The next Mac mini won’t be so mini anymore

Apple’s most affordable Mac starts at just $499. Described as a BYODKM desktop computer (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard and Mouse), it’s just an inch and a half tall and weighs 2.6 pounds.

They’re calling it Mac mini and it comes with four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card slot and more.

The next Mac mini “won’t be so mini anymore.”

That’s according to a source, cited by the Pike’s Universe blog, that’s usually “pretty accurate”. The comment suggests that Apple’s next flagship Mac mini model could feature a taller chassis in order to accommodate for more powerful hardware.

Intel in January 2017 unveiled faster Kaby Lake processors  suitable for Mac mini.

If you ask us, a next-gen Mac mini should adopt Kaby Lake, the faster Thunderbolt 3 standard, USB-C, more powerful graphics, speedier RAM, power-sipping Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology (existing models have Bluetooth 4.0) and other perks.

The current-generation Mac mini is available in three models:

  • $499 Mac mini—Intel’s fourth-generation 1.4GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU with four gigabytes of RAM, 500GB hard drive and integrated Intel HD Graphics 500.
  • $699 Mac mini—Intel’s fourth-generation 2.6GHz dual-core Core i5 processor with eight gigabytes of RAM, 1TB hard drive and integrated Intel Iris graphics.
  • $999 Mac mini—Intel’s fourth-generation 2.8GHz dual-core Core i5 processor with eight gigabytes of RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and integrated Intel Iris graphics.

The $499 and $699 models can be configured with Fusion Drive, which integrates a traditional one-terabyte hard drive with 128 gigabytes of fast PCIe-based flash storage for both speed and capacity. The $699 model is upgradeable to a 3.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz for an extra $300.

The top-of-the-line $999 model can be outfitted with a 3.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz and a 2TB Fusion Drive, with 256GB/512GB/1TB flash storage upgrades available as well. All models can be upgraded to sixteen gigabytes of 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM.

Make no mistake, these machines are way overdue for a refresh. Mac mini was last updated in October 2014—that’s a whopping 903 days since the computer’s last release, which in this industry feels like an eternity.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, told BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski that Mac mini is still important to them:

I’ll say the Mac mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren’t bringing it up because it’s more of a mix of consumer with some pro use. Mac mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.

Pike’s Universum also said that the next macOS version won’t have a mountain or park name and claimed that Apple’s upcoming external display for a “completely rethought” Mac Pro will have an impressive 8K resolution.

Lastly, the blog shared claimed tech specs for the new iMacs that are coming down the pike later this year. The upcoming all-in-one desktops should ship with Intel’s faster Xeon E3 chips, ECC RAM up to 64 gigabytes, Thunderbolt 3/USB-C and more.

Source: Pike’s Universum