More Info • • • was mostly the coming out party; an event with one major headliner. But that newborn product didn't enter ecosystem alone. Amidst the flurry of announcements, there was one other wee hardware relative on hand ready to join in on the launch festivities: a refreshed.
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Addressing criticisms of, Apple added USB 3.0 ports, upgraded to third-generation Ivy Bridge Core processors and boosted the standard RAM allotment to 4GB (you can configure it with up to 16 gigs). Perhaps most interestingly, it's now offering a hybrid storage option, the so-called, which combines flash memory with a SATA HDD. One quirk still remains, though: the product's demographic leanings. Just who is the Mac mini for? Is it the go-anywhere, portable desktop best integrated in yachts, airports, automobiles and living rooms? Or, with a starting price of $599, is it the perfect, low-cost migration assistant (pun intended) for consumers making the switch from a Windows desktop?
Follow on to see which hat this not-quite-an- wears best. Hardware Let's not beat around the bush here -- there's a reason Apple plays proud host to a: ridiculously gorgeous design. No matter your sworn brand allegiance, you'd be hard-pressed to deny the Mac mini's simple, refined build.
It's the tech equivalent of an irresistibly cute baby; the kind of hardware that stops passers-by, prompting compliments. And we're not just saying that figuratively, either. Within our own office environment, we repeatedly entertained questions from nearby officemates who were intrigued by the design. So fill up the comments below with the inevitable accusations of fanboyism, but know that we know that you know that we're right. (It's alright, you can keep it to yourself if you like.) Boiled down to its essence, the mini's brushed aluminum enclosure has a wallflower appeal that's at home in a variety of settings; a dash of modernism that should work in many environments. Much of this is due to the unit's diminutive dimensions, which remain unchanged since the mini was redesigned.
At 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches, it retains the basic square shape of its two predecessors. It eschews hard angles for softly curved corners, enlivened by the occasional black accent (e.g., the logo on top, the strip around back housing the ports and the removable lid at the base). Users interested in purchasing the optional Apple remote for home entertainment purposes will be glad to know this unit still features an IR receiver. For what's it's worth, you can flip the device on its side should you be faced with space restrictions and need to squeeze it in amongst other office or A/V equipment, but it probably won't look as nice with its circular lid showing.
As much as things change, they seem to stay the same, and that's quite true of this Mac mini refresh. Though a quick glance at its back panel might mislead consumers into believing it's business as usual, there's actually a very significant change at play here -- namely, the addition of high-speed USB 3.0.