Apple has significantly improved its affordable Mac minis, doubling installed memory and adding Bluetooth and WiFi as standard to some models.

The two-model Mac mini family now counts three members, all now ship with 512MB of memory, and wireless access in the faster models.

However, kicking the industry trend toward lowering prices, Apple has actually raised them - Mac minis now start at £359 (1.25GHz), up from the previous £339 entry-level price.

Both the 1.42GHz Mac mini models feature built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth with prices starting at £429.

The top-of-the-range model also offers a 1.42GHz processor and carries a SuperDrive. It costs £499. The previous highest-priced Mac mini cost £399.

David Moody, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing, described the new models as, "delivering an even greater value in an innovative compact design."

Only connect

Connectivity options include: One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports; a DVI interface that also supports VGA so customers can easily connect to a variety of LCD or CRT displays and built-in 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet. They also offer a built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

All three models ship with ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processors with 32MB of dedicated video memory.

Like all new Macs, these Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" powered computers ship with iLife 05. The accompanying software bundle that ships with these machines includes: Nanosaur 2 and MarbleBlast Gold.

Three new Mac minis

The new range of Mac minis is available now.

The 1.25GHz Mac mini costs £359. It carries a 40GB hard drive; a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive; and has support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth.

The 1.42GHz Mac mini costs £429 and includes an 80GB drive and a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive; AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth connectivity is built-in.

The top flight 1.42GHz Mac mini costs £499. It also has wireless connectivity built-in and carries an 80GB hard drive. It also offers a built-in SuperDrive.

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 1GB of RAM, SuperDrive (DVD+/-W/CD-RW), AirPort Extreme Card, 56K V.92 modem, internal Bluetooth module, wired or wireless Apple Keyboard and Apple Mouse and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

All prices include VAT.