Similar to last month's updates to its PowerMac G5 and iMac G5, today Apple revamped its entry-level Mac Mini line. We can't say we're blown away by the changes, but with more features for the same price, you won't hear us complaining...mostly.
All of the Minis go from 256MB to 512MB of system memory as part of the standard kit, a welcome update (and a $75 bonus) that should show immediate performance benefits. That's the only significant change to the $499 1.2GHz Mini. On top of the memory boost, the $599 1.42GHz model gets Bluetooth and 802.11G AirPort Express wireless networking (formerly a $99 updgrade for both). Finally, Apple introduced the $699 SuperDrive Mac Mini, which has all the power and capabilitiy of the $599 model but also includes a DVD-R drive, where the cheaper systems have only a CD-RW/DVD combo drive.
We were hoping we might see a CPU update, and we still think $100 is too steep to upgrade to a DVD burner from a combo drive (what, would a $649 Mac Mini mess up the visual appeal of Apple's Shopping Cart?). But still, it's only a good thing that Apple beefed up the Mini for free. We'll have a review of the SuperDrive Mac Mini soon, so keep an eye out.