Just as it started taking pre-orders for the new iPhone 4, Apple has quietly rolled out a redesigned Mac mini featuring up to twice the graphics performance of the previous model, a new HDMI port and an SD card slot. Taking a cue from the MacBook Pro line, the new Mac mini rocks a unibody aluminum enclosure that is only 1.4-inches tall and 7.7 inches square, with a removable panel on the bottom to access the computer's RAM for upgrading.
A new integrated power supply eliminates the need for an external power adapter, reducing overall system volume by 20 percent and keeping cable clutter to a minimum. Apple also says that the mini is the most power-efficient computer around, using less than 10 watts when idle.
There are two models: The first costs $699 and comes with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. The other model goes for $999 and is pre-loaded with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, dropping the slot-loading SuperDrive in favor of 4GB RAM, two 500GB hard drives, and a 2.66GHz processor. Both models now come with Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, which is the same integrated GPU that comes in the current MacBook.
In terms of connectivity, besides the new HDMI port the system sports a mini DisplayPort connector that supports up to 2560 by 1600 pixels and ships with a HDMI to DVI adapter. There's also a FireWire 800 port and four USB 2.0 connectors, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and built-in Wi-Fi (including 802.11n).