Apple Mac mini (mid 2011)

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Reviewed by neonsocks (Currently owns)

I have been hunting for the perfect network media streamer. I first started with a Popcorn Hour A-100 which played pretty much everything I threw at it but the user interface was raw to say the least. I was moderately happy with the Boxee Box but still found the software buggy and playback to be hit-or-miss. I even tried hacking an Apple TV, Xbox 360 and PS3 but all had their issues. I finally broke down and bought the base model Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i5 and installed Plex. With the Mini's power, it played back 1080p .mkv files streamed over gig ethernet without a hick-up. Combined with Plex's amazing server/client model, I could control my home theater library from my iPad, iPhone and playback video on my TV or my idevice. I paired the Mini with a Lenovo N5902 for couch control and a Xbox 360 controller receiver for emulator games.
The Mac Mini is the PERFECT home theater PC for me blending in seamlessly with the rest of my home theater equipment.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 9
  • Performance 8
  • Heat / noise 10
  • Software 8
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