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Monday, December 15, 2008, 06:45 pm PT (09:45 pm ET)

Mac mini makeover considered likely for Macworld

A new source claims that Apple's long-overdue revision of the Mac mini will make its appearance at Macworld Expo early next month.

Claiming to have obtained the information from a "corporate" employee of Apple, Wired has allegedly heard that a refresh of the compact, headless desktop is due at the start of the show.

The rumor is accompanied by little else besides a speculative wish list based on Apple's recent trends in design and components, such as a unibody design and newer Core 2 Duo processors.

Still, the report corroborates things that AppleInsider has privately heard about the matter. It also supports a number of outside claims that an update is approaching; of these, a reported Apple executive care rep's advice to be patient has been the strongest sign of an impending upgrade.

What any new Mac mini would include is still uncertain, though two months ago Macminicolo asserted that it had validated as many as three new features that would make their way into the new system.

Of these, the most feasible were the switch to Mini DisplayPort — a move Apple has publicly promised for all of its Macs — and the ability of the mainboard chipset to address more than 3GB of RAM, which is currently limited by the Mac mini's roughly two year old hardware.

The more aggressive claim instead suggested Apple would attempt to please business and server operators by letting buyers replace the optical drive with a second hard drive that could increase the total storage for the computer.

Whether any of this occurs is still up in the air, as Apple has yet to commit to a Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld despite the event being just three weeks away.