New Mac Mini Revealed

31 Comments

Today Apple (s aapl) revealed an updated and more powerful version of its compact desktop computer, the Mac mini.

The improved device, which prior to today’s new iteration saw an update back in October of last year, now boasts a unibody aluminium case. The new casing is said to be 20 percent smaller than the previous Mac mini, yet despite this new model being more compact, the refreshed computer also manages to house the power supply internally. Apple also revealed that the new Mac mini is 25 percent more power efficient than previous models, with the device now using less than 10W while idle — a feat which, according to Apple, now makes the Mac mini the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer.

A basic new Mac mini now starts from a base price of $699, with the standard configuration getting you a 320GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chip, and an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processor. If you are in need of a more powerful machine, Apple also has a higher spec configuration on offer: The $999 model will get you a 500GB hard drive, 4GB of RAM, and a 2.66GHZ chip.

Both $699 and $999 models have an integrated SD card reader, four USB ports and an HDMI-out port, a Mini DisplayPort jack and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Both of the new models can also be upgraded due to an easy access panel on the bottom of the device.

The updated Mac Mini is available now from the Apple Online Store.

31 Comments

Prasant

I got the 2.53ghz/4GBram/320gb hdd late 2009 mac mini last fall. it’s doing pretty well. when i saw this update i was surprised and really like the new design, especially the easy swap bay at the bottom. i swapped out my hard drive for a 500gb 7200rpm the hard way on the older mini. but spec wise its really a toss up.

its good the added hdmi, but it really isn’t a big deal. hdmi can be achieved on the older mini or any mac with an $8 adapter — i’m driving my plasma at full resolution with it and it looks great. i run it dual screen with my normal monitor and do it that way. only benefit that could help save some hassle is that apparently 5.1 sound via hdmi is supported in the new version, which is a nice addition. i am currently achieving that via optical output with a firewire sound card that i happen to use mainly from home recording, so no issues there. also it looks like the graphics card is improved, which they probably should have done in the first place.

the lack of improvement in clockspeed or processor vs price in this update is kind of sad though… but good for me so i don’t feel as bad!

i mention this only due to the discussions around apple tv/mac mini etc, but if you have a ps3 i have found that it works fantastically with any mac to stream your hd movies in 5.1 via the free ps3 media server. so this gives you two ways at any time to work with your media.

Rand Race

Does it support dual monitors like the last one?

I could care less about TV, I’ve got 40 users on Mac Minis and what they need is dual monitors.

Gio

I am even more irritated by the fact that in the UK, the high spec mini is £929 which is a whopping $1,375!!! Yet in the US, the pre tax price is $999. It’s daylight robbery! How can they get away with this time and time again? Jeez!

rickla

The faster processor, dual hard drives, and standard 4GB of memory appeal to me, so I’m going to get the more expensive model. But the presence of Snow Leopard Server means that I’ve become interested in trying that out, even though I probably don’t really need it. Does anyone know how difficult it is, i.e. is it something I can fiddle around with without specialized knowledge?

isearchfortruth

Hi rickla,

The Mac OS X server is designed for use by consumers and small businesses. It has a Darwin Calendar server in it, and other open source servers. It’s not that you can’t do it on your own — you can, but this way you get a supported and easy to update version with nice graphical (rather than Terminal-oriented) utilities.

–Sam
P.S I’m basing this largely on tutorial videos and the apple website.

rickla

Thanks for the info, Sam. I certainly don’t see myself “doing it on my own”; I was more interested in whether even with the easy interface it might be too difficult for someone without some specialized knowledge. But it looks from the Apple website, as you say, that they’ve made it pretty easy and that there’s help available if one gets stuck.

isearchfortruth

I wonder whether the increase in price has to do with the licensing fees for HDMI. The SD card reader has some licensing fees as well, no doubt.

–Sam

Shane

Finally!!

Yes, it’s going to be a costly couple of months with the new iphone and an ipad on the shopping list, but I’ve been waiting two years for this!

Garry Butler

Dear Mr Jobs,

I have to say congratulations to you on the successful launch of the iPhone 4. I can not wait to get mine. However, I will be waiting until end July to place my order.

I was also extremely excited to see the release of the new Mac Mini. I was Impressed in the improvement in the design. Its sexy. Then I saw the specs. I was a little dampened. I liked the addition of the SDHC reader, even though the placement is awkward. HDMI is a nice touch. I was glad to see firewire 800 was still there.

But seeming it was still a Core2Duo, I was hoping to be blown away in the price. I was hoping you would return to the original $499 entry price.. but no you raised the starting price again. $699? At least $599 was still doable for those of us on a tight budget.

Why the artificial Glass Celling? Why do you refuse to break the sub $500 barrier again?

When you released the Original Mac Mini, it was $499. It was the low cost Macintosh for everyone. What happened to the Ideal “the computer for the rest of us.” Seems like you are getting back to the “Computer for the Rich of us.”

Long live the “Mac Tax!”

Looks like I will be buying yet another used Mac.

Mike

For the price hike that they’ve applied, they haven’t really reflected it in the specification, it’s not that much different than the previous generation. I would of wanted to see an i5 at least, not the Core 2 Duo. Quite frustrated by the price.

Alec

Apparently they couldn’t add the i5 and the NVidia graphics card that they have put in due to a legal dispute between Intel and NVidia

Nick

looks nice but it is pricey, does this one finally come with a 7200 RPM drive?..i wish Apple would release a smaller tower for home use as i don’t like thee glossy screen of the imac and i will not buy another mac pro towers after my G5 died on me prematurely…

PD

I don’t think it’s wise to write Apple TV’s obituary because the mini has an HDMI port. I just bought a $400 Acer (including monitor) and even that has an HDMI port. I’m not recommending the Acer – it’s a cheap POS – but my point is that an HDMI port seems to be standard equipment these days. Apple would have been remiss (and severely criticized I bet) had they not included one.

I own about 8 Mac Minis. I love them. I use them at home and put them at my office because the Windows computers had to be reformatted every few weeks due to malware. The Windows folk adjusted nicely and many prefer the Mac. I just bought four of them and wish now I had waited. The new one looks very sweet – though I agree it’s more expensive than I would like.

Alexis

hey…they completely revamped the Mac Mini and they are advertising it as an HDTV connectable device…so the chances of people buying the apple tv are slim now…so including all the costs of the new machine to be made and the cost to the loss of sales of the TV therefore you have the price upgrade

and yes the TV is still on the site…under iPods

quandmeme

Apple TV is still there, but you made me look:
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/apple_tv?mco=MTcxNjEyOTE

I want the rumored iOS Apple TV. When Steve announced the OS name change I thought that was the precursor to a September iOS TV. With this in the line up I am back to neutral wait-and-see on that rumor.

Apple is burying this on iPhone preorder day because of the price increase would not otherwise be well received. Is it good to raise the price of the cheapest Mac?

Eideard

Ditto. I’m ready to move over to the so-far mythical iOS AppleTV. My 1st-Gen can go into the guesthouse. WiFi reaches there fine. The small SD drive works for me, too. I store everything on the iMac and just move the evening’s viewing over to the AppleTV.

And the price bump for the Mini makes little economic sense vs. the upgrades/cost of the whole package.

BurkPhoto

Note the absence of Apple TV from Apple’s Website now. Also note that the new Mini supports 5.1 channel audio over HDMI. This effectively replaces Apple TV with a better value.

My only complaint is that they didn’t make it easy to swap out the drive. I’d love to buy one with no drive and no memory, and get those items from OWC or someplace. I want a 7200 RPM 500 GB drive and 8GB RAM. I just don’t want to pay Apple prices for them, or buy memory I don’t need, or buy a drive that I don’t want.

noreallyitsme

“Both of the new models can also be upgraded due to an easy access panel on the bottom of the device.”

Looks like your good to go then :)

Rob

Is $700 really that much money? Seems like a pittance to me.

johnny

i absolutely  + ♥ this thing!!!!!! the HDMI is a life saver!

Joe

I was really rather excited about this when I started reading about it, since it seemed, like some have commented and many are no-doubt thinking, like a grown-up Apple TV, but I’m not too keen on the increased price over the previous model. Maybe if they eventually drop the price down to the previous Mini, or I can pick one up used down the road… =/

Khürt Williams

Is it just me or does this new Mac mini feel like a grown up Apple TV? I just plunked down $400 on two new iPhone 4s and I feel like I should have bought the Mac mini instead. Would be great under my TV. If only Apple would add a Blu-ray drive …

gepinniw

My thoughts exactly! With HDMI out, this’d make an incredible little home media center. Very tempting.

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