Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apple announces the new Mac Mini

The new Mac mini from Apple is here and packs more power into a smaller device.  And with more bells and whistles than ever before it's starting to look like an excellent addition (or replacement) for your home entertainment system.

The new Mac mini is a small flat square measuring 7.7 inches across and deep, 1.4 inches tall and weighing only 3 pounds.  Inside it's been updated and now includes up to 8GB SDRAM, 3MB L2 cache, a 1066MHz frontside buss and either a 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

And the graphics and video support have been updated as well, sporting the NVIDIA GeForce 320M processor with 256MB SDRAM, Mini DisplayPort and now HDMI port (HDMI to DVI adapter included) which supports multichannel audio output.  Additional audio hookups includes line in and out minijacks (both digital/analog) and support for Apple iPhone headset with microphone.

It also has one FireWire 800, four USB 2.0 and a SD card slot - perfect for getting images from your camera onto the MacMini.  The Mac mini has a 802.11n AirPort Extreme wireless networking which is a/b/g compatible, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet with support for jumbo frames.

You can get the choose either the standard Mac mini with a 320GB (5,400 RPM) Serial ATA hard disk the "server" edition with duel 500GB (7,200 RPM) Serial ATA hard disk and both versions include with the 8x slot-loading SuperDrive - the server version comes with Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard.

The power brick is gone (inside) and so there is only the power cord to attach to the wall.  And now thanks to a removable bottom panel, you can easily open your Mac mini to add more memory; just twist the foot and it unlocks, exposing the SO-DIMM slots - and very compact electronics.

I have been recommending the Mac mini for a while (more so with the updated Intel chip version) but lately I have been telling people to wait for a refresh... The time has come.  The Mac mini makes an excellent addition to your home entertainment system.  You can now get rid of your CD and DVD players and instead have this small powerhouse taking up a fraction of the space and doing more than the other components ever could imagine doing.

Put movies, pictures and music on the Mac mini and it's an entertainment dream.  And with the HDMI connector, hooking it up is a snap.  It also works as, well, a computer, and your HDMI ready entertainment system or television is now the monitor.  Browse the internet, check email, play games and even be production all in the comfort of your living room.

It's also a great computer for college students dorm room as a replacement to a tower system.  But for a student, I would highly recommend the new MacBook and MacBook Pro.

And all of the Apple Mac products running Snow Leopard can also either duel boot or run Microsoft Windows Vista/7/others so that those who need their Windows apps can still run them.  It's a win/win situation.

Are you looking to replace your current computer?  Are you thinking about getting a Mac mini?  Do you think that the Mac mini isn't as powerful 'cause it's so small that it couldn't possibly be a "real" computer?  Let us know your thoughts on the Mac mini and if you are smitten with the new device or not.

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