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Mac mini refresh

Apple's Mac mini gets a long overdue and much needed refresh. But expect to pay $100 extra for that upgrade.

Apple's Mac mini gets a long overdue and much needed refresh. But expect to pay $100 extra for that upgrade.

So what's new?

  • Twice the graphics performance of the previous Mac mini thanks to the addition of an NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU.
  • HDMI port.
  • Smaller unibody aluminum body measuring 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thick.
  • SD card slot.
  • 320GB hard disk

A couple of highlights worth pointing out:

  • No need to take a wallpaper scraper to the chassis to do a RAM upgrade.
  • There's no external power brick - a trick that other companies should learn!

It's also pretty gentle on the environment. According to Apple, the new Mac mini remains the world's most energy efficient desktop. Power consumption at idle has been cut by 25% to less than 10W at idle. The Mac mini meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status. The new aluminum enclosure is highly recyclable and Mac mini uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Here's the full spec:

The Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $699, includes:

  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
  • 2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
  • AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • SD card slot;
  • one FireWire® 800 port;
  • one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
  • HDMI to DVI video adapter;
  • combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
  • combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

There's also the Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, for a suggested retail price of $999, which comes with:

  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
  • 4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
  • two 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • SD card slot;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
  • HDMI to DVI video adapter;
  • combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
  • combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

It's a nice upgrade, and one that places the Mac mini in the position of now being able to pretty much take over the role of the Apple TV device.

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