2017 Mac Mini Refresh: Will It Happen?

Posted: Mar 24 2017, 5:35am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 24 2017, 9:34am CDT, in News | Apple

 
2017 Mac Mini Refresh: Will it Happen?

Intel Kaby Lake processors seem a shoe-in for an updated Mac Mini

When the Apple Store was down earlier this week for the unveiling of the slightly refreshed iPhone SE and new iPads. Many were hoping that Apple would also make some changes to its cheapest Mac computer, the Mac Mini. while no 2017 Mac Mini was unveiled, pricing on the current Mac Mini has fallen to some of the lowest pricing we have ever seen at $399.

The current Mac Mini has been on the market for a long time and the last update seen for the computer was back in 2014. The machine currently has a fourth gen 1.4GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB 5,400 rpm hard drive under the hood. It's powerful enough for basic tasks, but certainly not up to modern standards of similarly priced Windows machines.

The big question is what sort of upgrades will a 2017 Mac Mini bring, assuming that Apple doesn't completely abandon the platform. I think Apple will continue to make the mini, after all there are lots of people who want into the Mac ecosystem, but certainly don't want to pay the price a Mac Pro costs and don't want a MacBook.

A refreshed 2017 Mac Mini would get the latest generation processors under the hood, perhaps something in Intel Kaby Lake flavor. Upgrades would also have to include storage, likely going to larger capacity 7,200 rpm hard drives with the option for a SSD on higher-end models. More RAM would be a safe bet as well, most modern machines today have at least 6GB of RAM and people prefer more when available. Options for more RAM would certainly be offered.

Availability for those Kaby Lake processors appropriate for the Mac mini could account for the delay in refresh according to MacWorld UK. Appropriate Kaby Lake processors in enough bulk could still be months away. With Kaby Lake supporting things like Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2 along with 4K video, it would be a safe bet that any upgraded Mini would offer that connectivity.

An updated graphics card could make the Mac VR ready, but with VR still mostly tied to gaming, something that Apple isn't big on for its computers, this one might be a bit of a stretch. New and more power efficient hardware that also generates less heat could mean a smaller 2017 Mac Mini.

There is also the chance that Apple will simply discontinue the Mac Mini, the line is certainly neglected and Apple appears to be gearing up to shed the mini moniker. Apple really only wants to sell high end products to maintain those all-important margins. That said, I still think the Mini will continue on, but Apple has never seemed keen on making the machine a priority.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

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