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New Mac mini (2018) Hands-On Video

Mac mini stack
Mac mini stack (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

I've been waiting for it. You've been waiting for it. The whole damn world has been waiting for it. And now, at long, long, last, Apple has held its "There's More in the Making" event in Brooklyn New York, it's finally here…

The new Mac mini!

1. Design

It's space gray. And that means Pro, right?

Otherwise the new Mac mini looks the same from the outside. It's even the same size casing, so you can literally pull a previous generation model out and push a new one in.

Mac mini setup with audio system

Mac mini setup with audio system (Image credit: iMore)

That may not matter so much if it's just on or under your desk, but if it's in your stack or by the hundreds or thousands in server racks, it means a lot.

2. Performance

Mac mini hasn't been updated in so long any spec bump would have gone a long way. With Intel's Coffee Lake, it goes pretty much all the way. You can get quad or 6-core intel i5 or i7 processors, which are night and day ahead of what was there before.

Mac mini

Mac mini (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

There's a new thermal system to keep it all cool inside that tiny enclosure, including new vents and a new power supply.

You can go up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory and up to 2 TB of super-fast flash storage.

It's also got the Apple T2 security chip for secure boot, real time encryption, Secure Enclave, and the new, consolidated controller architecture.

Like with MacBook Air, it makes Intel better than Intel alone, and in a way no other PC maker can currently match.

3. Scalability

Once upon a time the Mac mini was the switcher's machine. You put it on your desk, added you own display, keyboard, and mouse, and you were good to go.

Now switchers want notebooks, but the Mac mini.... the pros want those. And a lot.

Add a Mac mini to your MacBook Pro and offload Compressor work to a Mac Mini or half dozen. Sit on the beach with your MacBook Air, hit a button, and build and deploy on your Mac mini.

Or, you know, just fill your server room with them. They're not the new Mac Pro. They're not meant to be. They're meant to be everywhere around it.

4. Recycled

Like the MacBOok Air, the coolest new feature of the Mac Mini is that it's made of 100% recycled aluminum.

Which is fantastic. It won't save the earth. The earth will be fine with or without us. But it might just keep us on the earth a little longer.

5. Pricing & Availability

The new Mac mini is available for pre-order now and ships next week. It starts at $799, fully $200 more than the previous Mac mini and if you add all the processor, memory, storage, and ethernet options, can jump past $4000.

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Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

9 Comments
  • From the keynote it looked like the RAM was user upgradable with standard SO-DIMMS, but is the SSD user upgradable? It lists as being a standard PCIe one, but the keynote pics made it look like it's just flash RAM soldered direct to the board.
  • How do you offload work to the mac mini from a MBP, locally and remotely?
  • This isn't a switcher product anymore. If it was, it would have had a lower price.
    This makes me wonder if they are encouraging more to use the iPad as their entry into Apple Services, over Desktop / Laptop products. I was looking at replacing my 2012 MM, but I think I'll just upgrade the hard drive, pump some more memory into it (again), and run it for another couple of years. The workflow I have is not processor demanding (the odd Audio Transcode, and Garageband Podcasting), so it can wait for another 2/3/4 years.
  • I believe Apple are encouraging people to use the iPad, it is increasingly able to do more and more things. There are many people using iPads for work now, it all depends on what you need to do
  • I am disappointed by the core i3 base model for $800. It's a very anaemic CPU at that price and looks like a bait and switch marketing plan; getting a decent CPU with enough RAM and storage doubles the base price—not what I expect from top maker like Apple. Shame on Schiller.
  • the prices they are charging for the maxed out version of both the mini and the air are ridiculous. 1500 bucks for a 2tb updgrade that cost them less than 100 bucks to buy. NOPE. I shall be sticking to my windows computer and apple mobile devices. Apple really need to check their heads. This is an ENTRY LEVEL device, to get new users onto their ecosystem. over 4g Canadian for a maxed out entry level computer is redonkulous. Another thing they should have done is incorporate the touchbar into both their desktop keyboard and the air. Move that system onto every keyboard equipped device. ****, make a new ipad keyboard with it as well. extra functionality is ALWAYS better.
  • Apple prices have always been ridiculous, even the original MacBook Air price was far more than other laptops at the time. Apple have pushed the price up on all their products recently, so it was expected that the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini were going to cost more.
  • Costing more is one thing....being way out to lunch is another. 1500 bucks for a 2 tb upgrade on the mini...Seriously. thats ridiculous. When I bought my sons macbook air it was about the same cost as the xps of similar build. NOT ANYMORE!
  • For all the years waiting for a update, this was not the update I hoped for. Going from $599 for the base model here in Canada to $999 now. What the ****? Apple is making me sick lately. I know this fast storage probably pushed the price up since before you could still just get a spinning HD instead and were not forced to get flash storage like now. Glad at least you can add RAM as you can afford it over time. Really not happy with this price almost doubling though. So much geared toward pros now. Gone is the way to get a Mac for under $1,000. I just sold my 2015 MacBook Air even for what apple was offering which was $400 yet its still selling for $1,000 refurbished on their site. How apple never discounts older models is disgusting. I'm starting to feel quite bitter being a apple user. I love the OS so don't feel I can switch to PC. At home using two Mac mini's one from 2012 and the other 2014. I don't see much of a future of upgrades for me. I would of never been able to get those Mac mini's if prices were what they are now.