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Mac Mini 2022 - news, rumors, and everything we know

A revamped Apple Mac Mini for 2022 is hotly anticipated, so like you, TechRadar's editors were surprised it didn't appear at Apple&...

A revamped Apple Mac Mini for 2022 is hotly anticipated, so like you, TechRadar's editors were surprised it didn't appear at Apple's Peek Performance event on March 8. 

We did see something else for fans of the Apple desktop line: the Mac Studio, featuring the new M1 Ultra SoC (system-on-a-chip), designed with creative professionals in mind. But something is clearly brewing: Convincing new rumors say Apple is testing nine new Mac models ahead of WWDC with brand-spanking new M2 silicon chips -- and that includes a new Mac Mini. 

It's been almost two years since Apple released the Mac Mini (M1), powered by the Apple M1 chip alongside the Apple MacBook Air (2020) and 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2020). So a new model – possibly powered by the same M2 chip that could also appear in the rumored MacBook Air (2022) – is definitely due.

The mini-PC impressed us when we reviewed it in 2020, and the M1 chip powering it showed itself to be a pretty competent performer overall. Still, a home PC is a pretty big piece of kit. Can a revamped 2022 Mac Mini win over converts beyond the device's fanbase? Here's everything we know so far.

Apple Mac Mini (2022): cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's next-generation mini-PC
  • When is it out? Expected late 2022 or 2023
  • What will it cost? Unknown, but likely similar to current pricing (starting at $699 / £699 / AU$1,099)

Latest News

April 15:  Apple is testing a whole bunch of new Macs that are powered by its next-gen M2 chip -- including a new Mac Mini.

April 14: A firmware update for Apple’s new Studio Display references a product marked as Macmini10,1, which apparently is a model ID not used for any of the existing Mac product lines.

March 13: Bo-ring! Well-respected and (usually very well-informed) Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the upcoming Mac Mini will keep the existing form factor - and will show up in 2023. :-(

March 09: At its Spring "Peek Performance" event, Apple unveiled a new M1 Ultra chipset, the iPad Air 2022, the iPhone SE 2022, the fancy Mac Studio, and more! But no Mac Mini, unfortunately.

More of the latest Mac Mini tidbits ▼

Feb. 21: Seven new Mac models will be released in 2022, says Mark Gurman, all featuring some version of the Apple silicon processors. Including a new Mac Mini.

March 04: With an Apple event right around the corner, there's a lot of attention being paid to rumors of new MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones. But a new M2-powered Mac Mini could be the star in the show, writes TechRadar's John Loeffler.

Aug. 23, 2021: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that the M1X Mac mini could launch “in the next few months.” Could that mean Apple will have a massive announcement event planned for September?

Release date and price

Mac mini

(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Mac Mini (2022) hasn't even been announced yet, so there's no official release date that we can confirm. The last Mac Mini (M1) was released in late 2020, so going off Apple's typical 18 to 24 product release cadence, we expected it to be announced at the March 2022 event, but sadly this wasn't the case. It's still likely we could see it announced before the end of the year though if Apple does have plans to release an M2 SoC.

The 2020 models of both products were announced at the same time, and both feature the M1 chip. There are also a lot of rumors that the 13-inch MacBook Pro won't see a major redesign, which might be reserved for a new MacBook Air reveal later this year. 

If that is true, then it may make sense for the Mac Mini with M2 to be announced alongside the 13-inch MacBook Pro since there's much less excitement around a Mac Mini redesign than there is for a MacBook. 

After all, announcing two new M2-powered devices that don't feature major redesigns is better than announcing just the one, and if the Mini were to only get internal improvements, swapping out the M1 for the M2 would make mass production significantly simpler.

More recent rumors from well-placed sources suggest that Apple might have decided to push back the Mac Mini 2022 to 2023 – and if that turns out to be the case, we're going to have to stop referring to it as the Mac Mini 2022.

Design

Apple Mac mini (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Future)

One of the major advantages to the Mac Mini is its size, which is perfect for those who need a home PC but don't want a large PC case or an all-in-one computer like the latest iMac. But will that change?

There has been a lot of talk about the potential redesign of Apple's MacBook Air (2022) as well as the lack of redesign for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Which side of things do we expect the Mac Mini to come down on?

It's a hard question to answer, unfortunately: since there is less interest in seeing a Mac Mini redesign, there's less incentive for Apple to redesign the Mac Mini. However, one of the reasons why the lack of a redesign for the 13-inch MacBook Pro makes a lot of sense is that the 13-inch MacBook Pro might be discontinued after this year in favor of the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021).

If you're going to continue to release a product, and we don't expect the Mac Mini to be discontinued any time soon, then it's almost certain that it will have to get a redesign (albeit, nothing major) to fit in with other Mac products that do, namely the iMac, and presumably the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch.

The rumor mill has gone both ways on this, but earlier leaks hinting that a change in form factor was on the cards have since been shot down by other sources. We'll have to wait and see what the Mac Mini 2022 looks like.

Specs and performance

There's not much we can say specifically about the Mac Mini's specs without knowing the Apple chip that runs it, but we do expect that it will have the same 8GB/16GB Unified Memory configuration options, with anywhere from a 256GB SSD up to a 2TB SSD.

We also expect the number and types of ports to stay more or less the same, but we're hoping for an upgrade to USB-C Thunderbolt 4 from the existing Thunderbolt 3. Same goes for upgrades in the way of HDMI 2.1 and a DisplayPort 1.4 output, but with Thunderbolt 4, those ports might not be necessary anyway, so they might get the axe with a new Mac Mini.

That might shift around our list of best monitors for the Mac Mini, but something tells us this isn't much of a concern for Apple.

As for the chips powering the new device, that's where things can get interesting.

There is some buzz that we won't just see an M2-powered Mac Mini, but we might also see an M1 Pro and even an outside chance of an M1 Max-powered Mac Mini. 

These latter two might be more for professionals rather than home PCs, but the possibility could give the Mac Mini much broader appeal, especially since it might allow consumers of all stripes to access the performance of an M1 Pro and M1 Max at a more accessible price point than you'd get with a MacBook Pro.



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