Apple has a history of inventing the future. At least, it did under co-founder Steve Jobs. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple seems more about the nostalgia from yesteryear. Oh, and charging customers a premium for the privilege.
My case in point are the new product launches from iPhone X-whatever to Watch to Mac to iPad Pro. Yes, all are advancements in the state of the art, and all are more expensive than last year’s models, but in a sense they’re just new version blasts from the past.
An iPad Pro can reach more than $2,200 but does much the same as a $329 entry-level iPad. iPhone 7 for $449 runs the same applications as the $1,449 iPhone Xs Max maxed out. And don’t get me started about the entry-level Mac notebook line where all three models– new MacBook Air, aging MacBook, and the anemic MacBook Pro are priced within $100. What’s with that, Apple?
My personal case for Apple merely reinventing the past is the new Mac mini. Apple sat on the mini for four years without so much of an upgrade or tweak or facelift or price reduction despite all my nagging.
Now I’m ready to buy.
Mac mini is a welcome blast from the past. How so? You can add your own memory and replace your own parts. Yeah, you need a special tool to get inside but there’s nothing new about that. Apple doesn’t want you to get Cheetos or peanut butter into the innards. But you can if you want to. Mac mini might be the most self repairable Mac you can buy today.
Inside the SSD storage and CPUs are soldered to the motherboard, but that’s not exactly a new technique at Apple. But you can remove the port module and power supply. Oh, and get this. RAM is user friendly. It has slots. That is a blast from the past.
In an era when a MacBook Air comes with only two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, the Mac mini is positively 20th century meets 21st century. Four Thunderbolt USB-C ports, dual USB-A ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet, and, get this– a headphone jack.
Oh, the humanity!
The built-in Intel graphics Inside isn’t going to wow too many videographers or Photoshop folks, but it will drive three external Retina 4K displays (HDMI for #3) or dual Retina displays; 5K and 4K. That’s no mean feat, folks. All that in 4-cores starting at $799.
What’s not a blast from the past is the price tag. The old old Mac mini started at $499. This one is all SSD at $799 but fully tricked out like a mini-pimpmobile the Mac mini can hit $4,199 for 2TB SSD, 64GB RAM, and a 6-core Intel i7 Inside.
No blast from the past there, but nothing to shake the earth’s future, either. $4,199 for a Mac mini.
I want one.