Mac Mini design

Apple’s Mac mini is way overdue for a specs bump – it’s now been a whopping 458 days since the $599 desktop received its last hardware refresh, bringing faster processors and other updated internals.

According to a Belgian retailer’s online storefront, Apple’s most affordable Mac desktop is about to be updated with the latest Intel Haswell Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

This information has been corroborated by at least one source who was able to confirm that the Mac mini refresh tidbit came from “reliable sources”…

MacRumors discovered placeholder listings for Haswell-based Mac minis in Core i5 and Core i7 variations in the retail system of major Belgian retailer Computerstore.be.

Moreover, their forum reader contacted the store and was told that the information “comes from Apple or reliable sources”. The store representative apparently told this guy that the refreshed minis are expected to launch by the end of February.

mac_mini_haswell_be

The upcoming configurations should include OS X Mavericks, Intel Iris graphics, Gigabit Wi-Fi, HDMI, Thunderbolt, FireWire and USB 3. The product listing is accompanied by a brief product descriptions in German, here’s your Google translation.

The Apple Mac mini features a sturdy and above all very compact aluminum housing. Despite its small size, the Apple Mac mini comes with powerful hardware.

The Mac mini is equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 processor from Haswell series. This processor is obviously faster than its predecessor, but also uses the powerful Intel Iris graphics.

The latest Apple operating system, OS X Mavericks, works very user friendly and communicates seamlessly with other Apple products. So for example you can just get iMessages on your Mac mini. In addition, OS X Mavericks a very secure operating system, you have (almost) not suffer from nasty viruses.

The Apple Mac mini with the latest WiFi standard 802.11ac. This will make use of a high speed Gigabit LAN. You are here obviously compatible 802.11ac equipment needed.

If you ever want to expand the memory of the Mac Mini, this is easily done by turning the black plate on the bottom and then add additional memory. The Mac Mini has many connections. He is equipped with HDMI, USB 3.0, FireWire and high-speed Thunderbolt connection.

Wondering if the new minis include the regular Thunderbolt or the latest and speedier Thunderbolt 2 I/O…

Yours truly used to own a 2008 Mac mini before finally upgrading to a 2010 MacBook Air (it’s been my only work machine ever since). I nevertheless kept my mini around for years. It would become my home theater PC, sitting under the telly and running OS X Server, Plex, iTunes and other media apps.

With the advent of all-flash Macs, I was about to perform a DIY upgrade to a flash drive before deciding that the added expense wasn’t really worth the effort, so I sold it.

A flash-based Mac mini running a Haswell chip and featuring an even thinner profile (and certainly consuming even less power than the current generation) is going to be a very interesting proposition for non-Apple users who are considering switching to a Mac.

Have you ever seen/used/owned a Mac mini?

If so, did it strike you as a good value for money?