It took three days, two trips to MicroCenter, three different adapters, two calls to Apple tech support and one call to Samsung tech support to discover my four-year-old-plus LCD monitor was not compatible with the new Mac Mini.
Both Apple and Samsung confirmed this, not all monitors work with the new Mac Mini. What? Isn’t the entire marketing campaign around the Mac Mini (new and old) that you can use your existing monitor, keyboard and other accessories with it? That way, your costs are low.
Well, it seems the Mac Mini is a slave to the same standard PC owners have run into for years…old shit doesn’t work with new shit.
In this case a monitor like mine with 1280 x 1024 resolution and a standard VGA input that’s a few years old, doesn’t work with a state of the art new computer. My old Samsung 19-inch LCD, which looked and worked great to this day, had met its match, the most entry, of entry-level Macs.
I had tried to use the video inputs (S-Video and analog video) with another Mac adapter ($20)too, that didn’t work. Then I exchanged that for a VGA adapter ($39) and that didn’t work either.
Apple tech support said that they had no data suggesting my monitor, a Samsung Syncmaster 910 MP, would not work with the Mac Mini but that yes, if it was an older screen there could be issues. Samsung tech support said flatly, that yes, the monitor was probably too old/outdated to work with the new Mini and that I should definitely try the computer with another monitor to see if it worked.
I thought I’d wait to bring it in to work, but the flat-screen TV we have in the bedroom had a VGA input so I plugged it in there and BOOM there was a big Apple logo on the screen.
Then it came down to this…was I really going to go spend more money on a new computer by buying a new monitor? I was very close to sending the Mac back and saying “be done with you cursed machine from Cupertino by way of China!”
Instead, I did what I usually do with old tech, head to Craigslist. I posted my old monitor for sale and asked for $75. In two hours a nice guy came, checked it out, forked over $75 and I was off to MicroCenter for a new monitor.
I got another Samsung because not only did the old monitor perform flawlessly for years, it looked great and I had a terrific experience with their tech support figuring out my problem, even if the result wasn’t what I had wanted to hear.
It cost around $100 to upgrade with the CraigsList trade-in with some more off with a mail-in rebate. Not too bad. Oh, and of course the Mac plugged right in and fired right up using the included DVI-D cord. It also has a VGA out which is going to my PC so I can switch between the two WITHOUT another adapter.
Still, I’m left a bit soured on Apple because of their marketing. They should definitely have more of a disclaimer about what monitors work with the new Mini. It took the entire weekend to simply get my iTunes filled with my library of music. I’ll have more first impressions of the Mini’s performance later this week.