Mac mini 2018: what we want to see

Mac mini 2018

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new Mac Mini. And, while you’d be forgiven for thinking that Apple’s silence was the tiniest Mac’s death knell, we’re still optimistic that a new Mac Mini is on the way.

Sure, we didn’t get a Mac Mini in 2017, but Apple CEO Tim Cook himself reassured fans that Apple would still support the Mac Mini, so we might actually see it this year.

While we were expecting the new Mac Mini at WWDC 2018, that didn’t happen. However famed Apple Analyst Ming Chi Kuo has predicted that the rumored Mac Mini 2018 will be coming out this year, alongside a wave of other Macs. So, maybe the new Mac Mini will show up soon.

Right now, we have absolutely no official information about the new Mac Mini. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a bit of speculation. So, read on to find out everything there is to know about the elusive Mac Mini 2018. And, be sure to keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll keep it updated with all the latest information.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A new version of Apple’s compact Mac
  • When is it out?  Between October and November 2018
  • What will it cost? Hopefully around the price of previous models

Mac mini 2018

Mac mini 2018 release date

Just like other Apple products, we haven’t got a solid release date for the Mac Mini 2018. Rumors have been scarce, too, so we’re going to have to do a bit of speculation, but now that Apple has become the world’s first trillion dollar company, we expect it’ll celebrate with new products soon.

The last Mac Mini launched on October 16, 2014, so a fall release date for the new Mac Mini falls in line. 

A lot of the speculation had pointed towards an announcement at Apple’s iPhone XS event, but that’ didn’t happen. Right now, we’d have to put our money on Apple holding a special Mac hardware event sometime in October. This is likely due to the CPU shortage that Intel is experiencing. 

We don’t know when the new Mac Mini is going to be announced, at the end of the day, but Apple has kept a tight lid on when and if the Mac Mini will exist. Either way, stay locked to TechRadar as we’ll keep this article updated with all the latest information.

Mac mini 2018 price

Again, we haven’t heard much about the potential price of the Mac mini 2018 just yet, but that’s to be expected, as pricing rumors usually begin to circulate closer to the release date.

But, could the price of previous Mac minis give us a clue to what the price of any new Mac minis would be?

The lowest spec Mac mini cost $499 (£399, around AU$650) when it launched in 2014, with the middle Mac mini costing cost $699 (£569, around AU$900) and the top-of-the range Mac mini came with a $999 (£569, around AU$1,300) price tag.

Either way, you should be prepared to pay a bit more for the new Mac Mini whenever it does get revealed, as computing components have gone up in price considerably since 2014.

Mac mini 2018

 What we want to see in Mac mini 2018 

While we don’t know a lot about the Mac Mini 2018 right now, we do know what we want to see from the refreshed device. However, we’re expecting to find out what’s inside the miniature Mac tomorrow, so check back for all the latest. Until then, read on to check out our wish list of what we want to see out of a new Mac Mini. 

1. An attractive new design

Honestly, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the current Mac Mini’s design, but if we’re going to get the first major refresh in nearly four years, we’d love to see a nice makeover as well. Thinner, smaller and quieter – is that too much to ask? We don’t think so.

An old rumor from early 2017 suggested that the high-end Mac mini ‘won’t be so mini anymore’ which led people to assume more powerful components will be added, requiring more room for better cooling.

However, this rumor is quite vague, so we’d urge caution when taking this completely at face value.

Of course, powerful components will mean more heat produced, so a redesigned Mac mini isn’t out of the question, but as Apple has shown with the iMac and iMac Pro, it’s a dab hand at putting powerful components into svelte devices and keep them cool.

2. A power boost

One of the things we'd most like to see from a Mac mini 2018 is an upgrade to its components, which would make it a formidable mini machine to compete with other small form factor PCs like the Asus VivoMini and Intel NUC, which have been upgraded to 7th- and 8th-generation Intel Core processors, respectively. 

To begin, the new Mac Mini straight up needs a newer processor than the 4th-generation silicon in the current model. Refreshing the silicon to, say, 8th-generation Whiskey Lake, would open the new Mac Mini to a world of possibilities, including Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.2 and 4K video – not to mention a major power boost over the old one.

RAM-wise, the previous Mac mini came with 4GB, and while that could remain, we’d like to see a base 8GB of RAM, as with the MacBook Air

2. Mouse and keyboard included

While the Mac mini has a reputation for being the most compact and economical Apple computer around, it’s also known for its lack of included (yet essential) accessories. The Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard can only be purchased separately from the Mac mini itself. That means you’ll have to shell out an additional cost for parts that are required to use it.

A recent patent filed by Apple suggests that the company is interested in bringing spill-free and crumb-resistant keyboards to its MacBooks. We would argue that this guard structure technology, designed to “keep contaminants from reaching the innards of the machine” would be a useful addition to the Mac mini as well.

3.  4K support 

Wouldn’t it be great if the Mac mini 2018 could also act as an alternative to the Apple TV? For that to happen, the Mac mini 2018 would need to be a capable 4K machine – something previous models were decidedly not.

Thankfully, as we mentioned earlier, if the new Mac mini is going to feature recent Intel processors, then the integrated graphics should give it enough graphical power to handle 4K.

Earlier iteration of the Mac Mini aren’t quite capable of handling 4K content. This was of course due to hardware limitations of the time, coupled with Apple’s desire to keep the Mac Mini as an entry-level device, price-wise.

However, in 2018 even budget processors come with integrated graphics that are powerful enough to render 4K interfaces and play ultra high definition content from Netflix and iTunes, so we want to see Apple make use of this technology in any new Mac mini that it produces. 

4.  For it to actually exist 

At the end of the day, we can speculate about what the Mac Mini 2018 may look like until our hands bleed, but none of that matters if it doesn’t exist in the first place. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an update to the Mac Mini and Apple has a lot to gain from a market where it’s starting to see more competition than ever before. 

If Apple can put out a Mac Mini that improves and innovates on its design, they might end up with one of the best multimedia PCs on the market. So, let’s just hope that Tim Cook’s stated support of the Mac mini means that the Cupertino behemoth has something up its sleeves.   

  • These are the best Macs that 2018 has to offer so far

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this report