Apple has apparently been shipping around a prototype of a new Mac Mini that features something brand new for the company - an HDMI port. Perhaps recognising that mini DisplayPort and DVI aren't quite sufficient any more, the HDMI port replaces the legacy DVI connector.

Of course, it's relatively trivial to plug in an HDMI converter to one of those things, so the real reason behind the move could be that DVI and DisplayPort only support video transmission, whereas HDMI can also handle audio. There's currently no way to get both video and audio to a TV from a Mac Mini using just one cable.

There's also a new chipset onboard - the Nvidia MCP89, which is the replacement to the MCP79 currently used in most of Apple's Mac lineup. Unfortunately, however, it doesn't look like the processor will be upgraded, due to Intel's licensing dispute with Nvidia.

It's also not clear yet whether the same HDMI port functionality will be appearing on other Apple products. The cases may have to be re-engineered somewhat to create room for the ports - which are much larger than the mini DisplayPort sockets. Still, that's not exactly an insurmountable challenge, is it?