The new mini brings USB 3.0, twice the standard RAM and optional hybrid storage. All told. you won't find another desktop this small, this powerful and this inexpensive.
- Attractive and compact designHigh-speed Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 portsFusionDrive hybrid storage works intelligentlyAffordable price for the specs
- Intel HD 4000 GPU not ideal for true desktop gamingStill lacking optical drive
More Info Mac Mini updated in two new flavors, at $599 for i5 dual-core and $999 for i7 quad-core server model iFixit opens up new Mac Mini, has no trouble putting it all back together again Mac mini review (mid 2011) October 23rd was mostly the iPad mini's coming out party; an event with one major headliner. But that newborn product didn't enter Apple's ecosystem alone. Amidst the flurry of announcements, there was one other wee hardware relative on hand ready to join in on the launch festivities: a refreshed 2012 Mac mini. Addressing criticisms of last year's model, Apple added USB 3.0 ports, upgraded to third-generation Ivy Bridge Core processors and boosted the standard RAM allotment to 4GB (you can configure it with up to 16 gigs). Perhaps most interestingly, it's now offering a hybrid storage option, the so-called FusionDrive, which combines flash memory with a SATA HDD. One quirk still remains, though: the product's demographic leanings. Just who is the Mac mini for? Is it the go-anywhere, portable desktop best integrated in yachts, airports, automobiles and living rooms? Or, with a starting price of $599, is it the perfect, low-cost migration assistant (pun intended) for consumers making the switch from a Windows desktop? Follow on to see which hat this not-quite-an-HTPC wears best.