According to a recent leak, Apple is likely to unveil a new Mac mini with an M2 system-on-chip. B&H Photo Video has an “Apple MAC MINI 8/256 M2” featured on its website(Opens in a new window). That most likely refers to a Mac mini with M1 Pro and M2 CPU types, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.
The annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) hosted by Apple is just around the corner, on June 6th (Monday). Software and developers are the focus of this event. New versions of Apple’s numerous operating systems, which run its phones, tablets, watches, computers, media players, and possibly more gadgets, are what the casual user should look forward to.
What are the Leaks of Mac mini Suggesting?
In addition to iOS 16, macOS 13, and other software improvements, B&H Photo, an Apple authorised reseller, has spurred some speculation this morning about what new hardware we might see during Apple’s WWDC presentation on Monday.
The reseller has built product pages for an unpublished M2 Mac mini and a purportedly all-new ‘Mac tiny tower’ device, which could be a reference to Apple’s upcoming Silicon Mac Pro.
The M2 is present in one of these supposed new machines, but the other appears to be an M1 Pro-powered variant. What’s more, the latter is referred to as a “tower,” whilst the former isn’t. It’s unclear what this apparent differentiation means, especially as most recent design leaks suggest a height drop if anything. B&H’s use of the name could simply be a typo; on the other hand, it is a well-known and well-respected Apple reseller.
As a result, it’s probable that only the new M2 variant will receive the expected new and flatter design, while the ‘Mac Mini Pro’ will receive a chassis.
What could be the Price of the New Mac mini?
The Mac mini starts at £699/$699, with an $899/£899 model available with extra storage. The Intel model starts at $1,099/£1,099. We expect an M1 Pro model to replace it.
With the arrival of the M1 Pro-powered variant, there’s a chance we’ll see a price increase. The difference between it and the $1,999/£1,999 Mac Studio with M1 Max would be narrowed with such a price increase. For people who want to buy the Mac Studio, Apple won’t want to make the Mac mini seem too appealing.
The 14in MacBook Pro with M1 Pro processor, which starts at $1,999/£1,899 (a full $500/£400 more than the most costly M1 model), is one area to search for indications as to how Apple might price this next Mac mini. With that in mind, we estimate a starting price of $1,399/£1,399 for the M1 Pro Mac mini.
Design of the New Mac mini
Since its introduction in 2005, the Mac mini has had a similar square form. According to renderings, the new Mac mini will shrink considerably more, to the point where it will be less than an inch tall. However, recent rumours about a more compact design appear to be related to the new Mac mini M2.
The Mac Studio seems to be a Mac mini from the front, however, it is a few inches taller. The M1 Max and M1 Ultra require more cooling, therefore the larger form factor allows for that.
On that basis, we don’t expect the M1 Pro Mac mini to have any design changes — it may even retain its Space Gray casing, which Apple frequently uses as a Pro badge.
Specifications of the New Mac mini
Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini with an M1 Pro CPU to replace the Intel-based model. Although the business is claimed to have been testing versions with both the M1 Max and the M1 Pro, we don’t expect to see the M1 Max or M1 Ultra included.
If the Mac mini gets an M1 Pro, it’ll probably have 8 or 10 CPU cores, similar to the MacBook Pro 14in and 16in.
14 or 16 GPU cores are available in the M1 Pro.
It is expected that the M1 Pro Mac mini to have the same amount of RAM as the M1 Pro MacBook Pro, which comes with 16GB as standard and can be expanded to 32GB.
Peripherals and Ports
Four Thunderbolt/USB-4 connections, two USB-A ports, ethernet, HDMI, and a 3.5mm headphone jack are all expected, similar to the current Intel-powered Mac mini.
Apple does not provide an Apple keyboard with the Mac mini; you must either supply your own or purchase one from Apple. That’s unlikely to change, but we do expect Apple to begin offering the new Apple keyboard with Touch ID as a Mac mini upgrade, maybe in a silver or space grey finish to match.
Apple fans are anticipating that the M1 Pro chip will improve the Mac mini, and there is one Mac mini that appears to be ripe for an M1 Pro update: the Apple Mac mini with an older Intel processor. Apple could have dropped this model when it released the Mac Studio, but it didn’t, implying an M1 Pro version of the Mac mini.