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Mac mini: Apple unveils an updated miniature Mac priced from $499

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Apple accidentally hinted at a "Mid 2014" Mac mini earlier this year, and now the company is finally ready to refresh its miniature Mac. While the Mac mini hasn’t been updated for two years, today’s refresh improves on the specifications significantly. The new Mac Mini includes fourth-generation Intel Core processors, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and Intel Iris and HD Graphics 5000 options. "It's the world's most energy efficient desktop computer," says Apple's Phil Schiller. Apple's latest Mac mini ships today and starts from $499.

Apple is shipping its new Mac mini in three standard models. There’s a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel i5 model with 4GB of memory, 500GB hard drive storage, and Intel HD Graphics 5000 for $499. A second option bumps the speed of the dual-core i5 processor to 2.6GHz, with 8GB of RAM, Intel Iris Graphics, and 1TB of hard drive storage all for $699. The final standard configuration will ship with a 2.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, Intel Iris Graphics, and a 1GB Fusion Drive for $999. You can also upgrade configurations to a 3.0GHz dual-core i7 processor, up to 16GB of memory, and 1TB of flash storage. Unlike the previous Mac mini, there's no quad-core i7 model, so a dual-core i7 is the best option for processing power.

Check out our Apple iPad and Mac liveblog for more!