Apple outs redesigned Mac Mini

Apple has quietly announced a major redesign of the Mac Mini, the cheapest way to get OS X into your life.

The Mac Mini, which Apple says is the most energy efficient desktop computer available today, starts at £650 and is about the size of four CD cases sat on top of each other at 7.7 inches square by 1.4 inches thick.

Using Apple's aluminium unibody manufacturing process for the first time, the new Mini has a new integrated power supply which means the overall system volume is 20 per cent less than the previous incarnation.

And you won't need to get the putty knives out if you want to have a tinker about inside this time, as Apple has sensibly elected to give the Mini a removable panel on its underbelly, allowing easier RAM upgrades.

Apple has also taken a lead from the army of Macolytes who have taken the Mac Mini out of the home office and into the living room by adding an HDMI output to hook up to that big screen TV, and an SD card reader slot to make adding pics and videos from your digital camera a doddle. Unless you have it installed on a book shelf, as we suspect most people will, as Apple has decided to go for form over function by putting the slot on the rear panel.

The sleek little package is powered by a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, handles HD video with an Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor and comes with a 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM on the £650 entry-level model.

If you're willing to cough up £930 you can have the OSX Server version which Apple reckons is powerful enough to service the needs of a workgroup or small business with its 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, two 500GB hard drives running at 7200 rpm and 4GB of RAM.

Here are the full specs:

Mac Mini
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache
2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB
Slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive
320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics
AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Gigabit Ethernet
Four USB 2.0 ports
SD card slot
One FireWire 800 port
One HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort
HDMI to DVI video adapter
Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)
Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)

Mac Mini Server
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache
4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB
Two 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics
AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Gigabit Ethernet
Four USB 2.0 ports
SD card slot
One FireWire 800 port
One HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort
HDMI to DVI video adapter
Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)
Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).