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Apple Brings Out New Mac Mini, Kills Optical Drive

Alongside the new Mac OS X Lion and the new Macbook Air, Apple has also released an upgraded version of the Mac Mini and added another souped-up model.

The entry level Mac Mini (opens in new tab) costs the same as the previous model at £529, it has a 2.3GHz Core i5 CPU as well as 2GB DDR3 RAM, an Intel HD Graphics 3000 Processor with 288MB shared memory - while the more expensive model, at £699, comes with a slightly more powerful CPU, 4GB RAM and a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6630M GPU with 256MB GDDR5 memory (instead of Nvidia).

Consumers may also upgrade the Mac Mini to a dual-core Intel Core i7 CPU clocked at 2.7GHz for an additional £80, while a 256GB SSD will cost them an additional £480 and an external SuperDrive optical disk another £66.

Both models are physically identitcal, come with a 500GB 5400-RPM hard disk, a HDMI port with a DVI adaptor, four USB ports, Firewire 800, SDXC slot, GbE port, Audio I/O and Wi-Fi.

There are a few notable differences though from the old version; firstly, the new Mac Mini comes with the Thunderbolt port, like the Macbook Air and the Macbook series, then there's a new removable cover to provide easy access to the onboard memory, Mac OS X Lion and no Optical Drive unlike all previous Mac Mini series.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.