Lion-powered Mac Mini packs bigger punch

Apple has updated its Mac Mini range to include Sandy Bridge-based Intel Core processors, discrete graphics cards and the newest version of its Mac OS X operating, called Lion.The new 7.

Apple has updated its Mac Mini range to include Sandy Bridge-based Intel Core processors, discrete graphics cards and the newest version of its Mac OS X operating, called Lion.

The new 7.7-inch Mac Mini, released on Wednesday, also brings with it Apple Thunderbolt technology, allowing for faster data transfer speeds.

"The new Mac Mini delivers up to twice the processor and graphics performance of the previous generation," the company said. "With a Thunderbolt port, Mac mini can connect to peripherals such as high-performance storage devices, Raid arrays and the new Apple Thunderbolt display."

The standard device comes in two base configurations. The £529 version has a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, while the £699 model has a 2.5GHz Core i5.

Both can be configured to include up to 8GB RAM, and the more expensive version has the option of a Core i7 processor running at 2.7GHz. Standard storage is a 500GB hard drive though this can be upgraded to 750GB. The higher-end model also has the option of a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD).

The better-specced model includes an AMD Radeon HD 6630M dedicated graphics card. Adding all these options, including an Apple remote control, bumps the price up to just over £1,500.

For those who want to use the Mac Mini as a server, Apple has put together a package with a 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM and dual 500GB hard drives. It also has Intel HD integrated graphics processor.

All models come with Mac OS X Lion or Mac OS X Lion Server. Lion, launched on Wednesday, brings a number of changes to the OS. These include support for multi-touch gesture controls, full-screen apps, and Mission Control — an overview of everything running on the machine — and a redesigned mail app.

The new Mac Mini is available to purchase online now, or from an Apple store from Thursday, Apple said.

Image Credit: Apple

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