Apple refreshes Mac Mini with HDMI port, improved graphics

Just when it was all but forgotten, the Mac Mini is now getting a much-needed refresh with some improved graphics and extra connectivity options within a very shiny, aluminum compact enclosure.

Just when it was all but forgotten, the Mac Mini is now getting a much needed refresh with some improved graphics and extra connectivity options within a very shiny, aluminum enclosure.

The big updates to the latest Mac Mini are the addition of an HDMI port, an SD card slot and the integration of a NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU. That's the same graphics card found within the recently updated 13-inch edition MacBook Pro. Apple promises up to "twice" the graphics performance than the previous generation. It's still not the best (even the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros got NVIDIA GeForce 330M), but it will do.

The new Mac Mini is available at Apple Stores and online now, but there is a choice to be made. The standard version sells for $699, which includes an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive.

There are still some upgrades that can be made there, or you can spring $999 for the higher-end edition with a Snow Leopard server pre-installed, a Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz processor, dual 500GB 7200 rpm hard drives and 4GB of RAM.

All of that is packed inside a unibody aluminum casing that will look lovely on any desk but not take up too much space with measurements of 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thin.

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