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Mac mini goes Intel

Good things come in small packages

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced the availability of an Intel-powered Mac mini, confirming: "50 per cent of our entire product line is now available with Intel processors, in less than 60 days."

The entry-level 1.5GHz Mac mini with 667MHz bus, 512MB RAM, 60GB hard drive and Combo CD/DVD features Intel's Core Solo processor rather than the Core Duo found in the new iMac and MacBook Pro. A dual-core Mac mini is also available, featuring a 1.67GHz Core Duo chip, 80GB hard disk and 8x SuperDrive.

The new Mac mini appears to have the same form-factor. According to Apple the 1.5GHz version is 2.5 times faster on integer calculations and 3.2 times faster in floating-point calculations than its predecessor. The 1.67 version is said to be 4.8 times faster in integer calculations and 5.5 times faster in floating-point calculations.

"And, of course, you can also hook it up to televisions," Jobs told journalists gathered at a special event at Apple's Cupertino campus.

The Mac mini features Front Row – Apple's interface designed for home media – and comes bundled with the infrared sensor that Front Row-equipped iMacs sported, enabling the use of Apple's remote control that works with the movie-watching, music-playing software.

Front Row is now able to support shared iTunes music libraries from other Macs in the area. The same can be said for iPhoto albums and shared videos. Apple is calling this Front Row update "Front Row with Bonjour" and it will be available for other Macs running Front Row.

The new Mac mini also features AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400, GigaBit Ethernet, DVI video out, Dolby Digital 5.1, and analogue audio-in and -out.

The 1.5GHz version will cost £449. The 1.67GHz version will cost £599. Both prices include VAT. Previously, three versions of the Mac mini were available: a 1.25GHz (40GB) version for £359, a 1.42GHz (80GB) model for £429, and a 1.42GHz SuperDrive model (80GB) for £499.

This story first appeared on Macworld.co.uk.


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