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The rumors were true. Apple plans to release two models of a low-priced, bring-your-own-display Mac mini later this month.

The Mac mini, unveiled Tuesday at the Macworld expo in San Francisco, is priced between $499 and $599 and is scheduled to hit stores Jan. 22.

The desktop computer features a CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and up to an 80 GB hard drive. The Mac mini also offers a DVI interface that also supports VGA and built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for Internet access.

Styled as the “the most affordable and compact Mac ever,” the Mac mini offers optional support for an AirPort Extreme Card for 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking along with an internal Bluetooth module.

The 2-inch-tall unit will ship with the newly released iLife ’05 and the Mac OS X version 10.3 “Panther” preinstalled.

Apple also trained the Macworld spotlight on iWork ’05, the new productivity suite that succeeds AppleWorks. iWork ’05 will ship with Keynote 2 and Pages, a new word processor product.

iWork 05 is scheduled to hit U.S. stores on Jan. 22 and stores worldwide on Jan. 29. It is priced at $79.

Apple also released:

  • iPod shuffle: The first digital music player for less than $100, iPod shuffle will be available in two models: 512MB holding as many as 120 songs for $99, and 1GB holding as many as 240 songs for $149.

    Smaller and lighter than a pack of gum, iPod shuffle integrates with the iTunes music service and is based on the popular shuffle feature that randomly selects music tracks. iPod shuffle also doubles as a portable USB flash drive with as much as 1 GB of storage space.

  • iLife ’05: This is the newest version of Apple’s consumer application suite. It ships with upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand and iTunes.

    iLife ’05 offers a software suite for organizing, editing and sharing digital photos; creating digital movies and DVDs; and purchasing, managing and creating digital music.

    The suite goes on sale Jan. 22 for $79. iLife ’05 will be free on all new Macs.

  • Click here to read about rumors leading up to Macworld.

  • Final Cut Express HD: Priced at $299, this is the new high-definition version of Apple’s professional digital video editing suite.

    The upgrade adds LiveType and Soundtrack for creating custom animation and music soundtracks and also integrates with iMovie files.

    Final Cut Express HD, which ships in February, handles the capture, edit and output of HDV (high-definition video). It is capable of capturing professional-quality HDV over a single FireWire cable, without requiring additional software or hardware.

    The upgrade also comes with sound editing tools including 99 audio tracks, real-time volume and audio filter adjustment, and a voice-over tool.

  • Taking the iPod for a spin: Apple also announced deals with Mercedes-Benz USA, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari to deliver iPod integration with their car stereo systems in 2005.

    The partnerships call for the iPod Integration Kit to debut in the Mercedes-Benz in April. Volvo will offer two iPod connectivity options for its entire 2005 U.S. model line, while Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will announce details of their iPod integration solutions later this year.

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