Gadget Spot: Mac Mini

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Apple makes great gadgets. And Apple makes expensive gadgets.

My lust for the ultra-thin MacBook Air, the reengineered MacBook and the absolutely sexy iMac is real, but prices starting at $1,000 have kept me away. Heck, a person can get a decent PC notebook or netbook these days for about half the price.

Still, any computer running Mac OS X is as alluring as any blonde I've ever been too scared to approach, but "guy" enough to fantasize about.

This past weekend, though, I finally welcomed the object of my desire into my bedroom. You realize I'm talking about an Apple computer ... right?

The Mac Mini is the Apple model that finally won me over. At $600 (I only paid $573.57 after applying a Best Buy Rewards Certificate), it wasn't too hard on the wallet. Especially for a computer that's barely larger than my hand and boasts a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of memory, a 160 GB hard drive, an 8x DVD writer/player, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor and the aforementioned, alluring Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system.

But what about a monitor, mouse and keyboard, you ask? Those were already lying around the house, and they explain why this little powerhouse lives in the bedroom.

Doubling as a computer monitor is the 40-inch Samsung LED TV (Series 6000) you read about in this column eight weeks ago. Connected to the Mac Mini by a "DVI-D to HDMI" cable, this is by far the largest and most eye-popping monitor I've ever seen attached to a computer.

The mouse is a Logitech MX Revolution wireless mouse I use with my laptop when traveling (it was featured in this column two and a half years ago). A Rocketfish Bluetooth Keyboard shuttles between a downstairs PC and this bedroom configuration.

Voila! That's how I entered the world of Apple computers for less than $600 out of pocket.

And after my first weekend with the Mac Mini, I'm in love. The computer is frighteningly easy, intuitive and fun to use. And, at the moment, only the Mac OS X supports the Pwnage Tool 3.1.4, which can jailbreak an iPhone 3G with the latest iPhone 3.1.2 software release - should I ever decide to do that.

After all, as far as gadgets go, these days I'm still mostly about my iPhone.

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