Apple's Mac mini due for a comeback?

Saying Apple's Mac mini hasn't been making too many headlines as of late would be an understatement. The (kind of) affordable, small form factor Mac still has its own corner of the Apple Store, but its hardware hasn't been updated since August 2007, and there have been whispers that Apple simply plans to discontinue the machine and focus on its more popular MacBook and iMac lineups.

Despite seemingly neglecting the Mac mini, Apple reportedly plans to update the machine with Intel's state-of-the-art 45nm processors in the near future. The rumor originates from AppleInsider, the very same site that reported back in May 2007 that the Mac mini was done for. According to AppleInsider, Apple actually plans to overhaul the Mac mini with 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 2.1GHz with 3MB of cache, 800MHz front-side bus speeds, and Intel GMA X3100 graphics. The 800MHz FSB suggests the chips will be mobile parts rather than desktop offerings.

AppleInsider says it doesn't know just when Apple plans to refresh the Mac mini, though. The iPod maker slipped 45nm Core 2 Duos in its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops in late February, but the refreshed Mac mini was supposedly still at the "engineering build stage" in the middle of this month.

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