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Monday March 14, 2005 5:19 pm

Apple’s Lack Of Support On The Dim Mac mini Issue

Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: PC / Laptop

Mac mini Dim

Gear Live reader Token has had the same Mac mini problem that many have complained about. When using the VGA adapter, his display is very dim - when using a DVI connector instead, everything looks fine. He sent us this account of his order trying to get support from Apple:

I just wanted to make you and your readers aware that a bunch of people are having trouble with the new Mac mini myself included. The problem is that VGA output is very dark. White is fairly gray. Colors that I know to be vibrant are dim. Playing with the color settings doesn’t help either. I am having this issue with my stock 1.25 ghz Mac Mini. I am using this with an emachines 17” VGA LCD display. I also have it on a iogear miniview III USB KVM with VGA. I figure that maybe it was losing something going through the KVM, so I plugged the monitor directly into my Mac Mini. No luck. I also have a 12 inch powerbook g4 1.33 ghz. Using the same display through the same iogear KVM, the picture is as bright and clear just as you would expect. The same goes for my PC running Windows XP and that might be the most frustrating thing of all.  This is also true for the G4 400 AGP that the mini was intended to replace. Just for another data point, I also tried this with my roommates dual g4 450 and his iBook g3 900 mhz. The problem is limited to the Mac Mini.

I called Apple support, and spoke to 2 different people. I went through the motions to get my issue on file. Nothing they told me or asked me to do helped in the slightest. They told me to go my local Apple Store and have them take a look.

So, I took it to the store and explained my problem to the guys at the Genius Bar. He looked at me like I was losing my mind. He took my mini into the back to plug it into the VGA monitor they had back there. He comes back, and predictably, tells me that he can see nothing wrong with the quality of the video. He said he would plug in a DVI monitor to see if there might be any problems with the video on my machine. It looked great of course.

I think the bottom line here is that that some VGA monitors display just fine on the Mac Mini, while others do not. This is unacceptable. Any VGA display should work normally on this computer. This machine is being marketed to switchers. This computer is intended to be used with a persons old gear. Switchers will likely be trying to use an old VGA display with their new Mac mini. I’d hate for Windows folks to take one look a the video quality of their display, and be forever turned off to the Mac. $500.00 may not be a lot for a computer, but it still $500.00 of my hard earned cash that I spent a computer that is not functioning as it should.

Perhaps this is my fault because I broke my own rules about buying a first generation product, but you really think this is something they would have caught in quality testing especially given the target market for this computer.

I really hope Apple addresses this problem. If they don’t they are going to be faced with hoards of unhappy switchers and Apple faithful alike.

Here are some links to others reporting this same problem:


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