The Mac mini was finally updated today. This follows months of speculation about its imminent demise. I’m glad Apple is keeping the Mac mini in production, as it fills an important niche in the sub-$1000 desktop category. The new Mac mini is a bona fide desktop contender, offering OS 10.5 Leopard and iLife 09 in a robust package with a few well-considered extras. I know of several individual and small businesses that were hoping for this upgrade, as they’ve found that the Mac mini is the perfect office / production machine.
Apple has updated the Mac mini’s graphics processor to the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. This should be 5x faster graphics than on the previous Mac minis. This will be noticeable when working with high-res photos and video. The 9400M NVIDIA graphics will also improve gaming on the Mac mini.
Apple has expanded the ports on the Mac mini. It now features a FireWire 800 port, for superfast data backup (as well as backwards compatibility with FireWire 400 devices such as camcorders). It also features five USB 2.0 ports, a fast Gigabit ethernet port, and two video ports: miniDVI and MiniDisplay Port. With the use of adapters, both video ports can easily be adapted to work with almost any type of monitor. You can now connect up to two different monitors to the Mac mini – before it only supported a single display. The MiniDisplay Port allows the Mac mini to connect to Apple’s excellent 24-inch LED display. And you can connect monitors, projectors, LCDs, or HD displays to Mac mini using adapters designed specifically for the Mini DisplayPort.
The Mac mini continues the idea of BYKMM (bring your own keyboard, monitor, mouse). As Apple says, “Plug them in. Turn it on. And there you have it: an instant Mac desktop.” This makes setting a Mac mini up easy, affordable, and familiar for people who have already invested in peripherals and monitors. Of course, if Mac mini is your first computer, or you simply don’t like your old gear, it’s easy to set up a Mac mini with an Apple Mighty Mouse, Apple keyboard, and Apple LED monitor.
Standard Mac mini specifications:
- 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 120GB, 1GB memory, 120GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI, five USB Ports and one FireWire 800 Port view it here.
- 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 320GB, 2GB memory, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI, five USB Ports and one FireWire 800 Port view it here.
The new Mac mini supports up to 4GB of RAM (as two 2GB RAM chips), and can be ordered with up to a 320GB hard drive.