Apple (s aapl) has updated the Mac Mini, beefing up the processor to a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (s intc), allowing for up to 8 GB of self-installed memory thanks to a removable panel and providing a graphical boost with Nvidia’s GeForce 320M (s nvda) chipset. A single cord connection for audio and video output to a monitor or HDTV set has also been added, and the small desktop computer is now housed in a larger aluminum case.
Aside from the new look, the updated video capabilities stand out as rumors have swirled around the Mini becoming the new Apple TV of the future. Recent talk indicated that the company might leverage the rebadged iOS4 platform for an Apple TV device, which would add tens of thousands of software apps to the living room. But with the new hardware, notably Nvidia’s graphics solution and the new HDMI port, the Mac Mini could easily function like an Apple TV through the use of iTunes and Front Row — two pieces of software that provide simple playback controls when paired with a wireless Apple remote.
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