Apple’s Mac mini desktop systems won’t ever impress power-users that much, since it has to make do with parts that fit into a really small space. But if you’re not really into power, or high-end gaming? This is simply impressive. Apple just introduced the 2011 Mac mini, freshly upgraded to run on Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processors, and either Intel HD Graphics 3000 or an AMD Radeon HD 6630 GPU.
Probably the most amazing thing they did here is fitting the power supply –as well as all the cooling solutions needed – inside what’s already a tight, 7.7-inch square block of aluminum that measures 1.4 inches thick. Thanks to that wonder of engineering, the Mac mini is a very neat kit that doesn’t even need a bulky power brick.
It’s basically a very mobile—or very simple desktop kit that includes Ethernet, Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI, FireWire and USB 2.0 ports, and an SDXC slot at the back. Thunderbolt also makes an appearance on this new Mac, giving it a high-speed connection that’s rated to give 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800, for connecting high-speed drives and the Thunderbolt Display that Apple just launched.
The 2011 Mac mini comes in two configurations, starting at $599 for a system that packs in a 2.3GHz Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 500GB 5400rpm hard drive, and Intel HD 3000 graphics. The higher-end 2.5GHz Mac mini comes with a 2.5GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon HD 6630 graphics for $200 more.