Mac mini Overview Updated May 2, 2021

Mac mini

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171 'Mac mini' stories

December 2010 - April 2021

The Mac mini is the gateway for the macOS ecosystem. The most affordable Mac is now one of the most powerful Apple computers. Here’s everything you need to know about it

History

The Mac mini is one of the oldest products sold by Apple and it’s currently in its fifth generation, feeling as new as ever.

First introduced in 2005, the original Mac mini was equipped with the PowerPC G4 processors. This computer was Apple’s attempt to enter the BYODKM (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse) market. This is the only Mac that Apple sells without any accessories. The Mac Pro, for example, doesn’t come with a display, but it ships with the Magic Mouse 2 and the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad.

One year later, in 2006, Apple introduced the second generation with the same design, but with Intel Core processors, as well as support to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The third-generation Mac mini released in June 2010 brought a thinner unibody aluminum case and an HDMI port. Later revisions of this Mac added a Thunderbolt port and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

The fourth-generation introduced in October 2018 is still being sold today and is the last one with an Intel processor. This generation includes a darker Space Gray finish, features SSD as standard, and replaces most data ports with USB-C. This is the first Mac mini made with 100% recycled aluminum.

In November 2020, Apple introduced the fifth-generation model based on the Apple Silicon processor with a silver finish of earlier models. This Mac was preceded by the A12Z-based Developer Transition Kit, a prototype used by developers to test what was going to be the first M1 Apple Silicon chip. It came with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and two USB-C ports.

Mac mini specs: Apple Silicon and Intel models

Apple sells two different Mac minis: one with its newer Apple Silicon chip and a high-spec model with the 8th generation Intel chip.

Apple Silicon Mac mini

M1 Mac mini deals

The M1 Apple Silicon Mac mini comes with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural engine. It starts with 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD storage, and it can go up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. This Mac has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports with HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

In April 2021, Apple silently updated the M1 model with an optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, which was previously only available on the Intel version.

This Mac is also made 100% recycled aluminum.

Intel Mac mini

The Intel Mac mini comes with the 8th-generation Intel Core i5, with 8GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630, and 512GB SSD storage and can go up to the 3.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7, 64GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet support.

Pricing

The M1 Apple Silicon Mac mini starts at $699 and can go up to $1,699. The Intel model starts at $1,099 and can go up to $2,999.

Apple Silicon

  • 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: $699
  • 8GB RAM, 512GB storage: $899
  • 8GB RAM, 1TB storage: $1,099
  • 8GB RAM, 2TB storage: $1,499

For the model with 16GB of RAM, adds $200 in every configuration. You can also get 10 Gigabit Ethernet for $100 more.

Intel

  • i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,099
  • i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,299
  • i5, 32GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,699
  • i5, 64GB RAM, 512GB storage: $2,099

For the model with Intel Core i7, adds $200. If you want more storage, adds $200 for 1TB and $600 for the 2TB option. The 10 Gigabit Ethernet is $100 more.

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

Mac mini review

In our M1 Mac mini diary video, we believe that this is a solid buy, even being a first-generation product, since it has Apple’s proprietary chip:

Is the M1 Mac mini worth it? Absolutely, as long as you consider the fact that this is the first iteration of the Mac with Apple Silicon, and forthcoming versions will feature more powerful chips, more robust configuration options, and more I/O. But even in its current form, this Mac is the most versatile of any of the machines in Apple’s M1 lineup, and it also happens to be the least expensive. When paired with the right peripherals, the Mac mini shines as one of the best Macs that we’ve seen in quite some time. The more I use it, the more I come to appreciate just how good it is.

Here’s what our video review says about the Intel model:

The 2019 Mac Pro might be the best Mac desktop ever by a long shot, but the Mac mini is the best value desktop Mac, and it remains my favorite desktop Mac to this day. Although I look forward to an eventual CPU upgrade, the 2018 Mac mini, when properly specced, makes for a good workhorse machine for tasks like video editing with Final Cut Pro X.

Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the Mac mini and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Mac mini Stories April 20, 2021

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Apple today introduced a new redesigned iMac with the M1 chip, but there’s also another Mac that received an upgrade after the special “Spring Loaded” event. The company has quietly updated the M1 Mac mini with an optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, which was previously only available on the Intel version of the Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories March 11, 2021

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Update: After more research, the issue appears to be on DHL’s side rather than Apple, and it is only affecting developers in Europe. DHL is working to resolve the issues and ensure that the DTK units are delivered to Apple, but 9to5Mac has learned that developers will not be penalized for any issues caused by DHL shipping.

With less than a month left for developers to return the DTK Mac mini and receive a $500 credit, things seem to be a bit chaotic, according to some developers online. Developers outside of the US report that they are having some issues when attempting to return the A12Z-powered Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories February 27, 2021

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In this look back at the M1 Mac mini, I discuss my experiences with Apple’s most affordable M1-enabled Mac. Is Apple’s compact desktop computer worth it? Watch my M1 Mac mini diary for more details.

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Mac mini Stories February 25, 2021

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Following the arrival of the M1 MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air in the Apple Refurbished Store, Apple today began selling the refurbished M1 Mac mini. Customers can now get all three Macs with M1 chip in the Refurbished Store at a discounted price.

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Mac mini Stories February 24, 2021

macOS Big Sur stable enough to upgrade your Mac?
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Amazon had a surprising announcement back in December when it revealed support for Mac instances on AWS. macOS Mojave and Catalina were the only supported operating systems at launch, and now the latest OS for Mac is officially supported.

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Mac mini Stories February 2, 2021

M1 Mac mini in the cloud
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Accessing an M1 Mac mini in the cloud just got cheaper. Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering Intel Mac mini instances at the end of last year for $1.083 per hour, in minimum 24-hour chunks. Scaleway, a European cloud services company, is now offering the M1 version for €0.10 ($0.12) per hour, with the same 24-hour minimum …

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Mac mini Stories January 28, 2021

M1 Mac mini power consumption
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The M1 Mac mini power consumption and thermal output figures highlight just how much more efficient Apple Silicon is than the Intel chips that powered older models …

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Mac mini Stories December 1, 2020

Amazon launches AWS Mac instances using Mac mini
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now offering Mac instances to developers who want to speed up building and testing of Mac, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS apps. The instances are based on physical Mac minis, and you get exclusive access to a machine while you are using it.

While relatively expensive compared to other Mac mini in the cloud services, AWS does offer a couple of significant benefits …

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Mac mini Stories November 24, 2020

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The new Mac mini with M1 chip has been available for some time and although the machine impresses with its amazing performance, it’s also causing problems for some users. More specifically, there are users complaining about Bluetooth connectivity issues with the new M1 Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories November 18, 2020

Mac mini teardown first look
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As Apple’s new M1 Macs have arrived to customers this week, we’ve got our first look at the internals of the company’s first desktop with Apple Silicon. The M1 Mac mini has retained the same footprint as its Intel predecessor despite it looking like much less space was needed.

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Mac mini Stories November 16, 2020

Mac mini with M1 Geekbench scores
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New Geekbench scores show that the 2020 Mac mini with M1 chip is faster than every Intel Mac in single core tests, even though the benchmarking app is running under the Rosetta 2 emulator. The M1-powered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air take second and third places.

There are some important riders to note, however …

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Mac mini Stories November 12, 2020

Hollywood names welcome M1 Macs
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Some big Hollywood names have welcomed Apple’s launch of the first M1 Macs, one stating that it’s the best news from Apple in a decade, another that the Mac mini could be huge for editors.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member Michael Cioni said the announcement showed that Apple still cares about creative pros …

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Mac mini Stories November 11, 2020

Apple's M1 chip
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A detailed analysis by AnandTech says that Apple’s M1 chip can indeed credibly claim to be the fastest laptop CPU in the world. Apple made the claim during yesterday’s Mac event.

While the piece does level a couple of criticisms at Apple’s presentation, it says that a comparison of A-series and Intel chip trajectories tell a very clear story: Apple has long been on-track to overtake the PC chipmaker, and has now done so …

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Mac mini Stories November 10, 2020

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Today Apple released its M1 chip for the 13-inch MacBook Air and Pro and Mac mini. Currently, for the MacBook Air, Apple is only offering the M1 chip starting at $999. But for the MacBook Pro and Mac mini, Intel processor models are still available from Apple for the time being.

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The all-new Mac mini with the M1 Apple Silicon has launched today. Like the new MacBook Air and Pro, the Mac mini gains some impressive performance from the M1’s 8-core CPU and 8-Core GPU. But there have also been some I/O changes with the new model. Here’s what’s different…

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Mac mini Stories August 24, 2020

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New images shared on Twitter this week showcase a prototype Mac mini with a built-in iPod dock. The Mac mini shown here featured a 30-pin connector that would have allowed an iPod user to charge and sync their device without an additional cable.

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Mac mini Stories April 11, 2020

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At the time of its release back in 2018, the Mac mini had the designation of being the most versatile Mac in Apple’s entire desktop lineup. With the release of the Mac Pro, that designation now belongs to Apple’s professional-oriented desktop machine with PCIe expandability.

But the Mac mini remains one of the most value-laden Macs that Apple currently sells, and it’s the second most versatile Mac next to the Mac Pro. Watch our latest episode of The Rewind as I take another look at Apple’s diminutive Mac. expand full story

Mac mini Stories March 25, 2020

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MacStadium, which provides Apple Mac infrastructure as a service, is seeing a spike in signups this week. MacStadium VP Brian Stucki tells 9to5Mac that the company has heard from developer classrooms and teachers, as well as many others, about the growing need for remote servers.

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Mac mini Stories March 18, 2020

Mac mini
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Apple has updated the Mac mini today alongside the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro.

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Mac mini Stories March 4, 2020

Mac mini deals
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An anonymous Twitter user who has previously leaked numerous accurate details about Apple’s product lineups has returned today. This time, the source suggests that that Apple has an update for the iMac and Mac mini coming soon.

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Mac mini Stories December 2, 2019

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The Mac mini, while a great device, has lacked some essential I/O since the 2018 refresh. The SD card slot in particular has been missed on this latest-generation mini. Thankfully, Satechi has designed a sleek and functional USB-C Hub for the new Mac mini. expand full story

Mac mini Stories November 19, 2019

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Satechi is out today with a sleek new accessory for the Mac mini that professional users will be sure to appreciate, the Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub. With what looks like a perfectly matching design, the new product seeks to “transform and consolidate” your Mac mini workstation(s).

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Mac mini Stories October 17, 2019

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In recent months, I’ve been looking to upgrade my Final Cut Pro desktop editing rig. I wanted something that could last me at least the next two to three years and provide me with a smooth workflow; I also wanted to spend less than $2,000 total. If you’re in a similar predicament, then read further. For less than $2,000 I put together a Mac mini video editing setup that works great with Final Cut Pro X. expand full story

Mac mini Stories December 20, 2018

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Can you game with the 2018 Mac mini? If you’re willing to install Windows 10 using our Boot Camp tutorial, and you have an eGPU at your disposal, the answer is yes. Watch our video showing you how to transform the 2018 Mac mini into a legit Windows 10 gaming machine. expand full story

Mac mini Stories December 5, 2018

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If you’re interested in gaming on your 2018 Mac mini (review), you might consider installing Windows 10 with the help of Boot Camp Assistant. In this hands-on video walkthrough, we show you how to install Windows 10 on your Mac mini step-by-step. expand full story

Mac mini Stories November 26, 2018

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With near perfect timing in relation to Apple’s big MacBook Air and Mac mini refresh, the LG UltraWide 34WK95U display (on sale for $1399 at B&H) landed in the office last week. Should you consider this highly anticipated end-of-year hardware release? Watch our LG 5K UltraWide review for the details. expand full story

Mac mini Stories November 20, 2018

Upgrade mac mini ram
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In this hands-on video walkthrough, we show you how to upgrade the RAM in the 2018 Mac mini. If you’re comfortable with opening your machine, you can save a significant amount of money upgrading Mac mini RAM yourself. Watch our step-by-step hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

Mac mini Stories November 14, 2018

Luna Display lets iPad Pro be your primary Mac mini touchscreen display

Luna Display offers a slick way to extend your MacBook display with iPad. Now, the company put the Mac mini to the test to see how the new iPad Pro would be as a wireless touchscreen display for the new Mac desktop.

Mac mini Stories November 10, 2018

Mac mini 2018
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The Mac mini is back for 2018, regaining its rightful place as the most versatile Mac in Apple’s entire computer lineup. The long-rumored update, which was announced during the midway portion of last week’s iPad Pro event, is exciting for a number of reasons.

For starters, the Mac mini 2018 gets brand-new, highly-capable 8th-generation Intel CPUs. The CPU lineup starts with a rather anemic, but still way faster than the last Mac mini, quad-core 3.6GHz Core i3. The mid-tier CPU option is a 3.0GHz 6-core Core i5 with 4.1GHz turbo boost, while the highest configuration adds a 3.2GHz 6-core Core i7 that turbos up to 4.6GHz.

While the CPU upgrades were much needed, the chip enhancements are arguably not even the most exciting thing about the new Mac mini. That award goes to the four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the machine’s rear. This opens up Apple’s smallest Mac to an ever-growing world of expandability, making it seem as if anything’s possible for what was once Apple’s forgotten Mac.

Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as I explain why the Mac mini 2018 is the most versatile and adaptable Mac ever. expand full story

Mac mini Stories November 9, 2018

MacBook Air review
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Good news for new MacBook Air and Mac mini owners who are serious about audio. While yes, both machines retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, unlike some other devices Apple has recently announced, the new Macs now better handle audio when played through the jack or through the built-in speakers.

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The 2018 Mac mini iFixit teardown is up, and the company gives the new incarnation of Apple’s smallest Mac a repairability rating of 6/10. That’s significantly better than the 3/10 the company gave the new MacBook Air in its teardown of that.

It says that the machine is pretty easy to access, with one tool being nothing more than a pair of thumbs …

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Mac mini Stories November 8, 2018

how to upgrade RAM on the 2018 Mac mini
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One of the changes Apple made in the 2018 version of the Mac mini is that the RAM is now removable. If you’re wondering how to upgrade RAM on the 2018 Mac mini, iFixit has an 11-step guide …

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Mac mini Stories November 7, 2018

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Apple chose some excerpts from the recent iPad Pro reviews earlier this week, and has now done the same with reviews of the new MacBook Air and Mac mini …

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Mac mini Stories November 6, 2018

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After months of delays, LG’s 5K UltraWide 34WK95U display is now available for purchase. The availability lines up perfectly with the release of Apple’s new Mac mini and MacBook Air hardware. expand full story

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Over the past few days, reviews for Apple’s latest iPad Pros, MacBook Air, and Mac mini have started rolling in. While we’ve rounded up all of the written reviews for each of the new products, there are also a slew of video reviews available as well…

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Reviews of the new MacBook Air may have been somewhat lacking in enthusiasm, but those for the 2018 Mac mini have been almost universally positive. The typical Mac mini review can be summarised as saying that the market for the device has moved on, and Apple has recognized that fact.

Where the Mac mini was once an entry-level device designed to persuade people to switch from Windows desktop PCs, today most people use laptops – and the mini has found a new niche as a semi-pro machine. What Apple has done here is to adapt to the market, giving it the machine it really wants – and being willing to sacrifice entry-level consumers in the process …

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Mac mini Stories November 2, 2018

Early Mac mini Geekbench comparable to 2013 Mac Pro

With less than a week until the official launch date, benchmarks are starting to appear in Geekbench for multiple Apple devices. And today, we’re seeing the first indication of what to expect from the 2018 Mac mini.

Mac mini Stories November 1, 2018

Video gives detailed look inside Mac server room, housing Mac minis, Mac Pros, and iMac Pros

Apple mentioned at its iPad Pro and Mac event that third-party companies had racks of Mac minis at data centers being used as servers. At the event, Apple mentioned MacStadium as one of those companies. Now, YouTuber Snazzy Labs has posted a video, showing off what it’s like having endless shelves of Mac minis.

Mac mini Stories October 31, 2018

iPad Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Air pre-orders now ‘Preparing to Ship’

Users who pre-ordered products announced at Apple’s iPad Pro and Mac event yesterday are in for a surprise. Apple has began charging customers’ credit cards and order statuses are now flipping to Preparing to Ship.

Mac mini Stories October 30, 2018

iPad lineup
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If you don’t have an hour and a half to dedicate to watch Apple’s new iPad Pro/MacBook Air event, we’ve got you covered. In this post, you’ll find a condensed version of the event, featuring all of the important technical tidbits in under 9 minutes. expand full story

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Apple announced updated iPad Pro and Macs today that are more powerful, thinner, and lighter. But along with all the advancements come more expensive prices. While the new tablet starts at $800, a maxed out iPad Pro costs almost $2,000 and that’s without any accessories. The new MacBook Air and Mac mini also become quite expensive with upgrades, going north of $2,500 and $4,000, respectively.

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Apple has just unveiled a new Mac mini at its October media event. In a space grey finish, every Mac mini now starts with quad-core CPU configurations. Apple will also offer six-core models for the first time. The new Mac mini can include up to 64 GB RAM, and all models feature solid state drives.

The Mac mini starts at $799, with various build-to-order upgrade options. Orders start today, with first deliveries from November 7.

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Mac mini Stories October 29, 2018

Mac mini concept pictures space gray treatment alongside new Apple display and Magic keyboard with Touch ID

We’re less than 24 hours away from Apple’s October event where we’re expecting new iPad Pros, Macs, and more. After four years since the last refresh, one of the most highly anticipated product updates is the Mac mini. This Mac mini concept shows off what the 2018 refresh could look like with upgraded I/O, a space gray finish, a new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID/Touch Bar, and more.

Mac mini Stories October 25, 2018

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Next Tuesday, Apple executives and invited media venture to New York City for a rare east coast event for a major Apple product launch. The end of October event, which begins at 10 AM EDT, is expected to be where Apple reveals long-awaited new iPad Pros along with new Mac hardware.

In a previous video, we examined the possibilities of what we might see on the iPad front. In today’s video, we conjecture about what Mac fans might see unveiled next week. expand full story

Mac mini Stories October 24, 2018

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The Eurasian database has turned up hit after hit recently. Once more, ahead of Apple’s October 30 event, the Eurasian Economic Competition database has listed filings for new Mac models running macOS 10.14. Four of these model identifiers relate to as-yet-unannounced machines. As spotted by Consomac, the A1932 laptop model was seen in an earlier filing.

The three new Mac models likely relate to new versions of the Mac Mini and iMac. We are expecting a significant spec update to the Mac Mini, which has not seen any attention in 1469 days, and at least processor bumps to the rest of the Mac line.

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Mac mini Stories August 21, 2018

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One of the oft-heard criticisms of Apple is that it no longer cares about the Mac now that the bulk of its income comes from the iPhone.

Apple does gradually seem to be trying to dispel that idea. The complete redesign of the MacBook Pro in 2016 demonstrated a continuing interest in the company’s top-of-the-range laptop, even if not all pro users were happy with the direction it took. The iMac got a shot in the arm with a Pro model. The Mac Pro is now elderly, but Apple has at least promised an all-new model. A rejigging of the MacBook range could finally see the death of the ancient MacBook Air.

All of which leaves the Mac mini

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Mac mini Stories August 20, 2018

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After years of neglecting its standalone desktop computer, Apple has been rumored to be updating the Mac mini later this year. Now Bloomberg has reported new details about what we should expect for the 2018 Mac mini as well as Apple’s new rumored 13-inch MacBook.

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Mac mini Stories April 27, 2018

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iMac Pro shipped in December and Mac Pro is coming next year, but we still don’t know how Apple will address its other desktop computer: Mac mini. Apple actually still showcases its discontinued Thunderbolt Display on the Mac mini’s product page just to give you a sense of how dated it is.

So far Apple execs have only acknowledged that the Mac mini is still available to purchase, but the most recent model is from 2014. Apple also gave a similar line about the AirPort router line, and we see how that ended. So what should Apple do about its Mac mini mystery? Vote in our poll!

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