The Windows Mac Mini

It's not the first time that Apple's been 'flattered' by an imitation of its design, but it might be the most blatant. Still, Evesham's new Mac Mini c

It's not the first time that Apple's been 'flattered' by an imitation of its design, but it might be the most blatant. Still, Evesham's new Mac Mini clone could carve its own niche thanks to one behind-the-scenes difference – it runs Windows.

The Evesham Mini could even claim to be a better solution for your digital media needs since it comes pre-loaded with Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005. That means it can be controlled by a remote to record TV programmes and would make a handsome partner for an Xbox 360.

This newbie's out in two flavours – the standard version comes with an Intel Celeron M processor 360, 512MB RAM and a 40GB hard drive, while the Mini Plus has a faster M 750 processor and 80GB of storage. There's also an optional Wi-fi add-on for £50 more.

Apple's twin won't be fretting too much, though, as the Minis cost £500 and £700 respectively. Considering you can get a Mac Mini with a similar entry-level spec from £359, that's a big premium for the pleasure of getting Windows.

The other thing to consider is that there are strong rumours Steve Jobs is going to announce an even more lounge-friendly version of its exceptionally cool baby desktop at MacWorld in January. If the whispers are to be believed, it will have a digital video recorder, an iPod dock and a new version its Front Row software. It'll also be the first Mac to contain an Intel processor.

Still, if all your stuff is in Windows land - WMA, Outlook et al - and you need an all-singing media hub, the Evesham Minis will be available in January. Keep an eye on the official site for updates.

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