The “Cheapest” Apple Experience!


What comes to mind when we talk about Apple?

The biggest company in the world, Steve Jobs, iPhone, iPod, iMac, iPad (all iProducts) but the word “Cheap” never comes to mind.

Apple doesn’t do cheap. It might go over the top with its prices. Sell extraordinary piece of hardware mingled with exceptional software which is not cheap at any level. Not to your pockets and not to hold or use or flaunt.

So, what is the cheapest Apple experience?

Actually, an iPod shuffle at the price point of Rs. 3000-4000 beats all other devices. But you and I both know I am not talking about that. iPod is definitely a great product but barring iPod touch no other device has iOS (which is based on Mac OS X) so can be counted with apprehensions.

Thus, now the crown to cheapest Apple experience goes to iPod touch. Let me raise the bar. Leave the small screen behind. Let iOS be seated alone in the corner to sulk while we meet the big daddy. The Mountain Lion driven breed that breathes out of Apple stores. What will be the best Apple experience in it? No doubt a MacBook Pro will be the best experience (preferably 15-incher) as it will give the portability and power in a single package. iMacs too are awesome to use and look at but will cost over 50K in any case.

So, what is the cheapest Apple-Mac experience….?

Few people know that originally the idea of Apple was to create computers that were affordable and for the masses. How did a company change its philosophy without implying it is beyond me but one last remain of that old philosophy still runs with the name Mac Mini.

New Mac Mini

Hearing the name must have cringed a few people I know. Even Apple calls it mini. What can be good about it?

Besides, if it’s cheap it means that something is missing. Well, let me tear it as much as I can.

First of all, yes, it is the cheapest Mac. At Rs. 33,900/- it is almost at par with good desktops. It’s a Mac in its full glory. I won’t bore you with the tech specs for two reasons. You can easily find it on Apple’s own site. Second, with Apple, specifications matter little. It is so because if Apple has made it, this automatically means that it is running good.

This is the advantage of having complete control over both hardware and software. In fact unless you are comparing an Apple to Apple technical specifications are not that useful. Because Mac OS X has to run on a particular set of hardware it is more optimized than Windows which has more compatibility.

So, first the caveat. It is just a CPU. No keyboards, mice, speakers or monitors to attach to it. This makes Mac mini’s cost more logical. But like assembled computers the advantage of just a CPU is that you can chose hardware of your own.

So, adding everything with normal cost of other products, it reaches somewhere around Rs. 45-50K. Suddenly, the Mac mini is costly, isn’t it? I would like to add here though that if we add the cost of the OS in Windows (which is pirated at low costs) the price of Windows based computer also increases steeply.

Now there is a catch here…

The reason why I wrote this and the idea even came to my mind. It is the fact that now; in many homes the cost of the Mac mini won’t reach 45-50K. Why? Because of the dawn of LCD and LED TVs. Mac Mini can connect with them with ease. An HDMI cable and you are set to use your TV as the monitor.

Thus any house having a TV (LCD or LED) does not need a monitor. Due to this the price of owning a Mac comes down to less than Rs 40K. In fact at almost Rs. 35K it is at a great price point to become a proud owner of Mac.

So, will you consider a Mac Mini this Diwali?

  1. Deep Ganatra says

    Arun – Yea then it should be fine. We have 3-4 Macminis with 4 GB RAM in office, people do normal stuff and there are no issues as such. At home, I have it with C2D and 4 GB RAM, that’s sluggish but I keep my home machine on for 24 hours, so that might be the reason.

    Whatever config you go for, Apple Keyboard, Mouse and Apple Care pack is must.

  2. Yash says

    Yes, Mac Mini is what I chose when I decided to port my windows software to Mac. Hook it up with any lcd monitor and a pair of USB keyboard mouse and you are good top go.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Yash – Would like to know your first hand impressions… I am planning to go for it…but was wondering if the power is enough… I do use photoshop a bit and watch movies apart from the regular document creation, browsing etc… so do you think this one is apt for it?

      1. Deep Ganatra says

        No point in getting mac mini without 8 GB RAM (for power users) and Apple Keyboard and Mouse.

        Following will be the cost calculation:

        Basic Mac Mini Model – Rs. 33,000
        Apple Care Pack – Rs. 7,000
        8 GB RAM – Rs. 5,000 (It comes with 2 x 2GB Sticks, so you will have to get away with old sticks)
        Apple Wireless Keyboard + Mouse – Rs. 7,500
        New 24″ LED Monitor – Rs. 12,500

        Total Cost: Rs. 65,000

        Instead – you get a 21″ iMac for Rs. 64,000 with 4 GB RAM + Quad core processor (4 GB should be fine with quad core processor) + Yes + Rs. 7,500 for the apple care pack.

        But iMac is a better deal if you are planning to buy apple keyboard, mouse, apple care and monitor.


        1. Arun Prabhudesai says

          Deep – Thanks… This will really be helpful to me, especially because I was considering buying a Mac Mini. However, I am not a power user… I mean, I will not be using resource intensive stuff on it… Like I said, it will be more documentation, image editing, watching movies…nothing very fancy…
          Do you think it is worth then?


      2. Dnyanesh Mankar says

        It should be more than enough if you’re only going to watch movies, edit documents and use Photoshop. If you’re planning to do heavy video editing and stuff then this would be the wrong choice. It’s good for day to day stuff.

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