The most obvious and dedicated use for the Mac Mini is as a small sized, high-powered desktop computer. If you already have a screen, keyboard and mouse then this is the right Mac operating platform for you. Setup is as simple as plugging in the mouse, keyboard, and monitor to the back of the Mac Mini, hitting the power button and you are ready to go. With the ability to have up to 16 GB of RAM this would be a great system for the aspiring or professional photographer who already has a dedicated screen for editing and wants to edit his/her workflow on an Apple operating system. Another benefit of using the mac mini is its size. With its small size and wireless connectivity your desktop computer can be setup basically anywhere in your house. Also, the size allows for portability between locations if necessary.
Home Media Center
Personally I believe using the Mac Mini as a home Media Center is probably its coolest function. With an available 1 terabyte hard-drive, the mac mini can hold an enormous amount of music, videos and games in an incredibly small package. Not to mention, that since it is a computer, with full wireless capability you have access to all kinds of media at a click. The Mac Mini comes standard with an HDMI outlet and cable, meaning that you can plug it straight into your HD TV of choice and start enjoying the possibilities. It’s kind of like an apple TV, except there aren’t the restrictions of using ITunes only to obtain your media. Anything that you can view on a computer screen can now be seen on your HD TV. Another cool feature is that with different apps available, you can pair your iPhone or iPad with your Mac Mini as a remote control. The reason the Mac Mini functions as an excellent media center, is because of its small size, wireless, nature, and large storage capabilities. You no longer have to store hundreds of Cd’s or DVD’s in a drawer or closet and then have to scour through them anytime you want to view your media. It can all be saved in one small Mac Mini package, with high definition audio and video playback included.
Auto Media Center
A quick Google search yields numerous pictures and how-to’s for setting up your own mobile media center in your car using the Mac Mini. The Mini can easily connect to a portable car monitor or video enabled head unit made by major manufacturers such as Pioneer, Panasonic, or Alpine. Just imagine taking your significant other on a date where you park your car in a beautiful location and then turn on a movie you purchased on ITunes and saved on your standard 500 gigabyte hard-drive. Or add a mobile hotspot in your car and you are internet ready anywhere you go. The possibilities are actually endless for mobile computing.
One of the great business features of the Mac Mini is the Mac Mini server version. With the Mac Mini server you get fully functioning server capabilities at a fraction of the cost. If you have ever been interested in hosting your own website or blog the Mac Mini server is a one-stop shop. It takes all the guesswork out of running your own server which is an awesome thing if you are a small business just getting started. You won’t need an IT department or staffing solutions because of the well-built easy to use apple OSX server software. The software will walk you through all the steps necessary to get your server up and running in no time. There is also an app available that lets you easily manage and control your server from any apple computer or iOS device. Another benefit of using the OS X server software is that it lets you add an unlimited number of MAC and PC users without per user licensing fees associated. This is a great feature for the small startup trying to control their costs. This is probably one of the most user friendly and business savvy uses available for the Mac Mini.
Are you tired of paying for DVR service from your cable provider, or have you recently gotten rid of your cable plan altogether. If so you’re probably missing the DVR features to record your shows. Well the Mac Mini can act as a DVR and record your shows as well with a little bit of help from after-market devices such as Eye TV or ConnectX. The after-market products will set you back a couple hundred dollars but your savings from getting rid of cable will pay off the investment within a couple of months. Just another one of the cool ways you can use a Mac Mini