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An update to Apple's Mac mini has been long-rumoured and much-awaited. While the previous generation system didn't, and I would argue still doesn't, have a rival in design stakes, the technology within its ever-so-stylish chassis was getting just a bit long in the tooth.
The latest raft of Mac mini's bring the system back in line with the rest of Apple's machines upping the base-line system configuration and adding some new top-end options. Not that those changes are particularly evident on the outside; this generation of Mac mini still uses the same basic chassis design as the first systems did back in 2005.
Apple is calling this generation of Mac mini the greenest ever and that philosophy isn't just extended to the choice of components and manufacturing materials - more on which later.
Macs have always been packaged in a minimalist fashion, but the mini takes that to the absolute limit. Sliding off the piece of cardboard that contains the bundle reveals a single, small, cardboard insert holding a manual and the software discs and covering the bundled mini-DVI to single-link DVI converter and the Mini's power adapter. Removing these exposes the Mac mini itself, nestled neatly at the bottom of its box.
As standard Apple includes nothing else with the Mac mini, with such accessories as a keyboard, mouse or remote control all optional (paid for) extras. Though in Apple's defence, most Mac mini buyers are expected to have all these already and would probably resent being charged for kit that isn't needed.
Despite being the same size as its predecessor, I still can't get over how small the Mac mini is. The system measures 165 x 165 x 51mm and weighs in at 1.31kg but the numbers don't do justice to just how tiny the mini seems compared to equivalents, such as the Dell Studio Hybrid and, let's face it, the mini also looks lovely.