updated 09:20 am EST, Tue March 3, 2009
New Mac mini ships
Otherwise unchanged since August of 2007, Apple has at last released an update to the Mac mini, its lowest-priced and most compact desktop Mac. The two new versions of the computer use updated 2GHz Core 2 Duo processors, but primarily benefit in a switch from Intel integrated graphics to NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M chipset, the same used in modern unibody MacBooks. Graphics functions are said to be five times faster than before; nevertheless, the computer uses less than 13W of power when idle, which is said to make it the most energy-efficient desktop available.
The computer can additionally handle two displays through a combination of DVI and Mini DisplayPort connections, and hook up one FireWire 800 device alongside five using USB 2.0. Netwoking technologies include Bluetooth 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet and AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi. Apple has additionally abandoned combo drives, equipping all Minis with an 8x SuperDrive that supports DVD burning.
The $599 base version of the computer is distinguished through a 120GB, 5400rpm hard drive, and the use of 1GB of DDR3 RAM, expandable to 4GB. The $799 Mini is equipped with 2GB of RAM by default, and doubles permanent storage to 320GB. Further upgrade options include the choice of a 2.26GHz processor, and 80, 250 or 320GB hard drives.