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Apple Mac Mini (2.3GHz Core i5, Summer 2011)

Apple Mac Mini (2.3GHz Core i5, Summer 2011)

This system is the most affordable of Apple's new Mac Mini configurations, and is now the least expensive computer available with Apple's new OS X Lion operating system. It features a second generation, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, 2GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and Intel's integrated HD Graphics 3000 graphics core.

Controversially, this system and the other new Mac Minis lack an optical drive, which will make it a less appealing choice for living room PC enthusiasts. This Mac Mini, like the others, also has a new Thunderbolt data port, but supporting hardware choices are limited to expensive, commercially-oriented external storage arrays, and Apple's new $999 27-inch Thunderbolt Display. Hopefully more Thunderbolt devices will come to market soon at lower prices and with more obvious consumer utility.