Apple has announced an event taking place in Brooklyn, New York, October 30th 2018 with several source suggesting new iPads and MacBooks.
Apple has tagged the event “there’s more in the making!” However as well as anticipated updates to the iPad Pro and a new lower priced MacBook Pro to come into the lineup under the MacBook Pro 12”, both Fortune and the Verge make mention of a new Mac mini with a pro spec.
What Sources Are Saying About A Mac mini ‘Pro’
“The new Mac mini desktop will focus on professional users.”
The Verge also made mention of the new Mac mini;
“a new Mac mini is in development…Apple is aiming the upcoming desktop at power users, app developers, and customers who’ve used the Mini as a home theater PC.”
The Mac mini has been used by many in home studios, especially the earlier i7 server models because of the power that could be achieved from the unit.
If as suggested Apple are about to launch a Mac mini for professional users then it should be well received by the recording community, especially if Apple give users the opportunity to upgrade things like RAM and hard drives after purchase.
Writing for Bloomberg in August 2017, Mark Gurman wrote;
“Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac mini in about four years. It's a Mac desktop that doesn't include a screen, keyboard, or mouse in the box and costs $500. The computer has been favored because of its lower price, and it's popular with app developers, those running home media centers, and server farm managers. For this year's model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions.”
Mac mini 2018 Pro Spec
No spec or price has been mentioned at this point, but if Apple get those things right then it could be a winner.
New Features In The Mac mini 2018 Update
Questions worth asking;
Will it be the same square case as in previous versions?
Will there be Thunderbolt 3/USB C connectivity, perhaps even like the MacBook Pro just that and nothing else?
If so then expect a sexy dock. However it’s unlikely given that the Mac mini has no screen, keyboard or mouse that Apple would simply give it the same connections as the MacBook Pro. Our guess is the connectivity will be an updated version if the current array, see the image above, but expect updates to Thunderbolt 3.
Will Apple make it easy to upgrade RAM and SSD?
Unlikely, but then again the Mac mini server version has options to replace both so Apple may return to that option, especially on a machine aimed at the pro market.
Will cooling reflect the need of audio professionals of a quiet machine?
The Mac mini has never been a loud machine so cooling should be similar and improved on the current models.
Will we be able to rack mount the unit?
About as likely as it having Windows installed instead of macOS.
Will we be able to fit HDX cards inside it?
Sorry bad joke.
One thing to be aware of is that when Apple say pro that don’t mean ‘music and video’, too often those in the creative community make this assumption and then feel aggrieved when a pro model lacks some features specifically aimed at the segment.
How much is the Mac mini 2018?
No mention of pricing right now, but if Apple is making a Mac mini for pro users then expect it to have a faster processor, more RAM and a larger hard drive, all these cost money. Some are suggesting that rather than a sub £500 price tag the new Mac mini 2018 is likely to be priced at the higher end of the current range so between £899-£999.
This would still make the Mac mini less than the cost of a high spec iMac and so fit well into the current Apple lineup of desktop computers, in fact it would make the Mac mini 2018 the lowest priced Apple Mac in the current range.