Apple is working on updated versions of the Mac mini, and at least one of the Mac mini machines in the works is likely to replace the Intel version of the Mac mini that Apple is still selling today. Apple replaced the entry-level Mac mini with an M1 version in 2020, and the company is ready for a refresh of the Mac mini line.
In March 2022, Apple introduced the Mac Studio, which is a hybrid between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, but the continued existence of Intel models and rumors of a refresh suggest that the Mac mini is not being phased out of Apple's product lineup. This guide includes everything that we know about the Mac mini refresh, which could be happening imminently.
Rumors suggest that Apple might tweak the design of the next-generation Mac mini, but we don't know exactly what it will look like just yet.
Leaker Jon Prosser, who has somewhat of a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, provided details on what he believes the new Mac mini will look like. He says the new Mac mini will have a plexiglass-like top that will sit over the aluminum enclosure, and that the overall size could be smaller than the current Mac mini.
Prosser provided renders, but it's worth noting that this design is not quite accurate when it comes to port layout because there would not be so little space between USB-C ports.
Though some rumors have indicated the next-generation version of the Mac mini will see a redesign, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe that Apple will make design updates to the machine. Kuo said it is likely to continue to use the same form factor as the current model.
The Mac mini could feature a two-tone design instead of one single color, and it could potentially come in colors other than space gray or silver, much like the 24-inch iMac. Color options have not yet been confirmed, so Apple could just stick to the standard Mac mini shades.
Apple's new Mac mini is said to be equipped with four Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port, along with the same magnetic charging cable used for the 24-inch iMac.
Apple Silicon Chips
Initial rumors suggested the updated Mac mini would adopt the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that were first introduced in the 2021 MacBook Pro models, but 9to5Mac and Bloomberg have said that Apple will instead debut two M2 versions of the Mac mini, one with a standard M2 chip and a second higher-end model with an M2 Pro chip.
The M2 chip is expected to feature the same 8-core CPU as the M1, but with speed and efficiency improvements, along with a 9 or 10 core GPU, up from 7 or 8 cores. As for the M2 Pro, we don't know full details yet, but it could feature a 12-core CPU. The current M1 Pro chip has a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, so we could also see a GPU boost.
We know a new Mac mini is coming at some point in 2022, but there's no word on when. Apple has several Mac refreshes in the works for 2022, and following the March event that saw the launch of the Mac Studio, we could see the next unveiling in May or June. It's worth noting that while most rumors have pointed to a 2022 launch date, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple won't release an updated model until 2023.
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