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Apple revamps Mac Mini as skinny HDMI box

Apple TV death knell sounded?

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Apple has sliced roughly half of the metal off its old Mac Mini and re-released the starter computer as a box that now looks a lot like the Apple TV. And it has an HDMI port.

Does this mark the death knell for Apple's "hobby" project, we wonder?

Apple Mac Mini

Like the Apple TV, the new Mini has an built-in power brick. Yet it measures 197 x 197 x 36mm.

As standard the new, slimmer Mini sports a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of 1067MHz DDR 3 memory, 320GB Sata hard drive and Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics.

There's an SD card slot on the back, plus four USB 2.0 ports and a Firewire 800 connector, Gigabit Ethernet and Mini DisplayPort. The machine has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 too.

Apple said the power supply for Mac mini has been reduced from 110W to 85W and is now up to 90 per cent efficient.

Apple Mac Mini

The machine costs £649, and there's a server version for £929. The latter lacks an optical drive, but contains two 500GB HDDs, 4GB of Ram and a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo.

Same size as the Apple TV, has an HDMI port like the Apple TV - will the Mac Mini replace that machine? Well, it's telling that the current verision of the Apple TV has been dropped from the front page of the online Apple Store.

If it has a future, it's likely to be in a very different form - perhaps the ultra-compact, iOS-based 16GB gadget of rumour... ®

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