Apple announces new Mac Mini-the ultimate installed Keynote machine?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Today Apple announced a brand new Mac Mini, and for the first time, it’s got TWO video ports. Yep. Apple has finally made the Mini a true viable “installed” presentation machine.

In the past, you could use a Mini for Keynote, but you had to run a video splitter, or worse, just drive a large monitor or projection screen from the mini with no second preview screen at all. We’ve actually seen custom built Mac Mini mounts that hold a projector AND the mini, but again, everything ran in single screen mode.

That all changes today. The New Mac Mini sports a Mini DVI and a Mini Display Port. On top of that, Apple’s specs page has this to say about it:

  • Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on a DVI or VGA display; up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on a dual-link DVI display using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)

Note the “Extended desktop” support. That means that you can now get the presenter view on a Mac Mini. While it might have been technically possible in the past using a DisplayLink gadget, this is true dual screen support, with an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with up to 256 meg of video ram behind it. That’s way better than any usb driver could manage.

Now conference rooms and churches everywhere can at least save a little money and install a Mac Mini instead of a larger iMac or Mac Pro tower (or a laptop that could easily be swiped). True, it’s not as handy as a MacBook, but again, the Mini is small enough to be built into a system.

The one big drawback to all this is, if you are going to build a mini into your conference room, you’ll have to run a vga or dvi line back to your preview monitor (though there are VGA to Cat-5 adapters that can make this job easier). You’ll also need adapters for BOTH video ports since they’re both minis. Still, it’s good to see Apple really take this little machine to the next level.

Just don’t forget to order the bluetooth keyboard and mouse if you’re building in your mini. We’d hate for you to get it all installed and THEN realize you got the wired versions 🙂

Apple’s new Mac Mini