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Apple Mac Mini 1.42 GHz review

Looks gorgeous, but is it any use to the photographer?

Our Verdict

While you can get a PC with screen and keyboard for this money, it's unlikely to have the build quality and sheer style of the Mac Mini.


  • Great for editing


  • A bit underpowered

As a home computer for the keen digital photographer, the Mac Mini is hard to fault, and it certainly falls into the 'accessory' category at this price (less than a top-flight compact camera).

As well as being wonderfully titchy - it's no higher than five CDs in their cases - the Mac Mini will work with just about every camera thanks to its fast USB and FireWire connections. You also get a free copy of Apple's iLife 05, which includes the latest version of the excellent iPhoto photo correction and cataloguing software.

iPhoto is brilliant for simple image editing or for ordering prints. The hard disk on the entry level model is 40Gb, which will keep most amateur photographers going for a long time.

Rather more stingy is the 256Mb of RAM, which will struggle to run a good photo editing program such as Photoshop alongside other applications. You can upgrade the memory to a more reasonable 1Gb for about £150, so long as you don't mind prising the back off the Mac Mini; even the risk of the odd scratch is preferable to paying Apple an exorbitant £300 to upgrade the memory for you.

The only other downside is the lack of screen, keyboard or mouse, but this won't be a problem for people on their second or third computer. An excellent budget choice for Mac-loving photographers. Geoff Harris