The matte-colored top and rubber feet on bottom
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Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini during a spring event in 2022 with a complete redesign, the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, and more ports. Here’s everything we know so far and exclusive renders of the desktop.

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The Mac mini was among the first Macs to receive an M1 processor, but that was in the consumer-focused model. Apple has continued to sell high-end variants of the Intel Mac mini since, but that is likely about to change.

Rumors surrounding a new Mac mini with pro-level processors have been sparse, but accurate sources corroborate a spring 2022 release window. Beyond that, very little has been shared beyond its redesigned case with the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors and more Thunderbolt ports.

One early leak from Jon Prosser, who has been highly accurate with only a few missteps, has shown the most detailed look at the redesigned Mac mini so far. He claims the renders he shared are based on schematics leaked to him by an internal source at Apple.

According to Prosser, the new Mac mini would have a plexiglass-like top cover, use a thinner aluminum chassis, and have an underside with two rubber feet for support. The vent has been moved to the bottom, and there is no longer a plastic base for easy access to the internals.

The matte-colored top and rubber feet on bottom

On the back of the Mac mini, the leak showed a power button and magnetic power connector similar to the ones used on the 24-inch iMac. It also showed four USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. There is no headphone jack nor SD card slot, doubly confirmed by Prosser.

Prosser’s design had the Thunderbolt ports were too close together for cables to attach, and the magnetic power adapter seemed out of place on a small desktop. The magnetic connector seemingly exists to solve a problem with the iMac during setup. The old power connector was behind the iMac’s stand and required force and a correct angle to insert, and it was very difficult to do without seeing the port head-on.

A magnetic connector solves these issues by having it snap into place just by having it near the port, with no need for sight or force. The Mac mini doesn’t have these issues, however, so the port seems useless beyond aesthetic purposes. Despite these issues, Prosser and his render artist confirmed that this arrangement was precisely what was shown in the leaked documents.

The ports are spaced more evenly to allow easy access and connection

The ports are spaced more evenly to allow easy access and connection

The renders created by AppleInsider show the same port arrangement provided in Prosser’s leaks. However, there is more space between the ports, and the USB-A ports have been turned on their side. No leaks have corroborated Prosser’s renders, and no further details about the redesign or ports have been provided by any source.

Apple may use the magnetic connector for power, but it will likely not need the same 143W power supply since the Mac mini doesn’t have a display. Apple could use a smaller power supply or an internal one, thus making fitting an Ethernet port somewhere on the power cable impossible.

It is also worth noting that Apple doesn’t include Ethernet on its low-end iMac power supply, but the 143W is still more than needed for the tiny desktop. These reasons could explain why the Mac mini render has both a magnetic power supply and an Ethernet port on the device.

Apple could keep the headphone jack and old A/C power connector

Apple could keep the headphone jack and old A/C power connector

The lack of a headphone jack is also odd, considering every Mac being sold today has a headphone jack. The Mac mini has an internal speaker, but not one meant for everyday audio use like music playback. The headphone jack in the Mac mini has always been useful for adding speakers or a set of headphones without having to deal with an adapter or dock.

Both Mark Gurman and leaker Dylandkt have stated the new Mac mini will get the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. Neither have provided design details, but note that there are more ports in a thin new design. Gurman also expects the new Mac mini to arrive alongside a new Mac Pro.

The new Mac mini is expected to be announced during a spring event in March or April. Stay tuned to AppleInsider for more information and new renders as additional leaks occur.

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