From what I understand they are basically the same machine. With the mac mini you will have to purchase a display keyboard and mouse. If you go with the $500 put in airport, bluetooth and get a wired keyboard and mouse you are looking at around $650. I think the only reason to get the mac mini is if you already have display. For a decent lcd you are looking at around $250. For around $150 more you can get the same configuration on an iBook and get the portability. The iBook is the best value Apple offers (in my opinion). Good luck on you purchase.