When the Mac mini was launched in 2005 as the first BYODKM Mac (bring your own monitor, keyboard and mouse), it had the potential to become one of the most popular Macs ever made. Nearly two decades later, it has not really lived up to its hype, as specifications, prices and performance never quite reached the heights we had expected. But rumors have swirled that Apple is preparing a refresh of the sophisticated Mac mini that could blow our minds and finally deliver our little Mac of our dreams.
2022 Mac mini: The latest rumors
December 6: Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reports that Apple will launch two Mac mini models in 2022: an advanced one with an M1 Pro processor and an M2 update of the lowest M1 machine.
October 4: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says the new Mac mini will arrive “at some point” after the launch of the new MacBook Pro.
2022 Mac mini: Design
The Mac mini has had a similar square design ever since it broke onto the scene, and that is unlikely to change this year. However, it has become thinner. When it was launched with a CD drive, it was two inches high and now it is only 1.4 inches (without an optical drive). According to reports, it could get even thinner. Jon Prosser claims that the next Mac mini will shrink even more, which could cause it to be less than an inch high, based on renderings.
Reproduced by Ian
The body can also get a change. While the Mac mini has had its aluminum chassis since 2010, Apple is reportedly considering a “plexiglass” top, according to Prosser. That may mean Apple will bring a little spice to the Mac mini, which is limited to silver and space gray. Finally, the circular rubber pad on the bottom will reportedly be replaced with two horizontal strips that we see on the underside of the 24-inch iMac stand.
In August, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that the Mac mini will have “an updated design and more ports than the current model.”
2022 Mac mini: Apple silicon
The Mac mini was among the first Macs to get the M1 processor, so it makes sense that the next model would be the first to get the follow-up. Gurman reports that the low-end Mac mini will get the M2 chip when it arrives, while the high-end model chip will get the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that are in the new MacBook Pros. The numbering is confusing, but the M1 Pro will still be significantly faster than the M2.
Specifically, the M2 CPU will likely have the same eight cores as the M1, evenly distributed between performance and efficiency, with an 8-core GPU. The M1 Pro’s CPU has eight or 10 cores with six or eight high-performance cores as well as a 14-, 16-, 24- or 32-core GPU.
Roman Loyola / IDG
2022 Mac mini: RAM and specifications
The M1 in Mac mini has only two RAM configurations – 8 GB and 16 GB – while the Intel version has a maximum of 64 GB. The M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro, on the other hand, start at 16 GB and peak at 64 GB of memory. These are probably the same memory options that we will see in the 2022 Mac mini models.
Storage probably starts at 256 GB for the M2 models and 512 GB on the M1 Pro model, both peaking at 2TB. In terms of ports, the new Mac mini could get two more Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports for a total of four, along with the other ports on the current model: two USB-A ports, ethernet and HDMI. Prosser says, however, that the new mini is unlikely to bring back the SDXC card slot that appeared on the MacBook Pro.
2022 Mac mini: Price and Release
Apple actually lowered the price of the M1 Mac mini from $ 799 to $ 699, so it’s possible that the advanced Mac mini will also get a price reduction. Apple is currently selling it for $ 1,099, so it may drop to $ 999. However, the 16-inch MacBook Pro rose in price compared to its Intel predecessor. ($ 2,499 vs. $ 2,399).
We originally expected the new Mac mini to come this fall with the new MacBook Pro, but that clearly did not happen. The next likely release would be in the spring, around the time Apple launched the 24-inch iMac.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC – the IBM Thinkpad with the lifting keyboard to replace the drive. He’s still waiting for it to come back in style tbh.