Apple Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a new redesigned version of its Mac Mini desktop computer, saying it will have improved graphics, have an SD card slot for transfer of images and videos and be more energy efficient.
“The sleek aluminium Mac mini packs great features, versatility and value into an elegant and amazingly compact design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. “With twice the graphics performance, HDMI support and industry-leading energy efficiency, customers are going to love the new Mac mini.”
The Mac Mini, available since yesterday and priced from $699, is more energy efficient, has a faster processor and graphics chips and is built on an aluminum unibody frame, Apple said in a statement. The 7.7-inch square computer is sold without a monitor, keyboard or mouse. Previous models started at $599.
Memory expansion slots are tucked away beneath a removable panel, resulting in an overall system volume reduction of 20 per cent, the company said. The device has a 320GB Serial ATA hard drive, AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1+ED, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, FireWire 800 port, HDMI port, Mini DisplayPort and headphone/mic in and out.
The HDMI connection will make it possible to output content to high-definition televisions, while the Nvidia GeForce 320m graphics offer double the capacity of the previous model. The entry-level Mac mini comes with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM for $999. A version with 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB, and two 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7,200 rpm costs $1,399.
Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company, is looking to expand its flagship Mac business even as it promotes the iPhone and iPad tablet. Macs accounted for about 28 percent of revenue last quarter, while the iPhone was its top-selling product, making up 40 percent of sales. Apple also revamped its aluminum-clad MacBook Pro notebooks this year.
“This is the most significant form factor change for the Mac Mini since it was introduced in January 2005,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros LP in San Francisco. He recommends buying Apple shares and doesn’t own them. Wu said the only disappointment is the higher price point even though the features are more advanced.