Review: Newer Technology NuBlue mini
About a year ago, we reviewed the Plasticsmith’s mini Skirt Glo, a slab of clear plastic fitted with a USB-powered blue LED that sits under a Mac mini. Shortly after that product was introduced, Other World Computing’s Newer Technology introduced their own line of Mac mini accessories.
One of the products was the NuBlue mini, a product that is identical to the mini Skirt Glo in every way, except one—the price. The NuBlue mini is $10 less at $29.95.
NuBlue mini + Mac mini
The NuBlue mini is a flame-polished acrylic base that the Mac mini sits atop. A blue LED connects to a removable, proprietary USB cable that can connect to the mini directly or a USB hub.
The stand raises the Mac mini by 3/4 of an inch, not only raising the air intakes of the mini off of a desk, but protecting the mini against spills. The edges of the stand are frosted to diffuse the light from the LED. As with other USB peripherals, the mini Skirt’s LED gets power whenever the mini is on or asleep. Unlike the mini Skirt Glo, there is no on/off switch, so you must unplug the NuBlue mini when you don’t want it glowing.
The NuBlue mini gives the mini the same glowing bottom effect found on the Griffin PowerMate. Unlike the PowerMate, it has one brightness level.
Also worth noting is that the NuBlue mini uses one of the mini’s precious USB ports. Owners of Intel-based minis won’t need to worry as much, considering that there are more USB ports.
The NuBlue mini is a really simple product—it makes your computer look cooler, elevates it to keep the dangers of a messy desk from hurting your Mac mini, and might even serve as a conversation piece. If you’d rather forgo the LED light, a plain version is available for $5 less.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The NuBlue mini dresses up your Mac mini and adds some ambient light, but some might find the $30 price tag a bit high.
Pros: Elevates Mac mini, looks cool, cheaper than competitor
Cons: Expensive, ties up a USB port, lacks on/off switch