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The Mac mini is one of the most reliable Mac's I have ever come across; encased in a small form factor with a nice and appealing design - yet with having a processor that's really capable of multitasking tasks - the Mac mini really is a great choice especially if you are looking to purchase your first Mac.
This Mac computer is an older version that was released in 2006 and is a model that is no longer sold by Apple, as it has been succeeded by a better Mac mini model, which includes the latest memory, hard drive space and processor power you'd expect in 2010 and is still relatively priced affordably, considering where Mac computers are concerned. This older model I am reviewing can still be bought on eBay from those that wish to sell their older Mac mini (i.e. this one) to upgrade to a newer Mac, in some cases. This older Mac can still run the latest and greatest version of Apple's Mac operating system, Mac OS X version 10.6 (called Snow Leopard) - which is an added bonus of why buying a used Mac mini like this one is a great saving. If you intend to buy a cheaper Mac mini from eBay, make sure it has an Intel processor (it should clearly state this in each listing on eBay from sellers). Apple, back in 2006, switched from PowerPC to Intel processors (which most of the rest of the industry uses then - and also nowadays) and as of Mac OS X 10.6, only Intel processors are supported so it's important that if you buy a used / old Mac, to ensure it has an Intel processor. Also, in order to run Mac OS X Snow Leopard you need a minimum of 1GB RAM (or Memory, as it is also called) - this particular older Mac mini thankfully supports upto 2GB RAM and the particular Mac mini I purchased already had the RAM upgraded by the person I purchased it from - so another important factor if you intend to use Mac OS X Snow Leopard is to make sure the Mac mini has the required amount of memory. Generally, if you see an older Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, it will already have sufficient memory and an Intel processor!
Okay, the technical jargon aside - I see no need to purchase a new Mac mini, since the latest OS X is supported by my older Mac mini, and my Mac mini cost only £240 which was an absolute bargain considering the newer Mac mini's sold by Apple cost £510. The older Mac mini I have comes with 4x USB ports for mice, keyboards, USB drives, etc - and if you use an Apple Wired Keyboard it has an extra 2 USB ports on the keyboard itself - so in real sense, there are 6x USB ports available in that case. It also has WiFi built-in, as well as bluetooth so you can connect to your Internet broadband wirelessly out of the box - and it comes with built-in sound which is pretty good.
The Mac mini's design isn't much different to the current generation Mac mini, in that the top of the Mac mini has a white plastic coating, while the sides is anodized aluminum and the bottom is a smooth coating so it doesn't easily slide around as you place it on your desk, which is nice. The top part of the Mac mini has a gray Apple logo as well the bottom smooth coating with an embedded Apple logo in it. The Mac mini doesn't generally get too hot and has ventilation on the back where the USB ports are, etc but the bottom does get slightly warm during use - but nothing unusual. An overall very nice mini computer.
A full Mac experience with half the cost - I'm pleased with my purchase. eBay is a great way to get second-hand good-conditioned products provided you purchase from people with good positive feedback, etc. - and my purchase is no exception. I seriously do recommend the Mac mini - as well as for first time Mac users - as you get the full Mac experience with OS X installed with the ability to either use your own keyboard and mouse or use / purchase Apple's offering of keyboard and mouse.