Apple is introducing a cheaper home computer, the new $699 Mac Mini, in a move that could attract consumers who’ve been sticking with less-expensive PCs.
The redesigned computer promises game, photo and video graphics that are two times faster than the previous model, a Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor, a 320 GB hard drive, Apple’s AirPort Extreme wireless networking, and an HDMI port for high-definition graphics.
The catch is that the computer doesn’t come with a monitor, keyboard or mouse.
Even worse, buying the basic suggested peripherals from Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) will bring your total to $1,696. When ordering online, you’re given the choice of either adding a 24-inch LED display for an extra $899 or no monitor at all, the cheapest mouse you can get is $49, and a new keyboard costs another $49.
On the other hand, if you buy a 24-inch Dell (Stock Quote: DELL) monitor for $250, and this Dynex USB keyboard and mouse for $35, both from Best Buy (Stock Quote: BBY), you’ll find yourself with a pretty nice machine for less than $1,000 before taxes.
Apple’s Mac Mini meets new Energy Star requirements and all of the requirements for environmental performance of notebooks and desktops to achieve EPEAT Gold status.
True Mac enthusiasts who already have a desktop at home might just be better off spending $499 for a fancy new iPad.