While all of us expected to awaken to iPhone 4 pre-orders, none of us expected a rather serious Mac mini update that’s available online and in stores this morning. Their smallest Mac now features HDMI out and an SD Card Slot - big upgrades for the tiny desktop that make it suitable for hooking up to the big screen. Also included is our usual Nvidia 320M integrated graphics, and the choice of a 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, making it 2x faster than the previous model. Firewire 800 also stays on the Mac Mini, but it has lost a USB port with the feature updates - which is fine by me.
But Mac fans such as myself are most excited with Apple’s amazing visual refresh, which casts the Mac mini in an 1.4-inch-thin unibody all-aluminum enclosure over a round rubber panel that allows customer access to replacing RAM. The Apple team completely reinvented the guts by including a new green, space saving power supply which completely eliminates the need for the brick - all you need now is a single straight cable. A powerhouse that only consumes 10 Watts of energy when idle (85W when active), the Mac mini is also Apple’s most energy friendly Mac yet. Cupertino, this is a job well done.
“But what you do with your Mac mini, well, that’s up to you.”
Apple may be preparing themselves to take on Google TV, an interesting move barring an official Apple TV to be released sometime this year or early next. Presenting customers with the choice to connect their new Mac mini to their flat screen televisions, Apple emphasizes that there’s a “handy control” which lets you fill up those pixels on the big screen.
The Mac mini has unfortunately increased in price by $100, and the base configuration only includes 2GB of RAM. It still doesn’t come with its own Apple keyboard or mouse, but it’s a device touted to be either your new multimedia center, or something that you’ll connect to your existing equipment.
The Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server (a model which removes the optical drive for a second hard drive) has gotten similar updates. It still costs $999 and comes with the faster 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and 4GB of RAM.
You can catch all of the specs here: Apple Releases New Mac Mini
[Images via Computerworld]