When iPad mini was introduced the enhanced Mac mini largely stayed at backstage. I was however very interested in that new Mac because I was thinking about computer upgrade. I think it is quite a pity that Mac mini was at background in the Apple event. It would be a very nice option for many thinking about a new computer.
I am comparing my new Mac mini to my 2009 MacBook here. That white MacBook is my baseline so to say. It has 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 4 Gb of RAM. I have used that MacBook a lot for post-processing my photos with Aperture 3 and LR 4. Otherwise it has been quite regular computer use (web browsing, email, some writing etc.).
I have been thinking for a quite long time to buy an iMac. So, why I chose Mac mini over it now? There are few practical reasons for that actually. Some time ago a bought a Magic Mouse and a Magic Trackpad for my MacBook. Recently I added a 23-inch IPS monitor and wireless Apple keyboard. In addition I have two 1Tb external hard drives. So I have quite much stuff but my computer was at a low side. I can connect all the above nicely to a Mac mini, so I had to buy only one additional item and not to think about what to do with extra mouse, monitor etc. (as it would have been the case if I would have purchased an iMac).
How I feel about Mac mini then? I have the basic model (2.5 GHz i5 processor, 500 Gb hard drive) with RAM added to 8 Gb. This combo seems to give nice power boost as compared to my old MacBook. And that's exactly what I was looking for. I do not need the most powerful machine and I feel it is quite needless to pay extra about fractional things. It is the real world power what counts here. And that little Mac mini has just that. Nothing more, nothing less. Mac mini has very nice connectivity with USB 3, Thunderbolt and HDMI. It also has a SD card reader which is very nice because both of my cameras use SD cards.
I tested Mac mini last evening using Aperture 3 and LR 4 to process some photos. I can see clear increase in speed with both of these programmes. Especially with Aperture the zooming to 100% is so much faster now. Everything is smoother than before. I am very happy as this is my main use for a computer at the moment.
I really can recommend Mac mini for everyone especially if you already have a keyboard, mouse, monitor and other stuff. And it is not that expensive option. My Mac mini did cost 713 € which I feel is quite reasonable for a powerful and beautiful Mac.
Here is my setup at the moment: