In recent years, manufacturers like Apple have launched popular miniature computers that hit the sweet spot between laptop and full-sized desktop PCs. Products such as the highly-rated Mac Mini, now just $400 on Best Buy, present a great solution if you want a more traditional computer interface than a laptop can offer but without the large footprint of a traditional desktop tower.
Under the hood, this Mac Mini model sports Intel’s fourth-generation Core i5 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. Intel Turbo Boost can increase the CPU speed up to 3.5GHz when you need some extra juice for more demanding applications, while Hyper-Threading enhances individual core performance for more efficient multi-tasking. An integrated Intel 5000 HD GPU and Intel Iris Graphics work with 4GB of pre-installed RAM to support graphical tasks like streaming, video editing, and light gaming. An internal SATA hard drive offers 500GB of storage as well.
Four USB 3.0 ports provide fast data transfers and let you hook virtually any of your favorite peripherals to the Mac Mini. The HDMI port works with almost any monitor of your choice, and two high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports can connect the Mini to compatible Apple displays or up to 12 daisy-chained Thunderbolt devices for speeds that are roughly four times greater than USB 3.0. For wireless connectivity, the compact PC utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Size-wise, this tiny computer comes in at less than eight inches in length and width and just under 1.5 inches thick. One of the main advantages of this design is that it gives you a full desktop PC experience when fully hooked up, but can be easily disconnected and tossed into your bag when traveling.
The Mac Mini generally starts at $500, but Best Buy is offering a $100 discount on this tiny computer which brings the price down to just $400 for a short time.