Mac Mini or Dell Zino HD or ??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Slarti Bartfast, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Slarti Bartfast, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Simple as this, if you want Blu ray, get the Dell Zino, if your happy with downloading HD content, get the Mac Mini.
     
  3. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #3


    I am not a "mac" fan by any means, however I do like the simplicity and sleekness of their products. I do have an iPhone 3GS and that's where it ends for me. A lot of Apple's products lack functionality in one respect or the other when compared to similar products in the same arena. I am not bashing at all. I am just pointing out the obvious.

    The Dell Zino HD is what the Mac Mini SHOULD have been by now. Yet, it's not. I have a Dell Zino HD that I purchased in February this year. The best purchase I have ever made. There is so much packed into such a small box it's crazy. It is the BEST HTPC choice out there. It has it all.

    Mine is currently connected to my 50" Panasonic 1080p plasma. I LOVE IT! I am still hunting for that perfect wireless keyboard/mouse combo. For now I have a wireless mouse and wired keyboard. Mine took forever to ship. There seems to be a delay. Mine also did not have the option for blu-ray as at the time - they ran out/supply was very limited world wide for that drive. I did order the part a couple of days ago and will be installing my blu-ray drive this upcoming week. Very excited about that.

    With the blu-ray drive, wifi, hdmi, discrete graphics, nice processor and ample storage, what else could you want? This thing has it all.

    Initially I wanted an Apple TV or Mac Mini. However they lacked some really basic features I wanted (blu-ray) was one of them. I buy my movies. I have a collection of over 220 blu-ray movies I bought. I also download some things from time to time but physical media is what I want.

    Shop around - weigh the pros and cons and see where you stand. The Dell Zino HD (inspiron 400) is the best so don't hesitate if that's what you want. :)
     
  4. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #4

    +1, this post wins!
     
  5. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Was thinking the same thing!

    I've just got an Apple TV (my fifth actually. I tend to get sick of them eventually and sell them). I always fall back on the Apple TV, having tried many alternatives but in the end, the Apple TV's simplicity always draws me back.

    Well, after a couple of weeks, I'm already sick of it. Being my fifth one, I should have been well aware of it's flaws, and I thought I was. But my latest gripe is that I can't export my home movies (edited with iMovie 09) to 1080p or even the advertised720p (can't really blame Apple, as it is listed on their site) but alas 940x546 (or whatever the stupid 'HD' resolution is) is my only option, using 30fps.

    That aside, the one 'feature' that other devices can't offer is the 'sync' function. It's so easy to press 'sync' and my new stuff in on my Apple TV. I had a PS3 before and getting my media from my MBP to the PS3 was a nightmare.

    Anyways...have recently looked at the Zino and it's a very attractive package. My other reservation (aside from using W7 :rolleyes: ) is how to keep my MBP iTunes in sync with the Zino iTunes library. Can this be easily achieved? By easily, I mean cleanly and without too much messing around, like the Apple TV.
     
  6. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #6
    The best way I know how to keep your MBP in "sync" with the Zino is by the use of "Home Sharing" in iTunes. I think that would work for you in this case? Might want to check that out.

    I love iTunes when it comes to my music and digital copies I get with my blu-rays. If I need to upgrade my machine or make backups, I just copy the itunes folder and I am done. None of that licensing crap with windows media or anything else.

    Anyways, give home sharing a try and see if that would work for you.
     
  7. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #7
    The new mini 's are a bit outdated when it comes to modern technology , a faster processor alone doesn't make a
    better computer and blue ray is a must on a computer that is more then likely to be connected to a TV at least as a option , but the way apple is marketing the mini the consumers will end up with dell zino's , ok maybe the zino is not as good looking (its a bit bigger too)and maybe the processor is a bit slower, but it offers everything the consumer wants now
    The faster intels in the mini are simply overkill for what the majority of consumers do with their multimedia pc's, the majority does a bit of surfing and emailing and watching a film , and the dell zino HD offers just what the consumers want , not more but not less .
    For connectivity the dell zino offers a lot of things like a card reader, 4 usb ports (2 at the front) 2 esata ports , and most important a hdmi port build in along with a vga port to connect it to any modern tv , and consumers dont want to buy adapters ,in case they buy the wrong one , see the many posts of people "how do i connect my mini to my tv""is that the right adapter" "which port do i need to use to connect to my tv which has a hdmi port" , consumers want simple plug and play
    Apple there are not only geeks and nerds out there , out there are ordinary people who are happy once they figured out how they can send a email
     
  8. Slarti Bartfast, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    Slarti Bartfast thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
  9. Slarti Bartfast, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    Slarti Bartfast thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
  11. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #11
    There was big demand for this little guy for a long time. Dell had specials during Christmas which drove it. It continued for a while. My order was delayed twice. I was ok with that because it's a great price and had the features I wanted. The wait may not be an issue now.

    I purchased the drive through dell. It's $219 by itself. If you get it WITH the machine at the time of purchase, it's only $100 more. If you can, get it WITH the machine. Not after. If after, it's really easy to add. You can also us any standard laptop serial ata drive that will fit.

    Lastly, go for the 3250 or higher processor AND discrete graphics - 4330. That's pretty much it.

    Hope you enjoy it! I know I am enjoying mine. :D
     
  12. Slarti Bartfast, Apr 5, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    Slarti Bartfast thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
  13. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #13
    Okay, long time lurker, first time poster, but I've been sitting on this same fence since last fall.

    I've agonized about a Mac Mini, but having a PS3 attached to the network, I hear it's a huge pain to try to stream to that from the Mac. So I've been waiting on the Zino. Didn't want to buy one right away, as Dell's build quality lately has been awful (and our company buys nothing but Dells, so we've seen it firsthand).

    The Blu Ray machines have been delayed forever, and the reviews are finally starting to come online. And they aren't very positive for the Zino with the Blu Ray player. Many complaints about being underpowered and frame stuttering. If you buy a Zino, many reviews insist that you upgrade the graphics!

    Here's a review from HDTV Magazine. They even have a podcast about it:
    http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/podcast/2010/04/hdtv-and-home-theater-podcast-podcast-419-dell-inspiron-zino-hd.php

    I guess that noone has the clear winner yet. For the reliability, the remote, and the stability, I'm all over the Mac mini, but wish it played nice with the PS3!
     
  14. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #14
    I have the exact same setup they do. The 3250e, 4330 512mb discreet graphics card, 3 meg of ram and blu-ray drive. My blu-ray drive was added after the machine was ordered and shipped to me. I ordered the drive from Dell spare parts. It installed without issue.

    Since then, I have watched 6 blu-rays on my Zino. All played without issue. No flickering, stuttering or anything. One was IMAX Under The Sea, Home, Toy Story and a few other Pixar movies. No issues to date. I also have had no issues updating Power DVD either.

    I really don't think that review is accurate. They have the issue with the image not filling their entire screen and can't figure out how to fix it. A little research on their part have given them the answer in just a few minutes.

    Anyways - whatever you choose, good luck! :)
     
  15. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #15
    Thanks for the review link, good find. They do offer it with a better processor, the 6850 -- dunno if that would make enough of a difference...
     
  16. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #16
    Glad to hear that you have had good luck with it. I have been scouring for reviews and they are few and far between (at least with Blu Ray). The reviews for the machines without Blu Ray seem to be love it or hate it. I was shocked at how bi-polar they were (over at Dell's site).

    I may just continue to wait until later in the year to see how things shake out. Maybe some new players will come into the game. It seems like such a lucrative market: one little machine to hook up and do everything!
     
  17. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #17
    For those of you that are interested in the Zino, just saw this deal over at dealnews.com

    The Microsoft Store offers the Dell Inspiron Zino HD AMD Athlon Neo 1.6GHz Mini Desktop PC in Piano Black for $699. Coupon code "CLR-MSAFL-20%-PC" cuts it to $559. With $4.99 for shipping, it's the lowest total price we could find for this well-equipped model by $95, although we saw lesser-equipped Zino desktops for $302 less last month. Sales tax is added where applicable.

    This HTPC features an AMD Athlon Neo 6850e 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive, Blu-ray player / DVD burner combo, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB and HDMI output, memory card reader, 802.11n wireless, Sound Blaster X-Fi HD Audio, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Deal ends May 8.

    http://store.microsoft.com/microsoft/Dell-Inspiron-Zino-6999-HD-iZHD6699NBK-Desktop-with-Microsoft-Signature/product/B52610FE?one=blank&WT.mc_id=mercent&two=blank&three=blank&mr:referralID=14f6d870-5872-11df-8d8b-0026b95a1734

    I may bite at that price!
     
  18. theskunk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #18
    So I'm using Plastation Media Server installed on Fedora 12 leveraging a few 1.5 TB hdds in a raid for my current media solution.

    This works great until you want to fast forward or rewind. At all.

    I'm hoping either a mac mini or a dell zino will actually help me in this situation -- With the mac mini I was planning on using either XBMC or Plex to take care of this, but what would the Dell Zino use?

    I'm fairly into open solutions, so I'd prefer against using WMP in favor of VLC or Mplayer/etc.

    Any thoughts?
     
  19. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #19
    The beauty of using the Dell Zino is - there are quite a few options. Boxee is one of them among many others. If it's going to be hooked up to your tv, again, options are unlimited.
     
  20. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #20
    I had placed an order with the Microsoft Store for the $559 machine, but then chickened out and cancelled it. I really don't need the blu ray player, so I'll watch for a deal without it and try to save a little more.

    What are you using for a remote with your Zino?
     
  21. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #21
    That was a good price. :)

    I use a wireless mouse. I have not fully researched the wireless keyboard/mouse combos yet to see if there is anything better. Have not looked into remotes either. You can't get much smaller than a mouse and I can control everything with it.
     

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