October 23rd 2012 1:28 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product has been announced!

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Speed and features I have the quad-core i7 version with the Fusion drive. Speed is fantastic. great!
  • Design and form factor My wife said, "I thought you were getting a desktop? That's a router." Fits on my desk under the monitor. great!
  • Expandability They get some credit for making RAM an easy upgrade. ifixit.com has a kit you to add/replace the hard drive - but it requires disassembling the entire thing. so-so
  • Noise Haven't heard any. great!
  • Size and weight Can't beat it for a desktop. great!
  • Power consumption This is a feature I really don't care about, but I expect the Mini doesn't use much juice. great!
Detailed review
I bought the mid-level Mac Mini - Quad-core 2.3 GHz i7. I upgraded to the 1TB Fusion drive and added 16GB RAM myself from Amazon. What can I say? The thing is screaming fast (huge Lightroom database is probably my most demanding use-case) and the form-factor is amazing. Yes, I think the Fusion drive was too expensive, but I figured that a 128GB SSD + the install kit from ifixit + the time/effort/risk -- eh, I'd rather pay the $250 and be done.