Like a lot of people, I have a Mac mini connected to my home entertainment system. It's great for watching movies, viewing photos and listening to music but the problem is the mini's anemic hard drive.
The Mac mini is only available with a 80, 120 or 160GB hard drive – which is hardly enough space for a serious media center. Previously I used a garden-variety external FireWire drive which worked but was difficult to connect and disconnect because my mini is in pretty tight quarters.
I've been testing Newer Technology's new miniStack v2.5, a combination hard drive and USB/FireWire hub that starts at US$105 (80GB) and goes up to US$230 (1TB). The miniStack footprint (6.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches) is the exact same as the Mac mini, making them stack perfectly.
The miniStack combines powered FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 hubs and external hard drive in one convenient package. It comes with the Oxford 934 bridge chipset, and a 7200RPM Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives up to 1.0TB with up to 32MB of disk cache.
The single best feature for me is the side mounted USB and FireWire ports which make it easy to connect and disconnect drives to my mini in my crowded media center cabinet.