New kit

by Giles Turnbull

OK, here's the essentials of today's new hardware announcement.

First off the Mac mini line now comprises 3 models. The minimum RAM has been upped to 512MB (at last!). The top two models have Airport and Bluetooth built-in, and the most expensive machine also has a Superdrive. (Full specs here.)

As for the new iBooks, there's no widescreen version I'm afraid, even though plenty of us would have drooled over one. The new minimum processor is a 1.42GHz G4, with a minimum 512MB RAM (upgradable to 1.5GB). Airport and Bluetooth come as standard, along with the superclever scrolling trackpad and Sudden Motion Sensor first revealed in the last batch of PowerBooks.

All in all, a fairly predictable set of welcome upgrades. Both the mini and the iBook are better value than ever before.

Most important, I think, is the increase in basic RAM allocation. Every review I read (or wrote) of the Mac mini raved about its tiny size and excellent performance, but also declared the supplied 256MB of RAM as simply insufficient. I lost count of the number of times I read phrases like: "The Mac mini is a great computer at an incredible price, but make sure you buy more RAM."

Well, now that has been dealt with. With 512MB as standard, new Mac minis will be able to run Tiger and the iLife apps with few problems.

In a buying mood now?