Apple has brought Christmas to Apple fans 11 months early with the announcement from Steve Jobs in his keynote speech at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco of the Mac Mini, a small form Apple desktop computer.

Titled witht the subline "BYODKM" the idea behind the computer is that you'll Bring Your Own Display Keyboard and Mouse.

The Mini Mac which can be held in the palm of your hand comes without display, keyboard or mouse and is slightly larger than a compact disc and about 4inches thick. Inside it features a Combo CD and DVD burner allowing you to record your own home movies or CDs.

"We want to price this thing so people thinking of switching have no more excuses," Jobs said.

Mac mini includes one FireWire® 400 and two USB 2.0, a DVI interface that also supports VGA so customers can easily connect to a variety of LCD or CRT displays as well as a television with the right connection cables. The new Mac mini includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for easy Internet access, and offers optional support for an AirPort® Extreme Card for 54 Mbps 802.11g fast wireless networking along with an internal Bluetooth module.

The 1.25 GHz Mac mini includes:

* 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
* 256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
* 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive;
* Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
* ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
* One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
* 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem;
* Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
* DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter; and
* Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

The 1.42 GHz Mac mini includes:

* 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
* 256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
* 80GB Ultra ATA hard drive;
* Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
* ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
* One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
* 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem;
* Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
* DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter; and
* Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

Both new models come with iLife 05 and Apple's new office package iWork meaning that out of the box you'll be able to send emails and do word processing without having to buy additional software.

The price as predicted for the device is £339 for a 1.25Ghz 256Mb, 40Gb version, while a model with an 80Gb hard drive will cost £399.