When is the new Mac mini coming out? We've scoured the net to bring you Macworld UK's best guess of the new Mac mini's release date, specs and UK price.
When is the new Mac mini coming out?
The Mac mini is Apple's smallest desktop PC. A full-blown OS X desktop that fits into a self-contained chassis no bigger than a set-top box. An inexpensive living room Mac that lacks the power of even some MacBooks and comes with no keyboard, mouse or display, but one that works perfectly as the centre of your digital home. The Mac mini is now the only Mac left in Apple's range not to have been updated this year (well aside from the Mac Pro, and we know that will be updated in December). So we're expecting Apple to announce a new Mac mini in the next few weeks.
This should be the Intel Haswell Mac mini: a more powerful, but less power-hungry PC running one of Intel's fourth generation Core processors - better known as 'Haswell'. Apple has given nothing away about the putative new Mac mini. But as so often is the case that hasn't stopped tonnes of reliable information leaking out. In this story we round up the latest information based on what we deem to be credible information, and our own analysis of Apple rumours. We'll update this story as we go, so keep checking back. And when Apple makes its announcement we can all have a good laugh at how wrong we were.
New Mac mini release date
We're pretty confident that Apple will announce the new Mac mini in the next few weeks, but we don't know when. Anyone who tells you they do know is fibbing. The Mac mini is due a refresh, having been updated to quad-core processors a year ago, and with Intel launching a major refresh in the intervening time. The MacBook Air got a Haswell refresh in June, the iMac in September, the MacBook Pro was updated in October, and the Mac Pro is due it's long awaited update in December. That leaves only the Mac mini on an older generation of Intel processor. This will change soon.
New Mac mini specs
And here's what you will be able to buy. For one thing the new Mac mini will run OS X Mavericks, version 10.9 of the Mac OS.
Mavericks includes more than 200 new features and helps to bring OS X closer to iOS. You'll find a revamped Finder with tabs and tags for easier file management. Critical for the Mac mini is better support for multiple displays - you could use the Mac mini as a media hub linking to PC display and TV. In Mavericks you'll also find new apps such as Maps and iBooks.
We're not expecting a major visual or build redesign. But on the hardware side the move to Haswell means a couple of things. Haswell processors will boost general speed, to an extent. But much more important is their effect on graphics performance. According to Intel its Iris integrated graphics are able to double or triple the performance of existing Ivy Bridge chips, so the Mac mini should become a viable games machine for all but the most graphics intense games.
Another significant upgrade is 802.11ac Wi-Fi. So-called 'Gigabit' Wi-Fi offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. This doesn't mean your broadband will reach speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, but it does mean that the Mac mini won't be the bottle-neck in your home network.
Expect enhanced flash-storage options, and an enhanced connectivity lineup including Thunderbolt, Firewire, USB 3.0, SDXC card and HDMI.
New Mac mini price in UK
Despite its reputation for scalping consumers Apple makes excellent use of the falling price of components to maintain its margin without adding to the price to consumers. The most recent upgrade of the Mac mini saw the price remain the same, and in a time of low inflation we expect this trend to continue.
So the new Mac mini should cost around £499 inc VAT for the basic model, rising to £679 inc VAT for the model with 1TB storage.