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Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini in the fall of 2022 with a complete redesign, M2 or M2 Pro processors, and more ports. Here's everything that's been rumored so far, and what it may look like.
The Mac mini was among the first Macs to receive an M1 processor, and now, it could be one of the first to get the M2. Apple also never replaced the high-end Intel-based Mac mini, so rumors expect a new model with at least an M2 Pro to be announced at some point in the future.
Rumors surrounding the updated Mac mini have been scarce, with rumors initially suggesting a "pro" version of the machine would be announced in the spring. However, Apple instead announced the Mac Studio with M1 Max and M1 Ultra and left the Mac mini unchanged.
One early leak from Jon Prosser, who has been highly accurate with only a few missteps, has shown the most detailed look at the redesigned Mac mini so far. He claims the renders he shared are based on schematics leaked to him by an internal source at Apple.
According to Prosser, the new Mac mini would have a plexiglass-like top cover, use a thinner aluminum chassis, and have an underside with two rubber feet for support. The vent has been moved to the bottom, and there is no longer a plastic base for easy access to the internals.
On the back of the Mac mini, the leak showed a power button and magnetic power connector similar to the ones used on the 24-inch iMac. It also showed four USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. There is no headphone jack nor SD card slot, doubly confirmed by Prosser.
Prosser's design had the Thunderbolt ports too close together for cables to attach, and the magnetic power adapter seemed out of place on a small desktop. Even the Mac Studio doesn't use the new magnetic power adapter and it is much larger than the Mac mini.
The three-pronged power adapter would fit easily in the rear of a new Mac mini, and a magnetic connector doesn't seem to be solving any specific issues in the smaller desktop Mac. Despite these contradictions, Prosser and his render artist confirmed that this arrangement was precisely what was shown in the leaked documents.
The renders created by AppleInsider show the same port arrangement provided in Prosser's leaks. However, there is more space between the ports, and the USB-A ports have been turned on their side. No leaks have corroborated Prosser's renders, no further details about the redesign or ports have been provided by any source, and no updated schematics or renders have shown up since the Mac Studio was announced.
Apple may use the magnetic connector for power, but it will likely not need the same 143W power supply since the Mac mini doesn't have a display. Apple could use a smaller power supply or an internal one, thus making fitting an Ethernet port somewhere on the power cable impossible.
It is also worth noting that Apple doesn't include Ethernet on its low-end iMac power supply, but the 143W is still more than needed for the tiny desktop. These reasons could explain why the Mac mini render has both a magnetic power supply and an Ethernet port on the device.
The lack of a headphone jack is also odd, considering every Mac being sold today has a headphone jack. The Mac mini has an internal speaker, but not one meant for everyday audio use like music playback. The headphone jack in the Mac mini has always been useful for adding speakers or a set of headphones without having to deal with an adapter or dock.
Both Mark Gurman and leaker Dylandkt had previously stated the new Mac mini would get the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. But those rumors were circulated before the spring Apple event. Gurman also expects the new Mac mini to arrive alongside a new Mac Pro and suggested it could use an M2 processor if not the M1 Pro or M1 Max.
Some code found in the Studio Display firmware mentions a Mac mini model that isn't on the market, the "Macmini10,1." This could be the expected M2 or M2 Pro model rumored in a March leak with the code names J473 and J474 respectively. New hardware appearing in code doesn't mean a release is imminent, but it does confirm that Apple has a new model in production.
There isn't any consensus on what chips could arrive in the new Mac mini. Since Apple is expected to move onto the M2 processor in the fall, some expect that will be the next processor, but others still think Apple could release a Mac mini with the M1 Pro and M1 Max in the summer.
The new Mac mini is expected to be announced sometime in 2022. Stay tuned to AppleInsider for more information and new renders as additional leaks occur.