Apple killed the PPC G4-based Mac mini today and replaced it with an Intel Core Solo (single core) or Core Duo (dual core) model. This gives a theoretical performance in create of 400%. They upgraded the graphics from the woeful Radeon 9200 (which is included inside breakfast cereal packets these days to something that would support Core Image.
Finally, they’re popularising the HDMI connectivity and they’ve not only included Front Row (and an upgraded, actually useful version as well) but it has analog and digital audio meaning you can finally do something with the Dolby 5.1 on those DVDs you’ve been playing. They’ve positioned this in the living room and when you consider the price of LCD TVs with built in Freeview digital decoders, at half decent resolutions for a change, things become very compelling.
They also put in 4 USB ports rather than two and I can see why having experienced the Mac mini with 2 ports, both taken up by a MS mouse and PC keyboard and wondering where to put any other peripherals. Having to unplug the keyboard in order to print made me glad of hot-swap and resentful of the mini. They’ve fixed my biggest gripe.
They also added in Gigabit ethernet. This was obviously a chipset freebie.
The rest? iPod cases made of dead cow? Bleh. A big speaker-cum- iPod-holder? Mleh.
And no “one more thing”?
I’m pumped about the Mac mini and even the RDF can’t get me enthused about the iPod HiFi.