Remember when Apple cared about the Mac mini? That sure was a long time ago. Over the past few years, the Cupertino-based tech giant seemed intent on forgetting its portable, entry-level desktop unit. Even its current iteration, released October 2014, was panned by critics and users alike for the inability of its internals to be manually upgraded. Fortunately, Apple has recently broken its silence about the ubiquitous Mac mini, with Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller stating that the firm considers the little machine as an important product.
“On that I’ll say the Mac mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren’t bringing it up because it’s more of a mix of consumer with some pro use. The Mac mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.”
While Schiller’s statement has assured Apple’s avid fans that the desktop is not going away anytime soon, it remains to be seen how the Cupertino-based tech giant would implement the upcoming updates to the Mac mini, according to an Apple Insider report. Speculations are high, however, that the improvements to the device would be comprised of an overall spec bump.
— iPhone Hacks (@iPhoneHackx) April 5, 2017
One thing that the Mac mini 2017 is expected to get is a new, improved processor. The current iteration of the Mac mini, after all, still uses an extremely outdated Intel Haswell chip. While the chances of Apple equipping the next-generation Mac mini with an Intel Kaby Lake processor are extremely slim, there is a pretty good chance that the upcoming 2017 machine would come fitted with a Skylake processor instead, similar to those found in the 2016 MacBook Pro, according to a MacWorld report.
Skylake chips are not the best processors available today, as its successors, the Kaby Lake chips, have already been released to the market. Nevertheless, the processors present a decent and notable upgrade from the mini’s current specs, which is something that users of the portable desktop unit would most likely appreciate. A Core i5 Skylake chip, for example, could still provide users with a decent computing experience, which would be just right considering the Mac mini’s target demographic.
Apart from an improved processor, rumors are also high that the new 2017 Mac mini would be given a memory bump. Currently, the entry-level variant of the device is equipped with a measly 4GB of RAM, which is extremely lacking since the machine runs the full version of macOS. With Apple standardizing 8GB of memory in its laptops, it appears safe to assume that the Cupertino-based tech giant would implement the same strategy with its desktop computers as well.
— AppleInsider (@appleinsider) April 4, 2017
An entry-level Mac mini with 8GB of RAM would not be revolutionary, but it would be robust enough to provide users with a desktop experience far better than what its current iteration could offer. If any, it would enable everyday users to stream media and create basic content without any hiccups from the portable machine.
The 2017 Mac mini is also rumored to embrace USB-C technology. Apple appears set on being one of the firms at the forefront of the USB-C revolution. Thus, it would make perfect sense for the Cupertino-based tech giant would release a revamped Mac mini 2017 with a number of USB-C ports.
The release date for the Mac mini 2017 remains unknown, though speculations are high that the device would be released at some point in the year. Initial predictions pointed to a possible March 2017 release, but the month has come and gone. With this, updated speculations are predicting that the next-generation Mac mini would be unveiled sometime around October 2017, together with the 2017 MacBook Pro refresh and a newer, more powerful 12-inch MacBook.
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