Pricier, more powerful Mac Mini reviewed


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/16/pricier-more-powerful-mac-min.html


#2

I suspect they figured that you can expand storage in the traditional way most people do now a days with external HDs. It’s still a lame excuse to needlessly monkey around with controlling what users can and cannot upgrade on their own. Just stop it Apple.


#3

You could get i7 cpus in the 2011, 2012, and 2014 minis. The real difference this time is that the CPU is a desktop CPU instead of a laptop CPU, with a significantly higher TDP.

ETA: Every previous mini has had integrated graphics of one kind or another except one flavour of the 2011 mini (where you had a choice of upgrading to discrete graphics or upgrading to quad core, but not both). Given the big power hungry CPU they crammed in there, I doubt it was possible to put in anything beefier than Intel graphics without making the thing a fire hazard.


#4

It’s also an anti-consumer device in that you can only run operating systems that Apple approves - there’s no way to run Linux, for example.

ETA: flash storage is also the most likely thing to fail, so having that soldered to the board is pretty gross.


#5

This is untrue. You can download the “Startup Security Utility” and use it to disable secure boot.

Edit to add: here’s the direct link to the Knowledge Base article. https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208198


#6

Is this the same thing that cory incorrectly posted a few days ago?

Update: After some doing, it’s possible to install GNU/Linux by disabling boot security altogether, though some further tweaking is required.


#7

This is false. CF page 10 of Apple’s documentation of the t2 security chip explains how to disable it so that you can boot alternative OS’s.

Secure boot policy
This policy is only shown in Startup Security Utility on computers with the T2 chip.
The user is in control of the device’s settings, and may choose to disable or
downgrade the secure boot functionality.


#8

Guess I missed the update, though originally this tool was not documented. Shame the choices don’t include secure boot with specified certificates though.


#9

It’s particularly galling for long-time users who remember when practically everything in a Mac was upgradeable. I suppose Apple saw all the third-party stuff you could buy as lost revenue. It wouldn’t even be so bad if Apple’s upgrade charges weren’t so egregious. Now, of course, they’re trying to push the idea that everything will be upgraded by Thunderbolt cable. Which could work okay for some things, but not always.


#10

Sometimes I feel like they want everything to fit their phone/tablet market. Where the item comes AS-IS and is essentially thrown out for a new model every few years.

That’s not what a computer is. They need to get their heads out of their collective asses.


#12

Apparently many people do think that’s what a computer is, and that’s why they sell so many. I’m sure they did the research and concluded that the number of users who want to upgrade things is far outweighed by the number of users who don’t care. But I guess it’s easy to criticize from the sidelines. Cory’s good at that too.


#13

“long the black sheep of the Mac lineup”

How is the thing that Apple recomends as the functional replacement for the Xserve platform the “black sheep?” There exists high-density rack enclosures for these things, cases that incorporate Thunderbolt-attached storage as well as a place to put a Mini inside of them.

I get that they’re not the machine of choice for graphic design or whatever, but a thing that Apple directly promotes for use for use as server hardware is a far cry from a “black sheep.”


#14

Mac has a small market share compared to other desktop/laptop makers. And these numbers do not include sales for things like Chromebooks which I am willing to bet beat out Mac sales on their own as well.

Additionally this includes laptops and desktops…Macbooks are really no different then the vast majority of other laptops out there with the same “upgradeability” as the rest. It is specifically the desktop market where Apple is the only maker of non upgradeable systems…and only their brand loyalty had kept people coming back.

As for your asinine statement…I am not criticizing from the sidelines…my household has 5 iphones, 2 ipads, and 2 iMacs. I am one of their fucking customers and I get to fucking criticize them all I like.


#15

You could at least use data that’s not almost two years old.


It’ll be interesting to see what the statistics are for CQ4, now that the new models are out.

And yes, you are criticizing from the sidelines. You want to make a difference? Go get a job there and make some changes. I see that this “lack of upgradability” hasn’t stopped you from purchasing, despite what you say, so maybe it’s not that big of a deal after all?


#16

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#18

A computer is not (or ought not to be) a disposable consumable - certainly not at Apple prices. The number of users who do not care increases as the opportunities to upgrade are closed down by Apple, as it never even occurs to many customers that upgrading is even a thing! Thus, Apple effectively trains its customers to treat computers as disposable consumables, and not even question it. My Macbook Pro is 6 years old and very upgradeable/repairable. My Macbook Air is 3 years old and has all the necessary sockets. Neither will be replaced by a newer one that does not have these qualities. I’ll go elsewhere next time. Hopefully that will be a long way off.


#19

The reason the Mac died back in 1984 is that users could not upgrade the thing. There were no open slots, no space inside and nothing to be done about it. PCs were so much better. It’s a pity, because it was a really innovative machine. Say thanks to Steve Jobs.


#20

I’m sure they did, too. And that is exactly why folks who supported Apple during the lean years feel like Apple doesn’t care about them anymore.


#21

True, Jobs never liked upgrades. He disagreed with Woz on slots for the Apple II, and Woz won that fight (and a good thing, too).


#22

The soldered SSD is like a middle finger aimed right at its loyal users, but covered up by the other hand (ala Colbert). Why stop there, why not just weld the whole thing shut, assholes?