Will Apple’s next-gen Mac mini be a lot more mini than ever before?

“When it first launched in 2005, the Mac mini was almost unimaginably small,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac.

“The original aim of the machine was to convert owners of desktop Windows machines,” Lovejoy writes. “Because those people already owned monitors, keyboards and other peripherals, selling them just the computer itself would enable them to switch to Mac for far less than the cost of buying an iMac.”

Lovejoy writes, “A system unit that measured just 6.5 inches square and only 2-inches thick was an incredible feat of engineering. Today, however, it looks rather less impressive.”

Read more in the full article here.

30 Comments

    1. Sage-safe guess.

      Knowing Bob Mansfield could halve it with every iteration—I gave up the hope for a ‘short stack’ midrange tower tricked out with half the peripherals found in the Mac Pro and just as capable—one has to ask, what’s being omitted for the sake of this race to the bottom over size?

      The mini could easily replace the iMac, which is already being undermined by the iPad platform, so I say build a midrange Mac Pro and drop the name “mini”.

      Mini as in minimalist, was apropos when it was a niche product, like the TV, which has been a moving target for years, but with the advent of larger and more capable iPads, it might be time to end the mini and iMac to produce iServe, an extremely functional home computer to dovetail with Apple’s current investment in networking infrastructure?

      The all-in-one desktop would be at the top of my list of things to cut because it cannibalizes iPad screens; a 24-inch iMac eats two 12-inch iPad sales and price is no longer a differentiating factor anymore.

      Instead of mini by half, keep it the same size, change the form factor to the size of a can of coke and beef it up to play Warcraft in 4K.

      1. To make it able to play World of Warcraft, they’d have to put a dedicated graphics card, which is something that Apple seems reluctant to do, since they stopped making Mac Mini’s with dedicated graphics cards a year or so ago. The only new Macs that have dedicated graphics cards are the iMac and the Mac Pro. Although, an Apple TV-sized Mac Mini that’s capable of playing World of WarCraft or StarCraft II in 4K would be awesome. There may be an integrated graphics card that can handle 4K, but integrated graphics cards are really bad for gaming. With an integrated card, the graphics get choppy every time you play, and the game doesn’t fare much better either.

        1. “To make it able to play World of Warcraft, they’d have to put a dedicated graphics card,…”

          Let me stop you right there. In my dream there is a AMD FirePro D300 in the new model.

          Instead of dumbing down, in scope and size, the Mac mini needs to be beefed up to compete with anything that isn’t a Mac Pro.

    2. They would not want to.

      Besides, this opinion article is stupid. It compares area of devices, not volute. Mac mini is much less tall than what the opinion authors compares it to. “Porky” are those other competing devices, not Mac mini.

  1. Someone shake Timber to see if he is awake and breathing. Then give him the same test protocol they give to running backs to see if they have a concussion after a hard blow to the head. Start with ‘what day is it Timber?’.

  2. Thats right and next you will be able to just sit down at your desk with your phone in your pocket and start typing on your wireless keypad and big screen.

    1. It can already – AND still use touch input of the screen to command the mini. Use an app called air display or something similar. You can also use as extra monitor.

    1. I was thinking along the same line. The new mini will look like a squashed Mac Pro. Sort of a large Darth Vader hockey puck. Considering Apple’s break from convention in design with the new Pro, I expect something as radical with the new mini. Cool design sells, and nobody does design and cool better than Apple. I can’t wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve at the WWDC come June. It’s so hard to be patient.

  3. I love my Mac mini. Since I have a photo quality editing monitor by LaCie, I had to go with the mini. It uses an i7 chip, 16GB RAM, and I upgraded it myself to a fusion drive. It’s a very capable machine. You can’t get much more bang for the buck than you can with my setup. Maybe with a high capacity SSD instead of the Fusion Drive, but then, your talking another 2 to 3 hundred dollars in cost. Well worth it, if expense isn’t a problem. I’ve had really good luck with great performance using the Mercury 6G SSD’s from Other World Computing and highly recommend them.

    1. I would like to see 512Gb to 1Tb flash drive offered with the next Mac Mini. Or maybe like a PCIe flash-based storage arrangement that’s in the Mac Pro for better speed. Probably would help too to make is smaller though I have no issue whatsoever with it’s current size. I hate when things are so small you go to plug things in and they move all around.

  4. Well, from where I’m lying on my sofa, looking across the room at my Mini which is tucked under one side of my 40″ Bravia, and has two HDD’s installed, it continues to impress the hell out of me.

    1. Me too, except I have a cheap Sanyo. I have a 1.5 and a 1TB drive, roughly a bazillion TV shows and movies, and no complaints at all. I just manage everything with Finder , VLC and a Magic Trackpad. Now if I could just figure out the music without iTunes. If I can get the artwork out of the files with Python maybe I’ll just write my own interface.

    1. Yeah one area where size particularly matters to the average consumer is what you are wearing around your wrist. I’m sure someone has Photoshopped a size-ridiculous looking “Galaxative SUX1200” smart watch to some clueless dumb-smiling Fandroid users wrist.

  5. Few desktop users really care how small the computer is. Their desks already have tons of room under them for their existing desktop towers. Desktop users care much more about compatibility, power, reliability, user-customization, and so forth. Performance matters.

    Apple needs to replace the mini and also introduce a kickass i7-chipped, user-configurable GPU midsize display-free desktop Mac. That would actually attract disgruntled Windows 8 sufferers.

  6. Who cares? It is adequately small already. I’m sick of the make it smaller race. It is cluttering my desk and making me pay for peripherals that used to be included. Bring back the 17″ MacBook Pro, too!!!

  7. Who cares if it gets smaller unless you are someone who uses their Mini as some sort of a mobile device, can’t imagine why anyone would unless they had nothing else available.

    I use a Mini like I did with my old Powermac 9500….as a workstation where I do web development and HTML5 animations, and run Parallels in order to run Autocad, and 3dsMax Design. I run approximately 75 paps and utilities to produces the content for my projects.

    And there are people out there who seriously believe that some iteration of the iPad run by a touch screen is going to replace that? Are you NUTS? Totally delusional!

    I love my iPhone and my iPad mini as mobile devices but I REQUIRE my Mini to perform work. A small car cannot replace a truck, and the Mini is my truck. They are separate devices with 90% different functions and they need to be kept that way. It’s hard to imagine how making it smaller could make it more functional. Make it smaller…..so what.

    Why, really? Think of it this way. Kids (and many adults) think that food just materializes in the grocery store when someone touches an iPhone or an iPad. WRONG! It arrives in several 53 foot trailers. Only in the fantasy world is it going to be different.

    Apple! Don’t mess with our trucks! Your near obsession with mobile devices cannot come at the expense of the “trucks” that actually deliver the product.
    End of rant. Have a nice day.

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