Apple Mavens: Thoughts on Mac Mini Refresh?

I’m thinking of upgrading my Mini as mine is getting a bit long in the tooth (Power PC model circa 2006). Ideally, I’d like to wait until the new models are released in order to spend my money on the latest and greatest or at least take advantage of discount pricing on the current version. The rumour sites have been predicting imminent upgrades for a while now (MacRumors advises “Don’t Buy - Updates soon”); the Mini line seems due, but nothing from Apple so far.

Any thoughts or educated guesses? I realize that Apple is notoriously secretive and Internet predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt, but I do appreciate the insights of experts closer to the industry with better informed opinions.

The most educated guess is that, if they refresh, it will be in October. There are rumors about new iMacs in Oct and possibly new iPhones (maybe a new mini iPad too.)
The fact is, they might not touch it and just let it ride.
I personally would wait to see what happens.
So what do you use your Mini for? I’ve never had one but have been intrigued by it’s possibility as an entertainment hub. Sort of a Apple TV type thing, except web access (like a Google TV.)

I use my intel Mac mini as our entertainment controller. It’s connected via DVI to a projector. The big advantage over an Apple TV is that it has an optical drive. Of course, that no longer true for the new Minis. I use EyeTV to record cable TV shows on it.

Thanks tomcar. I was never really a Mac user but ended up being a textbook “halo” buyer when I got my first iPod – the kind of user the Mini was targeted to, I think. It’s a nice box. I use it primarily for music as an iTunes base (for multiple devices now; iPhones, iPads) and have an old-school AirPort to stream music to my home entertainment system. The Apple Remote app makes for a nice setup.

I have also used it for video, like beowulff (I had it set up as a MythTV front-end for a while), but since supplanted that function with streaming to my tablets. I also have a guest account for visitors and friends to use when they’re over. Oh, and I hack around a bit with it (I am a Unix guy). I run a little mail server and directory server, for example.

The main issue now is lack of support. Many packages are Intel-only now (e.g. Firefox), and they have frozen OS X at 10.5. Apple is a bit maddening that way – I recall i needed an entire OS upgrade to use the clever new mouse they launched (read: three-button), and now I can’t use the wireless sync feature of iTunes without the latest OS, which is not supported. (I forget which one – the one named after a cat. :))

I’ll wait a few months and see what happens. Worst case, I am not averse to picking up the current Intel model.

I would buy what you need today, and don’t look back.

You have a 6 year old computer, which is a dinosaur. If you hold out for an update to the Mac Mini, you could be waiting for a very long time. Apple is not following intel’s road map anymore and they update when they feel like it.

Mountain Lion is coming out later this month; many assume that they’re holding out on the iMac and Mini refresh for then. The iMac, which I need a new one of, has gone the longest ever between refreshes this cycle, so many think they’re going to launch along with the OS.

wild applause

Good show, tomcar. Ordered one today.