we went to the Apple store here in Dallas at 75 & Knox-Henderson. when we got inside, i asked one of the employees near the register, "hey, we want to buy a mac mini...depending on which one it is." i don't think he knew what i meant because he started giving his speech about the differences between the $499, the $599, and the $699 models. we told him we want the $599 model as my friend has no use for a dvd burner. he goes to the stock room to retrieve it. when he comes back out, he is about to ring it up when i ask, "hey, can i check it out real quick?" he hands the box to me. moment of truth: what does the serial number say?! y....m.....5.......3......7! i said to my friend, "dude, go for it! it's one of the new ones!" my friend promptly paid for it and before we walked out of the store, we stopped at the iMac booth and i put the mac mini serial number into the apple support page to see what it said............late 2005! sweet! when we got home, we set it all up and sure enough it's a 1.5ghz with 64mb vram. nice! he was very happy that i did my research. i'm sure i will get a free lunch out of this one. btw, while we were at the apple store, i went ahead and purchased an Incase 17" sleeve for my soon-to-be 17". c'mon apple, gimme my pb!