So, I’ve been thinking about the new Mac mini. I could definitely use a couple new computers at home, and I’d be happiest with new Macs. They’d fit in well with my Powerbook and our dying old iMac. The Mac mini is certainly cheaper then older models, but the pricing is kind of deceptive. Yeah, you can get a model for $499, but by the time you bump the hard drive up to 80 MB, add a DVD burner, and add a reasonable amount of (third-party) memory, it’s pushing $1,000 all of a sudden. More specifically:

  • Mac mini, 1.43 GHz/80 GB model: $599
  • upgrade to Superdrive: $100
  • add keyboard: $29 (Apple total: $728)
  • 1 GB of Mac mini RAM from Crucial: $226.99

I’m sure I could get the memory for a few bucks less elsewhere, but I’ve had good luck with Crucial in the past, and I’d rather not monkey around with the RAM if I can avoid it. The initial rumors were that the Mac mini’s RAM wasn’t user-upgradeable; now it looks like it’s just sort of not recommended. It doesn’t require any special tools at the very least.

So, for $1,000, I can have a Mac with around 3x the CPU power of my aging PowerBook, enough RAM to do a bit of photo editing now and then, and a bit of disk space. I’d reuse the 22” CRT sitting on my desk at home and a Logitech optical mouse that I already own.

The problem is that I can’t afford a new Mac and a new Treo 650. Fortunately, no one seems eager to sell me a GSM Treo 650 any time soon, but sooner or later, Cingular is going to announce pricing, and I’m going to have to decide what I’m going to do about it. If they’d been shipping it 3 months ago, I probably would have ordered right off the bat, but its lack of memory and WiFi makes it look less enticing every month.

Oh, well–I should really wait until taxes are done this year before ordering any new hardware anyway.