Apple revamps Mac mini, throws in additional hardware features

Apple Mac mini

Even after all the attention showered by tech-enthusiasts post its iPhone 4 announcement, Apple it appears isn’t satiated just yet. In a move that may surprise and interest many, the company today revealed a new Mac mini for 2010. Sporting a completely redesigned ‘avatar’, this latest Mac boasts of double the graphics performance, a new HDMI port and a new SD card slot as against the earlier model.

In what is claimed to be an amazingly compact aluminum enclosure, Apple has built the device using its unibody construction process. The mini’s sleek vault is just 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thin. Users should be able to do away with their external power adapter as the device comes complete with an integrated power supply. Besides minimizing cable clutter, the desktop also includes a removable panel beneath that delivers quick access for memory expansion.

“The sleek, aluminum Mac mini packs great features, versatility and value into an elegant, amazingly compact design,” mentioned Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With twice the graphics performance, HDMI support and industry-leading energy efficiency, customers are going to love the new Mac mini.”

The flexible gizmo supports a number of existing peripherals like mice, keyboards and digital displays. Users on the look for superior home entertainment should be pleased with the new HDMI output that allows the Mac mini to be connected to an HDTV. As for the novel SD card slot, it should make photo and video transfers from a digital camera hassle-free. This latest Apple innovation is offered in two models namely one that’s standard with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the other with 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

The model that houses the 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache includes 2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM which can be expanded up to 8GB. Boasting of a 320GB SATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, it also packs in slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive. The 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor model is offered with 3MB of shared L2 cache and includes the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. With 4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM that is expandable up to 8GB, the PC includes two 500GB SATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm.

Attributes common to both the versions include Nvidia GeForce 320M integrated graphics, AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and Gigabit Ethernet. Both the models also reveal four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port and a single Mini DisplayPort. Bundled with an HDMI to DVI video adapter, they also comprise of a combined optical digital audio input/audio line in and combined optical digital audio output/headphone out.

Users can also customize the Mac mini as per their requirements. Build-to-order options and accessories offered for the standard model are up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB hard drive running at 5400 rpm, Apple Remote, Aperture 3, Final Cut Express 4, Logic Express, iWork that’s pre-installed, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare Protection Plan. For the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server version, up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, External SuperDrive, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare Protection Plan are the build-to-order options and accessories.

The standard Mac mini is available for a retail price of $699 while the Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server is tagged at a retail price of $999.