Apple Beefs Up $599 Mac mini, Launches New Model with Snow Leopard Server

The company replaces SuperDrive in Mac mini adding a second hard drive

Alongside launching new iMac models, a new, Multi-Touch-capable, wireless mouse, and an upgraded, polycarbonate MacBook, Apple also introduced new versions of its small desktop Macintosh, the Mac mini. The “mightier” Mac mini offers more memory, a faster processor and is still the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer, according to Apple. But there’s more.

A Mac mini specifically designed to be a server with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server preinstalled is now available from Apple. Instead of packing the slot-loading SuperDrive (optical unit), the Mac mini for Snow Leopard Server now features two 500GB hard drives “that give you all the power and storage you need to help your group work more efficiently than ever,” Apple says. Needless to point out, the new model retains the tiny, 6.5-inch-square-by-2-inch-tall enclosure.

“Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is designed to help you communicate, collaborate, and share information. It’s perfect for any small business or group — retail shops, doctor and law offices, classrooms, design studios — you name it. Now you can have your own server that supports email on Mac computers, PCs, and iPhone. Sync and share calendars and contact information. Access and swap files securely, and at lightning speed, between Mac computers and PCs. Easily create full-featured wikis and high-quality podcasts. And automatically back up all your important data,” the company adds.

Touted as the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer, the regular Mac mini (with SuperDrive) is now faster and offers more storage and memory. Starting at $599, the entry-level Mac mini boasts a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive. A more expensive configuration is also available from Apple, priced at $799, and featuring a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a larger, 320GB hard drive.

The model that is specially tailored for use with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server and comes preinstalled with the respective operating system retails for $999. Visit Apple here for more information on the new minis.

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