There’s also an interesting article at Wired on the box.
It looks very similar; but the internals are obviously very different. Most notable, as far as I’m concerned, is the include of the Pentum M, actually a very fast little CPU that has advantages from being placed in such a small case; because it was originally a laptop CPU, which has similar cooling problems, yet with the need for performance, it makes an ideal little solution to the SFF problem.
The Pentium M includes some advanced power management and the ability to quickly and dynamically ramp up speed when required. I own a couple of laptops with the technology and there’s not a lot these CPUs can’t do.
The Pentium M is also much faster than the VIA low-power, SFF CPUs – I have a 1GHz unit running in the lounge for watching video (captured on cheap AMD PCs in the server room).
I’ll certainly be getting one of the Intel/AOpen units. But will it beat my Mac Mini? Difficult to tell. If the price point is similar, there’s a real chance it could steal some of the thunder. But the Mini has more going for it than a simple form factor choice. The iPod effect, Mac OS X and much more help to make the Mac Mini an attractive box regardless of the hardware inside.