What MMN Would Like to See In the Next MacMini

By Mike on 12:45 pm

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Yesterday, pictures came out of what someone claimed to be the next MacMini. I personally think it's fake. The blurry camera work is a dead giveaway since it's a trick that hack photographers have been over using for ages to make pie plates look like UFOs. The use of five USB ports is non-standard and the inclusion of a Firewire 800 port is odd since Apple is trying to phase it out. Having both a Mini-DVI and Mini-Displayport on the same system is also strange. The Inquier also claims the way the light is reflecting off the metal around the USB ports indicates a copy/paste job. Despite this, it's got me thinking. What should Apple do with the MacMini. There has been talk of discontinuing the line all together since the low cost Macs are not exactly popular. It's been several years since they've received an upgrade. I think Apple should consider a whole new take on this little system, as an HTPC. Here's five things on my wish list for the next Mini.

1. Rebrand the Mini:
The Apple TV isn't selling well and is pretty weak and fairly uselss. For some real media clout, why not rebrand the Mini as an HTPC. I personally like the name Mac TV as a high end model in the Apple TV line. It would give users full media functionality including creating and editing in the same small package.

2. Make it faster:
Gut the hardware from the Macbook and Macbook Air and use it for the Mini. An Intel Core 2 Duo in the 2.0ghz ball park with a Geforce 9400M IGP would really improve over what the system currently has. DDR3 support would be interesting too. As an HTPC, it's also going to need a DTV Tuner as well.

3. HDMI:
Hardly anything uses display port and despite the high royalty costs, HDMI is still the way to go for home theatre systems.

4. Blu-Ray Option
I know Apple said that adding Blu-ray would be a "world of hurt" due to the high licensing costs, etc. However, it's about time Apple got on the HD video bandwagon. Any HTPC is going to need HD video playback and lets face facts, iTunes' highly compressed 720p video isn't going to cut it for a high end home theatre. HD streaming just isn't in the cards right now for most people. Add a BD-ROM/DVD-R combo drive as a upgrade option for the Mini.

5. User Upgradable
The Mini already is user upgradable but it's a lot of work to do it, especially when you need to remove the case with a putty knife. The RAM and hard drive should be easily replaceable by the user.

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