Apple took the wraps off its long-awaited Mac mini refresh at its iPad and Mac keynote on Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York.
The new Mac mini comes in a sleek Space Gray enclosure and boasts up to five times the performance of its aging predecessor, which was released way back in 2014.
While the device doesn’t actually carry a Pro moniker, it’s plain to see that the new Mac mini is aimed at the pro market.
It comes with various processor options, including quad-core and six-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.6GHz. Memory-wise, it can pack up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM. That’s a vast improvement over the last iteration of the device.
All new Mac mini models now sport flash storage, with configuration options up to 2TB. This SSD-based storage is also up to 4 times faster than previous Mac mini drives, so expect performance bumps here, too.
The Mac mini refresh also sports Intel UHB graphics, Apple’s proprietary T2 chipset, Gigabit-compatible Ethernet (with up to a 10Gb Ethernet option), four Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, two standard USB-A ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an HDMI port.
These new port options will allow the Mac mini to output video in three formats, connect to 4K and 5K Thunderbolt-based displays, and connect to high-speed storage devices.
The T2 chip, which has also been featured in recent MacBook Pro models and Apple’s iMac Pro powerhouse, also comes with its own suite of capabilities.
It sports an SSD controller that allows for on-the-fly data encryption. In other words, everything you store on the Mac mini’s all-flash SSD can be automatically encrypted for security. It also packs a Secure Enclave that ensures that boot-loaded software hasn’t been compromised.
The T2 chip could also help enhance workflow performance, since it features HEVC video transcoding that’s up to 30 times faster than previous generations.
The desktop’s aforementioned Space Gray enclosure, which matches recent MacBook and iMac Pro devices, is also made out of 100 percent recycled aluminum alloy. The Apple-designed alloy boasts the same strength, durability and finish as the enclosures for other Apple devices, but is a lot greener.
There’s also a newly redesigned thermal system that allows for quiet cooling but with double the airflow. Perfect for demanding tasks.
Mac mini devices are popular among users for their versatility. From desktop usage to server farms, the Mac mini offers a lot of capabilities to many different workflows — and that’s especially true for this refreshed model.
The base tier of Mac mini starts at $799, which nets you a 3.6GHz Intel quad-core Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
That’s a few hundred dollars more than the previous base tier, which started at $499. But the new Mac mini’s significantly enhanced performance means that you’re getting a lot more Mac for the price.
Orders for the new Mac mini kick off today. The refreshed computer should be available starting next week, Nov. 7.