What's going on with the Mac mini, Apple's smallest desktop computer?

Updated April 2017: Added information from the Mac Pro interview and rumors from Pike's Universum.

The Mac mini hasn't been updated since October 2014, when it was made even more appliance-like than previous generations. Since then Apple's bring-your-own-mouse-keyboard-and-monitor Mac has been missing in action. Here's what we know.

Is the Mac mini dead?

Not yet: Apple executives hinted that the product still has a place in the company's lineup during its Mac Pro interview:

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. So we're focusing today specifically on the things that are important to pros. While there are some pro usage, there's also a lot of consumer uses so we aren't covering it today. The Mac Mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.

Are there any rumors at all about a new Mac mini?

A few. Pike's Universum claims that a new Mac mini is being worked on, though it "won't be so mini anymore. Well. The top model that is."

What do you want to see in a new Mac mini?

Mac mini is supposed to be the entry-level Mac desktop, but as MacBooks become the mainstream choice, there's room to do something... geekier. Appliance computing is all well and good but there's also something to be said for a computer than can grow with you.

Mac mini could be both. An easy to use starter system that can have new and better memory, drives, and perhaps even graphics that can expand over time, if and when you need them. Here's what we'd like to see:

  • USB C / Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Legacy USB-A, Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, and SD card ports.
  • Kaby Lake processors.
  • Quad-core processor option.
  • Graphics cards capable of supporting harder-core gaming and VR.
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID.
  • Space gray or matte black options.
  • Gold and rose gold options. (What?!)
  • Make it a mini tower — expandability, yo!

How about you?