Reviews

Apple Mac Mini 2.5GHz Mid 2011

Apple kills off the optical drive in its latest version of the Mac Mini, its smallest and cheapest desktop computer, but there's more to this compact little desktop than meets the eye as Kat Orphanides discovers.

Price
£559

Apple's Mac Mini has always been the entry level option for any business that needs to be able to take advantage of OS X and Apple's beautifully made hardware. The computer's core specification is a major improvement on previous models - we reviewed the high-end 559 ex VAT model which has a 2.5GHz Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5-2520M processor along with 4GB of memory and a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics chip. Compared to the modest Intel Core 2 Duo chips of previous models, the processor in particular is a major technological leap.

Its performance is in line with its upgraded processor - an overall score of 63 in our benchmark tests isn't going to break any records, but the dual-core, quad-threaded Core i5 processor is powerful enough to hold its own when it comes to even challenging tasks such as video and audio encoding, particularly in combination with its efficient operating system.

The most glaring hardware omission is the optical drive: there isn't one.

The most glaring hardware omission is the optical drive: there isn't one. This goes hand-in-hand with Apple's introduction of the Mac App Store, but downloading all your software will be a pain for anyone with a slower net connection or limited bandwidth.

This also means there's no restore disk - instead there's an emergency OS partition you can boot into, where you can redownload and reinstall the operating system. Again, not ideal if you're in an area with slow connection speeds. We'd recommend backing up the Mini to an external disk as soon as it's out of the box, especially as boot disks created from Mac App Store copies of Lion won't work with this new Mini.

Although an optical drive has been omitted from the new Mini leaving room for a second disk, Apple only gives you the option of pairing a 256GB SSD with a 750GB hard disk for an extra 600. You can only have two 500GB hard disks if you buy the server version.

Featured Resources

BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs

How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solution

Download now

The definitive guide to IT security

Protecting your MSP and your customers

Download now

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

Download now

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Recommended

Intel NUC 11 Pro review: Tiny, feature-packed and effective
Hardware

Intel NUC 11 Pro review: Tiny, feature-packed and effective

30 Apr 2021
Acer ConceptD 700 review: Stylish and well-specified
Hardware

Acer ConceptD 700 review: Stylish and well-specified

23 Apr 2021
Scan 3XS GWP-ME N1-32T review: The fastest content creation machine around
Hardware

Scan 3XS GWP-ME N1-32T review: The fastest content creation machine around

16 Apr 2021
Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more

25 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide
cyber security

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide

5 May 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Apr 2021