updated 01:43 pm EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 configurations starting from $599
[Updated] At its media event today, Apple also introduced new versions of its Mac mini desktop. Apple executive Phil Schiller nodded to the speculation surrounding the introduction of a smaller iPad, getting a laugh from the audience by quipping "You all knew something with the word Mini in it was going to be introduced today." He then went on to give a (very) brief introduction of the new Mac mini.
The new version comes with Intel Ivy Bridge i5 or i7 configurations, starting at $599. Notably, the mid-range model loses the discrete GPU option in favor of standard quad-core performance: the heat generated by the quad-core processor would likely have been a thermal profile design issue, while Apple may hold the view that the upgraded Intel 4000 integrated graphics deliver sufficient performance in most instances.
The revised server edition brings two 1TB hard drives, double the storage of the previous generation for the same price, as well as the upgraded third-general Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU, and retails for $999. All models also offer the option to upgrade to the new Apple Fusion drive (+$250) that combines an SSD and traditional spinning hard drive into one drive module.
While the design of the previous generation Mac mini continues, Apple has doubled the RAM ceiling on the latest generation so that it can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM. The inclusion of Intel's Ive Bridge-based motherboards with native support for USB 3.0 sees all four of the Mac mini's USB 2.0 ports get an upgrade to the newer standard.