Apple’s latest Mac Mini models with the company’s proprietary M1 chip, revealed in November 2020, seemed like a pretty good deal. While sporting a $699 price tag, at the time, the devices offered the exact same CPU and GPU as their older and more expensive brethren, the MacBook and iMac computers. So, purchasing a Mac Mini right now seems like a no-brainer – but wait, there could be a new model in the making.
According to previous rumors and reports regarding the new model, most of which were posted by the LeaksApplePro Twitter handle, Mac Mini is getting a significant redesign. The schematics provided by the leaker provide evidence for a series of upgrades to both Mac Mini’s external appearance and aesthetics and its internal hardware.
Truth be told, Apple was hesitant to change the design of the Mac Mini for a few years, not because of the lack of design ideas or the funds. Instead, the company’s decision to leave the computer unchanged was far more practical – many of Apple’s customer’s server farms used Mac Minis in setups that were, and many of them still are, based around the devices existing form factor.
However, if the revealed schematics hold truth, this could change in the near future. The purported model, set to release sometime in 2021/2022, has a significantly thinner and smaller chassis than the current model. Additionally, it will feature a glass top similar to the front chin of the new 24-inch iMac computer, though it’s still unclear whether it will follow the same color options.
The uploaded schematics also reveal the number and position of ports on the new Mac Mini computer. The updated port hub on the back of the device will feature an HDMI port for monitor connectivity, Ethernet input for networking, four Thunderbolt 4 ports, and two USB-A slots, just to top everything off. Unfortunately, it would seem that Apple decided to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack, as it isn’t shown in the schematics.
Apple’s ditching of the headphone jack in its smartphones made a truly waterproof iPhone a reality, but it makes very little sense for Mac Mini computers. And though its absence from the schematics isn’t indicative that the 3.5mm jack won’t be present on the final model, music-producing users should prepare their Thunderbolt-to-headphone jack adapters.
Hardware-wise, Apple is most likely to use their M1X processor on the new Mac Mini. And while that would make the new computer into an absolute powerhouse, this wasn’t officially confirmed by the company. Either way, all signs point towards an increase in CPU and GPU core counts and a possible expansion of RAM. All current Mac Minis and M1-equipped devices sport 16 GB of RAM, with rumors suggesting that the new model will likely ship with 32 GB or even 64 GB.
It’s worth noting that the new model won’t replace the current M1 Mac Mini from 2020. Instead, Apple seeks to replace the Intel-powered Mac Mini model from Apple’s now-date lineup, as the company aims to sever its ties with Intel’s CPUs.
Regardless, the leaked schematics offer very little insight into the Mini’s internal components, making it almost impossible to predict their price. However, certain predictions place the base model, with 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and M1X CPU, at approx. $1,200, with more powerful options boasting a higher price tag.
Previous reports mentioned the new Mac Mini being released alongside the latest MacBook models with improved mini-LED screens. But it would seem that plan was shelved, and the new model’s release is being delayed due to “marketing reasons.”
Admittedly, “marketing reasons” is a very ambiguous excuse that allows Apple to tease and reveal the device at its events and various other launches, leaving the official launch of the new Mac Mini for last.