Apple announces Intel-based Mac Minis

Apple has introduced its Intel-based Mac Mini with Intel Core Solo (single processor) chip. The vendor claims the single-processor Mac Mini is 2.5 to 3 times faster than the G4 Mac Mini. A Core Duo version (two processors) is 4.8 to 5.5 times faster than the G4 Mac Mini.

Apple's added Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, DVI out, four USB ports, and analog and SPIDF sound inputs and outputs. Also included: the Front Row media software (plus IR remote control) for controlling music, movies, and photos from the couch. This is the same remote and software combo that comes with the Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro.

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, is now demoing how the Mac Mini can play another Mac's iTunes songs, view another Mac's iPhoto photos, play another Mac's videos (iTunes Music Store purchased and otherwise). This is doable as long as that other Mac is on the same network. This is through Apple's Bonjour (previously Rendezvous) network technology. The Mac Mini comes with Apple's iLife '06 suite of apps, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

The single-core processor with 512MB of memory, 60GB hard drive, and combo drive will cost $999. The dual-processor model with a 1.67-GHZ processor, 512MB of memory, and a SuperDrive (DVD writer) costs $1299.

Music Apple is introducing the iPod Hi-Fi, a home-stereo quality speaker set for the iPod. It's a three-driver system. On the top of it, there's a universal iPod dock connector.

Jobs said there was an adapter for every iPod Apple's made. It's white with a black mesh grill and can be battery-powered with D-sized batteries. It will retail for AUD$549.

The speaker set has two 80mm mid-range speakers, a 130mm dual voice coil woofer, and a ported bass-reflex design. It works with the Apple IR remote. It has Auxiliary and S/PDIF optical audio inputs.

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