Apple has quietly released a new version of its Mac Mini, stripping down the size, amping up its capabilities and reducing power consumption. What was already considered arguably the best digital signage player around seems to be better (though also costlier).
The refreshed Mini is now 0.6 inches thinner, and even sleeker than the original. The unibody aluminum housing now measures 7.7 inches square and is 1.4 inches tall, and the power supply is built in (meaning no power brick to worry about). It has twice the graphics performance of the earlier Mac Mini, using an NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU. It also has an HDMI port and an SD card slot.
I am not a propeller-head but know a few companies that tested and then started using the earlier Mac Mini for digital signage applications, either running Mac OS or loading Windows or Linux. They described it as the best player on the market because of its reliability and handling of video.
With twice the graphics performance and an even smaller body, this will look awfully attractive for some projects playing in the middle to high end. There are cheaper, smaller Intel Atom options out there, but they won’t likely have this kind of graphics performance.
Price goes up about $100, to $699 in the US.