Despite its obituary being written numerous times in its five-year lifetime, Apple has shown it thinks there’s still some life left in its small form factor desktop by unveiling a completely redesigned Mac mini today. The update sees a new HDMI port and SD card slot along with up to twice the graphics performance of the previous model crammed into its compact aluminum enclosure.
Created with the unibody construction process found on Apple’s MacBooks and MacBook Pros, the new Mac mini features an enclosure measuring 7.7-inches (19.5cm) square and 1.4-inches (3.6cm) high – giving it a form factor much closer to the Apple TV. It includes a new integrated power supply, which contributes to a reduction in overall system volume by 20 percent and helps reduce cable clutter. A removable panel underneath the unit is a nice addition that provides users easy access for memory expansion.
The Mac mini comes in two flavors, both with an integrated NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor. The base model comes with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM, while the 2.66GHz model sports 4GB – both are expandable up to 8GB. The base model comes with a 320GB, 5400 rpm HDD, while, like the previous line, the 2.66GHz mini is a compact Snow Leopard server and features two 500GB drives running at 7200 rpm, but loses the slot-load SuperDrive DVD burner.
Apple still lays claim to the Mac mini being the world’s most energy efficient desktop with the new model reducing power consumption by 25 percent to less than 10W at idle – less than half the power required by competing systems according to Apple. It meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status, with the new aluminum enclosure being highly recyclable and the unit using PVC-free components and cables. It also contains no brominated flame retardants and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.
Here’s the full specs of the two models:
The Mac mini, which retails from US$699:
Mac mini comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange.
Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, which retails from US$999:
Both models are available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers now.
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