baseline 24-inch, 2.66GHz iMac. For $1499 you get 4GB of 1066MHz DDR SDRAM and 640GB of storage to go along with OS X and iLife ’09. Up the memory to 1 TB and add iWork ’09 and you’re out the door at $1648. Not bad at all.

All-in-all I can definitely say I am proud of Apple today. While $1500 may not be affordable for every family, what you are getting for the money is well worth it. You can now safely buy an iMac knowing that you got a machine with very strong hardware specs, at a fair price.