Mac concept imagines a refreshed mini form factor w/ built-in Touch Bar & Face ID

With 3 years now gone by since the last Mac mini update, it’s one of Apple’s long running product lines ripe for a complete overhaul. That’s likely why industrial design student Louis Berger’s latest concept envisions a miniature desktop Mac but with a much more modern approach. He’s dubbed the idea “Taptop Computer Concept,” but at its core it’s essentially a new form factor for Mac mini with a built-in Touch Bar and more.

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The Taptop concept repositions the classic desktop PC from a box with outsourced hardware components into a device which is in the centre of user interaction. It fuses the cursor optimized desktop interface with a multi-touch control strip, functioning as the Dock and Touch Bar, allowing users to interact with the actual device, not just with peripherals. The Taptop computer brings the familiar concept of having your Apps at your fingertips to the desktop.

The form factor of the concept notably takes the Mac mini format from a behind or underneath design to something that’s meant to sit in front of the user as a peripheral with the built-in Touch Bar. For that reason it’s angled for comfortable use of the touchscreen functions, but also to allow for Face ID and presence detection features that he imagines Apple bringing over from iPhone X. In the process it gets a completely different shape that more resembles a Beats Pill speaker than the current square Mac mini.

While the concept is certainly not based specs for any actual rumored products, the Mac mini format is something that Tim Cook and company have hinted could make a return at some point. Back in October Cook said that Apple planned to keep the line around, although he stopped short of promising an upcoming update. And back in April earlier this year Apple hinted that the Mac mini was still on its radar while pre-announcing its upcoming Mac pro and iMac hardware.

Check out the full gallery of Berger’s concept below:

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.