If you want real benchmarks read CNET or Macworld. This is my opinion of the Mini based off of my 2+ years playing with OS 10 and Apple hardware. First the memory I put in the Mini (pumping it up to 1gig) really helped. The 1.4ghz G4 did not seem light years faster than the 1ghz G4 in my Powerbook 12″, but it was faster.
One major issue I did discover was that it was VERY slow copying files to the drive. I have a 100mbit switch and router and copying 30 gigs of MP3’s took like 6 hours. That is drastically longer than it should take. I have copied a ton more in that period of time. I am not sure if it is the Mini’s NIC card, or the hard drive. looking over the spec’s I believe that the hard drive is what is causing this slow speed. What I don’t understand is that I have a Thinkpad with an 80gig 4700 or so RPM drive that is close to the spec’s of the Mini, but the Thinkpad can handle the same copy almost twice as fast. I don’t think anything is wrong, but I am extremely unhappy with that performance stat. In real world use I won’t be copying on or off the drive that large amount of data very often. it just sucks that it is so slow. in normal use so far today it has performed well.
The Mini plugged into my 20″ Cinema display without a problem. iLife 05 didn’t come installed. I assume that the final version was not ready when the final image for the Mini was burned into the hardware. That install took a few minutes, but was painless. I have not had a chance to try out the new iPhoto. The rest of the suite (minus iTunes 4.7.1 that I already had) is not stuff that I plan on using.
I am winding down my day of configuring software. I just finished syncing my Treo 600 with Entourage. I think that the only major thing I need to do is get my favorites out of firefox off of my Powerbook.
More reviews and impressions as I use the computer. So far so good!