Apple has given its smallest desktop computer the first major update in two years. The new Mac Mini is more powerful than the 2012 model… and it’s also cheaper.
The new Mac Mini has a starting price of $499 and features a faster processor, faster WiFi, faster storage, and other improvements.
Apple’s new models feature 4th-gen Intel Core “Haswell” dual-core processors with Intel HD or Intel Iris graphics, 802.11ac WiFi, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
The new models also feature an option for faster PCIe-based flash storage instead of a hard drive, although entry-level models still pack hard drives.
The company also calls the new Mac Mini the most energy efficient desktop computer… but clearly Apple hasn’t seen the Zotac ZBOX PI320 Pico with its Intel Atom Z3735F processor or any number of ARM-based mini PCs with chips that use even less power.
Still, it’s nice to see Apple’s smallest desktop PC getting a price cut and a performance boost on the same day.
An entry-level model with a 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drives sells for $499 and up.
If you want a faster processor, more RAM, solid sate storage, or other premium features, you’ll have to pay extra. A souped up Mac Mini with a 3 GHz Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of solid state storage sells for nearly $2200.
Update: If you want more than 4GB of RAM, you’d better opt for it when you first configure the Mac Mini, because while you can upgrade or change the storage yourself, the RAM is not accessible.