Mac mini + Blu-ray = HTPC Heaven, Courtesy of Newer Technology

Jan 7, 2013 by

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Newer Technology, the product arm of Other World Computing—the singular source for Mac peripherals and upgrade components—is expected to soon release an external storage and optical drive solution that could make the Mac mini the ideal home theater PC.

We hoped to see the miniStack MAX on OWC’s virtual shelves last year after drooling over their hardware prototype at CES. But this year at CES Unveiled, representatives from OWC report that units are in a production run right now, and they expect to announce pricing and start distribution in just 2–3 weeks.

If you don’t remember the details, here’s a quick refresher: this external storage device has the same footprint as the latest-generation Mac mini, space for a SATA hard drive plus an eSATA interface, a USB 3.0 hub, Firewire ports, an SD slot, and a slot optical drive.

There are new details, too: the optical drive will be a Blu-ray writer. If they still go with the slot drive from the original hardware design, this will be one of the only external slot-drive Blu-ray solutions we’ve seen. With the Mac mini decidedly lacking in an on-board optical media drive, it’s the ideal companion device and the missing piece to turn the Mac mini into the perfect home theater PC.

Expect a thorough review from us once this product is available for review. With the promise of adding Blu-ray and eSATA support to the mini, this is one product we’re eager to get our hands on.