It’s been about a year and a half since Apple introduced two Mac mini models with the M1 chip (reviewed here: M1 Mac mini review). The Mac mini starts at $699 / £699 and offers the exact same processor and graphics options as more expensive MacBook and iMac options. Of all the M1 Macs Apple offers, the Mac mini is our favorite, as we believe it offers the best in specs along with a low price.
Now that Apple has launched an M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro, attention is focused on the Mac mini, which has been neglected in that update round. Mac fans are now wondering when Apple will update the Mac mini with an M2 chip. In this article, we’ll look at what the M2 Mac mini has to offer and when it will launch.
Apparently Apple is working on the new M2 Mac mini. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that Apple is testing an M2 Mac mini, codenamed J473, with eight CPU cores and 10 GPU cores. Gurman also indicated that Apple is testing a Mac mini with an M1 Pro, codenamed J374, and an M1 Max Mac mini, but this model may not ship. We’re discussing the M1 Pro Mac mini separately, so if that’s the Mac mini upgrade you’re most interested in, read: New Mac mini 2022 with M1 Pro: What you need to know.
Mac mini M2: release date
An M2 Mac mini is expected in 2022 – maybe in October.
Apple introduced the M1 chip in the Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13in MacBook Pro at the One More Thing event on November 10, 2020. Two of those Macs now have M2 chips, so what about the Mac mini? With the M1 Mac mini approaching its two-year anniversary, the release of an M2 Mac mini in the fall of 2022 doesn’t just seem likely, it looks late.
However, we can wait until 2023. In March 2022, an unverified Twitter account belonging to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that a new Mac mini will be released in 2023. He doesn’t give any details, but it’s possible that this 2023 Mac mini is the M2 Mac mini.
Mac mini M2: design
The Mac mini has had a similar square design since Apple introduced it in 2005, over time it has gotten thinner, lost the CD drive and changed color. According to reports, the next Mac mini could get a brand new look.
Jon Prosser claimed in June 2021 that the next Mac mini will shrink even further, allowing it to grow to less than an inch in height. The body can also get a change. Although the Mac mini has had an aluminum chassis since 2010, Apple is reportedly considering a “plexiglass” top, according to Prosser. That could mean Apple will bring a little spice to the Mac mini, which is currently limited to silver and space gray.
Prosser shared the news in a May 2021 issue of Front Page Tech, embedded below:
It should be noted that Prosser has been wrong before – he’s had some big hits, but his misses were one so severe that he had to shave his eyebrows – so the information has to be taken with a grain of salt. AppleTrack currently gives it an accuracy score of 74.2% (that score is constantly changing). Learn more about the Apple goodies in our roundup: the Apple goodies worth following.
Ian Zelbo made some illustrations based on Prosser’s findings. The renders indicate that the new mini will come in silver and white, rather than one of the new bright color options seen on the 24-inch iMac. These renderings are based on information from Prosser’s sources, but they may still give you a good idea of what Apple might reveal.
Render by Ian
Prosser isn’t alone in expecting a new Mac mini. In August 2021, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the Mac mini will have “an updated design and more ports than the current model.”
Finally, the round rubber pad on the bottom of the new Mac mini would be replaced by two horizontal strips, as we see on the bottom of the 24-inch iMac stand.
However, there may not be a redesign in the pipeline. In March 2022, a tweet from an account purporting to be for analyst Ming-Cho Kuo stated that the 2023 Mac mini will have the same shape and design as the current model.
Mac mini M2: Specifications
The Mac mini will likely get the same M2 chip found in the 2022 MacBook Air and 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro.
CPU: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
GPU: 8-core or 10-core GPU
Up to 24 GB unified memory
To learn more about the M2 chip, read: Apple M2 Chip: Everything You Need to Know.
Current Mac mini models offer two USB-4/Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, as well as Ethernet and a headphone port. It is likely that this will be implemented in the new iteration. The M1 Pro version of the Mac mini could get two additional Thunderbolt/USB-C ports for a total of four.
Prosser says the new mini probably won’t bring back the SDXC card slot that appeared on the MacBook Pro and Mac Studio.
Mac mini M2: price
Currently, the M1 Mac mini is priced as follows:
M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 256GB: $699 / £699
M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 512GB: $899 / £899
It’s possible Apple will do the same as it did with the MacBook Air, keeping the M1 Mac mini for $699 / £699, while introducing two new M2 models to replace the $899 and $1,099 options. However, we hope that Apple will include an M1 Pro or M2 Pro model in the lineup.