Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mac Mini Updated – Now Better Suited for Very Expensive HTPC Extender

While watching AT&T and Apple iPhone preorder servers screech to a halt today, Apple took the opportunity to roll out an updated Mac Mini with HDMI, SD Card reader and a shiny aluminum body.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini still looks pretty and now includes the HDMI port it always should have had along with an SD card reader.  So it looks like a very nice option for an HTPC extender doesn’t it?  Well not so fast, while the specs are nice and it would seem to work as a great addition to your Mac-powered HTPC, it also has a few downers too.


  • Size: 1.4”H x 7.7”W x 7.7”D
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Processor: 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache
  • Memory: 2GB (1GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; supports up to 8GB total
  • Firewire 800 port
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 SD Card Slot
  • HDMI port (up to 1920x1200 resolution) supports DVI output with optional HDMI to DVI Adapter
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (256MB of DDR3 SDRAM)
  • Storage: 320GB or 500GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive: 8x slot-loading DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/RW/CD-RW)
  • Wireless: 80211n built in

Mac Mini Ports

The bad:

  • There’s no TV tuner option so you’re stuck with an external tuner or use it as an extender and not HTPC server
  • The SD slot is on the rear of the Mac Mini – seems like it would be much easier to access if they had put it on the side or front.
  • Price: $999 for the 2.66GHz & Dual 500GB or $699 for the 2.4GHz 320GB.  That’s not a terrible price, but it’s still very high-end especially if you plan to use this as an HTPC extender.  I’d much rather use a low powered hardware extender for this situation.

What do you think?  Does this look like the perfect HTPC solution for your needs?  Or are you waiting for the rumored to be coming, new Apple TV?

More Info at the Apple Store and Engadget has a unboxing and hands-on post with more photos