Apple gives the Mac Mini the extra-Mini treatment

This week Apple took the wraps off a revamped Mac Mini. The new Mini, which was immediately available on the Apple Store, is smaller and sleeker than the previous model. Meanwhile, Apple has given its popular desktop computer a major boost in processing power.

The new Mac Mini was unveiled today on the Apple online store. The latest iteration of the Mac Mini is smaller and sleeker than previous models – and faster, to boot.

Much of the tech buzz this week belongs to E3 and the iPhone 4 pre-order blitz, which apparently bogged down Apple's servers for at least an hour on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Apple has been busy rolling out another product – the new Mac Mini, the latest iteration in Apple's big-things-in-small-packages desktop computer line. Apple has priced the Mini at $699 for a 320GB model and $999 for a 500GB Mini with a Snow Leopard Server edition pre-installed; both models are available immediately.

So what's new on the rejiggered Mac Mini? Well, for one, the Mini is much more mini. And much more sleek. The desktop machine – which does not include a mouse or a monitor – measures an itsy-bitsy 1.4 inches tall, and comes enclosed in a shiny unibody aluminium enclosure. (By comparison, the first Mac Mini, which went on sale in 2005, was a relatively-whopping 6.5 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide.)

Apple has also upgraded the Mac Mini's innards, focusing on boosts in processing power and storage capacity. The $699 Mac Mini, for instance, comes with 2GB of RAM, the aforementioned 320GB hard disk, and a high-octane NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card. Consumers can choose between the 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the 2.66-GHz version.

But it's the HDMI port on the new Mac Mini that's really got home entertainment geeks frothing at the mouth. And for good reason: the HDMI port will allow users to connect the Mini to any modern HDTV, and achieve resolutions of up to 1080p. Assuming you already own an HDTV unit, you'll be able to view a range of picture and video (such as Hulu) from your Mac Mini, all without leaving the couch.

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