I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop and I am planning on purchasing a mac mini, new version , I am tight on money for a while and want to use my current laptop screen as monitor for mac mini, I just want to know if it is at all possible to do, I have windows 7 and ubuntu 11.04 installed in my laptop, and I don't really care if need to wipe them out, or purchasing a monitos is the only option left, also I am planning to use it for coding and stuff, so VNC is probably not a good choice.
You cannot connect the Dell laptop's screen to the Mac Mini. Not easily anyway. I am sure somebody could hack something together, and it would involve opening up the case of the Dell, and possibly the Mac.
However, you could use VNC on the Dell, to view what the Mac Mini is "displaying"
I don't think you can use the Kick Start utility to start the screen sharing service on the Mac Mini, so you will need to borrow a monitor form somewhere to get the Mac set up in the first place...
Then, after setting up the Mac, go to System Preferences -> Sharing, and set up Screen Sharing. Also you will need to allow computers using VNC to connect to it. It's all there is the settings pane.
Then... You will use VNC on your ubuntu box (ick, don't use Windows) and connect to the Mac using it's IP address. You will be able to view and control the mac, from the Dell's monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse.
There will be some lag... such is life with VNC...
I think that based on the HDMI ports you can in fact use a Mac mini to your advantage.