Mac Mini in comparison to Dell

An article on MacWorld.com claims that the Dell isn’t cheap anymore, despite costing $100 less, when you consider all that it lacks in comparison to the Mac Mini.

They’re wrong.

The specs table on their page states compares the Mac Mini’s “Two USB 2.0 ports” with the Dimension 2400’s “USB 2.0 (assumed–Dell doesn’t list this in the specs)”.

The Mac looks better, right? It actually isn’t. The Dell computer has six USB 2.0 ports: two in front, four in the back. As far as USB ports are concerned, it’s superior.

In the wireless category, they say the Mac Mini is “AirPort Extreme- and Bluetooth-ready”, while the Dell has “No wireless”.

The Mac also has no wireless. AirPort and Bluetooth cost extra – a lot extra. Did anyone mention that you can easily get an 802.11g USB adapter for $20? It’s probably about the same for a Bluetooth adapter. And you can use them, too, without an additional USB hub, because the Dell has six USB ports rather than two.

By the way, the Dell also has two PS/2 ports for the keyboard and mouse (you can also use USB ones). On the Mac Mini, you must use a USB keyboard and a USB mouse. That immediately uses up both ports, unless the keyboard has a built-in USB hub (some do).

When we look at audio on their comparison chart, the Mac Mini has “Audio out” while the Dell has “Integrated audio”. Integrated audio, much like integrated video, has the connotation of being low quality. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t – in fact, it is – but guess what?

The Mac Mini’s “audio out” is also integrated audio!

Now, to clarify, I’m not a big fan of Dell, but I just had to post this because the facts were so slanted and skewed.

44 Responses to “Mac Mini in comparison to Dell”

  1. Jesse says:

    Although I can’t stand Dell and I prefer Apple over windows, I’m glad to see that someone has brought forward information because Apple likes to misinform (which they really arn’t doing, they are just chosing their words wisely, haha). I give them credit though cause if you think about it, most people don’t actually do the research and they are almost garunteed to sell more then if they would have not fabricated the truth so much, haha.

  2. Luke says:

    Either way Apple is the devil.

  3. Elliot Lee says:

    Jesse, I want to clarify that it wasn’t Apple themselves who wrote this article, but someone named Dan Frakes for MacWorld.com.

  4. To your comment on the Article:Comparing Apples and Oranges (I think they kew that the comparison is skewed, hence the title).
    The USB Ports should be checked by Macworld. That’s true. But for Mac Users many USB ports are not as important. I have 2 USB ports on my Macintosh too and it is enough. 1 port for my mouse the other one for the printer. Voila. Firewire is better anyway. And as you mentioned everybody can buy a hub if needed.
    To the wireless comparison:
    True you can buy a cheap USB Wireless stick and use it. But for the Mac mini you can use the same USB stick. And besides
    AirPort Extreme- and Bluetooth-ready means there is a modified PCMCIA-Slot for an Airport PCMCIA card inside and a n Antenna with optimal wide range.
    Mac mini: 56K V.92 modem Dell:56K PCI Data Fax Modem
    Macs can fax out of the box too(thanks to Panther), but they didn’t mention it. While it’s true that a Mac always has integrated audio, you have to note that: Macs always had a special chip for audio that is superior to PC integrated audio, which often uses the CPU etc.
    Did you realize that a Mac mini can burn CDs while the Dell can read them ?
    Last but not least the Mac mini has an ultimate advantage:
    he was not buildt to be the fastest ( that’s what G5 Macs are for) but to be absolutely quiet. If you have ever seen a n Apple Qube you will realize that Mac mini is its child and again is not detectable. If i compare it to my new PC that sounds like a Jet (Thanks Nvidia !) i congraguate Apple for finding the desired characteristics of a Computer for convienient work.
    * Quiet
    * Small
    * Don’t crash, don’t bother
    * Concentrate on creativity not the latest .dll conflicts
    Greetings, Madcat

  5. Elliot Lee says:

    Good points. But you can get a CD burner for far less than the $100 price difference between the Apple and Dell computers being compared.

  6. Jon J says:

    Yes, but with any Windows computer you will never get the stability of OS X, and you will never find a software suite like iLife. You can put this and that together, but it will never touch iLife.

    • Rob J says:

      2 words to people who say you cant stability on a pc

      Ubuntu Linux – everything you need, no corporate control (windows or apple)

  7. Mike says:

    Well, they’re giving away Apple Mac minis, so hard to complain! Details are available on my blog.

  8. Rock says:

    I agree with Tasty Mac Bits. You can’t compare the the crap Dell packs in to its machines with the quality in a Mac.

  9. fan boys says:

    Faboy!

    Dell SUCKS! The Mac Mini is a much better value than any sub-$500 Dell. But, I’m sure all reason would fail on someone who would go to such efforts to defend Dell.

    DUDE! You’re gettin’ a Dell!

  10. Max says:

    This MINI MAC is AMAZING. Who could refuse a FREE one though. Just check out my website for how to get a FREE Mini Mac. I have pictures and PROOF.

    http://www.freewebs.com/ipod4free

  11. Mike says:

    Um… The Mac can use a $20 USB wireless adapter too – it’s not an advantage of the DELL.

    And for the record, Apple’s integrated audio is ten times better than DELL’s.

  12. Paul says:

    Dell units are utter junk and everyone knows it! They cost $400 for a reason. I work with computers and I’ve seen no Dell that can compare with the design and build quality of the Mac Mini.

  13. Nick says:

    USB hubs are cheap $12 for a 4 port one, OS X (10.4 now) is better than XP, I ran XP Pro and had to spend too much time maintaining and fixing it.
    Spyware and Virus’ will never be a problem for Mac users but will for windows users.
    Norton Antivirus + update subscription will more than makeup for the price differnce.
    The G4 is a better processor than the Celeron as it has more L1 and L2 cache.
    Search google for a video called the ‘Mhz myth’ it shows a G4 with half the speed of a pentium 4 mopping the floor with it. Thats a Pentium 4 as well, imagine what it would do to a crappy Celeron.

    People who buy low end PCs usually just want to;
    Download photos from their camera, occasionally videos from their videocamera (which you need firewire for as USB 2.0 drops frames), manage still photos, send emails, word process and browse the internet.
    Given apple’s hardware, OS and included software it makes it a better package than the dell.

    Even if you want to play games, you get a dedicated graphics card, not a cheap intel card that borrows system memory.

  14. Mike says:

    Just received my free mini mac!!! It’s wicked awesome!

  15. Mike says:

    As of today, 5 out of 7 of my co-workers have received their free mini mac as well! Donít be afraid to drink the kool-aid, itís safe and results in a mac mini, good stuff indeed!

  16. Ian says:

    you know what u didnt say about the dell…is that it has twice as vunerable to viruses and spyware. while the mac may be more expensive, it will last longer.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I aboslutley love the mac mini.
    Yes, It only has 2 USB ports, but really…It’s so small. Smaller than 9 CD cases stacked on top of each other.
    …and it’s not a piece of junk, unlike the Dell, and with such a small form factor, why not spend a little nit extra for somthing that barley takes up the space of a book.
    Although, in my humble opinion instead of buying a Mac mini with the bluetooth, airport, keyboard, mouse, and monitor (which add up to be more than $1,000 US, Why not just get an iMac G5. For an extra $200 you also get a 17″ LCD screen, also crammed in to somthing the width of a book.
    I’m not attacking Apple, or the Mac mini. But if you really want lots of power, by an iMac. Period.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think you ment buy a power mac, and as for the rest, who in their right mind things Dell is better than any MAC

  19. Anonymous says:

    “Spyware and Virusí will never be a problem for Mac users but will for windows users.”

    Long time known aspect of this oft repeated line: ‘Writing viruses for Mac is not any harder than writing for Win machines, it’s just that the honey pot isn’t there.’

    Why spend a week writing a good crasher if only 1 out of every 100 computer users will get bit. Virus writers, like all software writers, go for the big audience. I haven’t checked lately but tell me: Is Doom3 out for Mac yet? HalfLife2? Adobe Premiere 7? PaintShopPro? SOundForge7? WaveLab5? Pinnacle Liqud? Any C++ IDE even half-way as helpful for development efficiency as Visual Studio 6/7?

    How about anything with more than one company and seloling at the same cost as a direct Windows equivalent? More users, less cost. More users, more bugs uncovered, more fixes, more evolution on the product faster. That’s the way Windows took over the numbers and it’s a long way before Apple can catch up, IMHO.

    Bottom line for viruses: No audience, no reason to waste time. However, as more people *say* they are going to try Macs I think you’ll see more viruses coming. Mac users will of course not admit being bit, just like the corporations running Linux who tend to avoid admitting being cracked and smacked.

    Just for fun, I’m buying a Mini and having a go at writring some fun “virusware” just for friends. I’m probably not alone so enjoy your little apple pond while it lasts :)

  20. Anonymous says:

    mac can also continuously upgrade. I had a imac G3 at 333mhz that was around 6 or 7 years old and it ran Panther perfectly. It was very reliable and did not crash on me once. I just got a mac mini (i figured it was time to upgrade) and even though I am dissapointed there hasnt been a Graphics upgrade for it yet, it still kicks. I can play halo with no lag on high quality. For the audio, no one notices. It might be integrated, but you had to look that up, didnt you. Nobody would be able to notice the lack of quality. And it is way better then the Dell anyway. You might dislike dell, but you are obviously very biased against mac.

  21. Anonymous says:

    M$ fix NONE of their bugs, they don’t need to. People just buy Windows because they’re afraid to change their platform and are unaware and ignorant of alternatives (Linspire, RedHat, Mac OS) due to huge “brainwashing” on Microsofts part and totalitarian control over major hardware suppliers threatening that MS will take their multi-million dollar contract elsewhere leaving the hardware firms bankrupt (that is if they support another OS or MS alternative.)

    Economic models states that large firms in Oligopolistic/Monopolistic competition, that is owning a large share in a sector with a few other weaker competitors, will not innovate – just use their Fiscal muscle to buy out threatening companies and keep competitors at bay by using its financial control over related suppliers, like HP, Compaq, Dell etc.

    Look at WIN ME, why fix 98 when you can just use the old “must upgrade must be compatible. Alternatives? None exist. oh, and Compaq… install Netscape in your systems to compete with IE and we will Kill you and your loved ones.”
    This is no farce, Windows always do this. They insist on repacking the same old crap to their customers who mostly unknowingly buy what they already have. Windows 2000 and XP are basically the same OS, only XP has more eye candy.

    Windows 95, 98 and ME all had the same bugs, if anything the number of problems grew as Windows “progressed.” MAC OS 9, 10.1, 10.2 and so on are quantum leaps from each new OS.

    “Writing viruses for Mac is not any harder than writing for Win machines, itís just that the honey pot isnít there.í”
    True the market is smaller, true that writing them isn’t any harder – however getting them to install on Mac OS machines is much harder than getting them to install on M$ machines.

    XP will install anything through IE without needing authentification, MAC OS needs you to type in your password (Thanks to the new UNIX system) before anything is installed. This is thanks to permissions that allow you to read, write, read & write and have no access to certain files.
    Also MAC OS has a root user which is protected from virus/infection as IF you were infected you can just delete the problem from the Root account and then create a new user, presto.. virus gone. As virusí can only affect the user in question not the Root user. Where as if Windows gets infected, everyone on that computer gets infected and suffers the problems.

    Internet Explorer and M$’ sub-standard OS allow these infections and vulnerabilities to occur. As a converted Mac user as of 18 months now, I ran no anti-virus software or spyware programmes. Just last month I downloaded Norton antivirus and Omni’s Spyware Removal Tool and it report I had ZERO, thatís right 17 months of use and ZERO virus’ and spyware on my system.

    Even if the market is smaller, there still should be SOME spyware/virus’ that get into the Mac OS but THEY DONT. Symantec and CA acknowledge that Mac Virus’ exist, but there is no recorded event where a Mac machine got infected in their databases.
    MAC OS uses the BASH shell, as do most Linux OSí so theoretically MAC OS + Linux should be taken into account together, making the market size bigger and more tempting to potential hackers. Apple has about 5-6% market-share and Linux around 4-5% so thatís 1 out of 10 machines Ė still no virusí.

    When I ran XP I would have to remove 100s of spyware items a week, I’ve been lucky with virus’ Only got infected twice on XP (only ran the OS for just over a year), one removed all my drives bar the C: the other was a reformat and reinstall job. Mac OS has closed the gap on XP with OS 8.5. I think Longhorn might manage to beat OS 9.

    If Microsoft were really interested in their customers and delivering the best OS, they wouldn’t be buying competitors who are trying to bring the Industry into the future with innovative ideas. MS buy out competitors to save valuable $$$$$$ so they donít need to innovate, so they can remain stagnant. This is the formula to Micro$ofts success:
    Profit = No Competition + No Innovation (that way when a new OS comes out, companies will buy it and have it pre-installed on their systems and MS just sit back and collect the dollars.)

  22. Anonymous says:

    “Anonymous Says:
    June 12th, 2005 at 2:15 am ”

    I think the last guy got it in one, Mac is superior without a doubt….look at the statistics and market changes in the last ten years.. mac growing others are decreasing. As I have my qualifications in “ICT prac” Cisco & am doing Computer Science at deg.. Ive used pcs most of my life, I took a chance and converted and found Ive been missing out.

    “dont knock it untill you try it”

  23. Anonymous says:

    you all need to get a life! your are all bloody losers (mac and win users alike), they are just computers. i use a mac but i don’t get passionate about it and waste my time arguing back and forth.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Apple makes it. Microsoft copies it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Apple makes it (by stealing it from XEROX). Microsoft copies it (from the other thieves).

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