A new tiny iPad isn't the only little-big news out of today's Apple extravaganza. Here's a the brand new set of upgraded Mac Minis that'll be delivering that Apple love at sub-£500 prices — Now with upgraded Intel Ivy Bridge processors. They're available for purchase now.
Apple claims the new Ivy Bridge Mac Minis are two times faster than the last batch. The baseline £500 computer comes with a 2.3GHz dual-core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. You can expand the RAM up to 8GB and the hard drive up to 750GB.
The £680 Mac Mini configuration packs a 2.5 GHz quad-core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Add on all the extras and juice your Mac Mini with a 2.7GHz i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive for £1,239 all together.
As before, you'll be able to buy the Mac Mini in a server configuration, this time with 2.3GHz quad-core i7, 4GB of RAM two 1 TB hard drives for £849.
We knew this was coming — inventories of the Mac Mini have been depleted across the country for weeks, and the diminutive Mac hadn't been refreshed since July 2011, when it was outfitted with a the then newish Thunderbolt I/O and upgraded Sandy Bridge processors. Last year's baseline £500 model had a 2.3GHZ processor with 2GB of memory and 500GB hard drive. The more expensive £680 Mac Mini came with 2.5GHz processor, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive. When more important computers like the MacBook Pro line get a boost, the Mac Minis, which are aimed at budget conscious and corporate customers, generally follow suit several months later.
The cheapest Mac Minis seem like a solid, budget-friendly alternative for people who don't want to shell out for more expensive iMacs, but once you start piling on the extras, these little tigers aren't really worth it anymore — unless for some reason you need a monitor-less computer you can throw in your briefcase.