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While its name is synonymous with searching the Web (just look in the dictionary), Google hasn’t quite made the same kind of inroads when it comes to search in corporate environments.

Who knows? Maybe Google is just too cute for its own good. Its Google Search Appliances, which are designed to provide search to huge Web sites and company intranets, come in bright yellow and orange—hues that tend to stand out in predominantly gray, black and silver server rooms.

But Google had better hope that cute isn’t the problem because the bright blue and adorably small Google Mini appliance that eWEEK Labs is currently testing puts Rankin/Bass’ Rudolph to shame. (I can see the headline now: “The Google Mini is cute! eWEEK Labs thinks the Google Mini is cute!”)

But seriously, the Google Mini is designed to provide search capabilities for as many as 300,000 documents, and, starting at less than $2,000 a year, it is priced to be attractive to small and midsize businesses that can’t swallow the much higher cost of the bigger Google appliances.

During some basic tests, the Google Mini has done well, providing the type of search interfaces and results with which Google users are familiar. We’ll see how it handles some of our more advanced tests.

Look for my review, slated to appear in the Aug. 21 issue and at

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