How Bad is the 2014 Apple Mac Mini?

is the Mac Mini a Good Deal?
I think the 2014 Mac Mini is a pretty good deal for an Apple Computer despite the fact you can’t upgrade the ram or hard drive
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Apple Mac Mini and I think the 2014 models have been given a bum rap.

A google search will take you about 30 seconds to find more than one opinion piece about how the 2014 Mac Mini is not the deal it once was and that there’s no replaceable parts any more in the new Mac Mini and that the 2014 is one big disappointment from Apple.

Personally, I think that’s a good thing you can no longer open them up.

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What is the Lightest Apple Computer?

The lightest Apple Computer is the  2015 Apple MacBook
The lightest Apple Computer is the 2015 Apple MacBook

After musing about what apple notebook I would buy I got to thinking: We all know the soon to be released Apple MacBook is the lightest Apple computer ever but what about the other models? How much do they weigh? Does more SSD hard drive space make a computer heavier? What about RAM? Does that make a computer heavier? Let’s have a look:

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MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: What to Buy in 2015?

What is the Best Apple Notebook
The 11 inch MacBook Air is my portable computer choice.

I have been shopping for a new Mac recently and lately it’s come down to two choices:

MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air

Both are really designed for different purposes and different price points and I would like to compare both and see what one would really fit my needs. I mostly just work with text now and really don’t need the extra cost of the MacBook Pro but when shopping for a new computer I like to sit down and write about what might be the best choice for me.

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2015 MacBook Pro: Five Things You Should Know

The Cheapest 13 inch MacBook Pro is the  model  I would buy
The Cheapest 13 inch MacBook Pro is the model I would buy

With Apple’s release of the 2015 MacBook Pro refreshes earlier this month there’s a few things you might want to know about the 2015 MacBook Pro models vs the 2014 versions:

Not All MacBook Pros Are The Same

Only Some of the MacBook Pro models saw an upgrade. The 15 inch models did not get an upgrade at all and are still stuck with 2014 specifications. In fact, only 3 models got an upgrade for 2015:

13 inch 2.7Ghz with Retina Display (128GB and 256GB) and the 13 inch 2.9Ghz with retina display.

All others are still stuck on last year’s specifications with the 13 inch 2.5Ghz non retina display model being the only 13 inch MacBook Pro without an upgrade. The 15 inch display also did not see an upgrade at all either.

If you want to buy a new MacBook Pro for 2015 so far it will be one of the 3 that saw the updates.

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How much does ram cost for a laptop?

16GB ram for MacBook Pro is priced well under $150.  check price
8GB RAM is really cheap for laptops. check price

In 2015, there are many reasons to upgrade the ram in a laptop, but the most important is speed. Simply put, more ram makes your notebook or laptop run faster than it would without.

What to look for in laptop ram

The first thing to look for when looking to add more memory to your notebook is whether you can upgrade or not. Some of the newer notebooks like the 2015 MacBook or the Dell XPS 13 ship with the RAM soldered on the motherboard meaning you’re out of luck when it comes to upgrading so be sure to buy the most ram you can afford at the time of purchase.

But if you can upgrade the ram on your notebook computer it’s best to do so because ram is pretty cheap these days and in most instances you can upgrade the ram to twice what was installed in the computer.

Apple Laptop RAM

One of the most popular ram prices I monitor memory prices for are Apple Computers. Some newer models all have their ram soldered to the motherboard so it you’re looking to upgrade ram on an Apple notebook prior to 2012 you’re pretty much out of luck.

Dell Laptop RAM

I have mentioned earlier that the Dell XPS for 2015 cannot be upgraded but some older XPS models can be so like the Apple models you’re best to check out how much ram your notebook takes. The Dell consumer models like the Dell Inspiron models can take a ram upgrade and you can usually at least double the ram from 4GB standard to 8GB for well under $100.00

Dell Alienware models usually ship with all the ram they need as they are professional gaming computers and need all the performance and speed they can get and so have the ram installed at time of manufacturer.

Dell Latitude memory upgrades are available for current models as these are business models that are priced to be competitive in the market and one way of meeting a certain price point is to add the minimum amount of RAM and let the business or consumer’s IT department add more memory later if needed

HP Laptop RAM

HP computers come in a wide array of models from entry level ultrabooks to high end gaming computers and they can all use a memory upgrade. Some might be soldered to the motherboard but a lot of ram upgrades are still available with common upgrade prices usually around the $100 mark for HP Laptop memory – maybe a bit more for 16GB HP notebook ram kits.

RAM for Notebooks is Cheap in 2015

The prices for ram for notebook computers used to be much higher than they are now and cost a fraction of the price, but if you are looking to buy a ram upgrade for your notebook the cost will be about $75.00 for 8GB of RAM and $125.00 for 16GB of RAM for upgrading your laptop to the most ram it can handle.

Sites I Like: Low End Mac

Screenshot 2015-03-19 at 8.15.59 PM
Low End Mac is a great site for getting more out of your Mac

Low  End  Mac  was one of the very first sites I ever came across way back when,  and has been a favorite ever since and you will find that this is a very useful resource for the Apple community.

It’s especially fun to check out their Mac of the Day feature and see how the older Apple computers have aged.  There are other sites that highlight older computers, but like the name suggests Low End Mac does this very well and has information you can’t get or find any more for the older Apple computers.

They offer technical specs to pretty much every mac you can think of  which can be handy when you need to know how much ram  your older mac can  take for an example. :) .  Also be sure to check out the articles for some great stuff on how to get the most of your older Mac.

I think that even more so now than in the past  – despite all the hoopla about the latest and greatest computers like the new MacBook, etc – you can still get very good mileage out of some older computers. Personally, I have posted blog posts for this site from a ten year old PowerBook G4 so  I’m a fan of Low End  Mac, (as well as being cheap) :)

There are a lot of resources on the web about new macs and all the rumors and headlines, but Low End Mac is one  of the  few sites to help you be happy with what you’ve got.

Here’s  a few of my favorite articles recently:

The  New MacBook and the iMac Effect

Radius Displays, Video Cards, and Clones

Umax SuperMax Clones