We were finally able to acquire a Mini after some patient loitering outside our local Apple store. We were the only people in line, but we’re a committed bunch.

The 2010 Mini has been heavily revised. The main external difference is the new “pancaked” look — it’s wider than the previous Mini, but significantly thinner.

The power brick is gone (the power supply is now internal), and Apple has finally included an all-important HDMI port. However, Apple’s engineers didn’t stop there, and we found some very cool internal improvements!

You can check out the teardown, or alternately, view our YouTube video slideshow (for those who like moving pictures).

Teardown highlights:

  • With a simple counter-clockwise twist, we were able to gain access into the Mini’s internals. Gone are the days of the putty knife. You will be missed, old friend!
  • Removing the RAM is very simple this time around, requiring only the simple prying of two clips.
  • The fan doesn’t have too much work to do, since the new Mac Mini is the most energy-efficient desktop, running on less than 10 watts at idle!
  • There are two blind holes in the case of the Mini that are meant for the ends of Apple’s custom U-shaped logic board removal tool. We just used two Torx screwdrivers. We call them the “Mac Mini logic board removal tool.”
  • In keeping with its space saving design, the fins directing air toward the vent hole are slanted to allow for better fan placement.
  • The new Mini’s power supply churns out a minuscule 7 Amps at 12V. Compare that to the 25.8 Amps at 12V cranked out by the iMac Intel 27″, and you can understand how they fit the power supply inside the Mini.
  • The Mini’s 3/8″ woofer dome won’t be popping ear drums anytime soon.
  • Apple had to get creative with the antenna placement because they switched to unibody construction for this Mac Mini.

Removing the logic board

Mac Mini in pieces

Miro Djuric is iFixit's Chief Information Architect.

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