Hardware

Mac Mini 2018: Cheat sheet

In October 2018, Apple finally updated its most affordable and portable desktop computer. Here's what's new and how it works.

The latest version of Apple's Mac Mini was announced at their October 30, 2018 event in New York City. While many thought the new version would be released at WWDC 2018, the event came and went without any murmur of a new Mac Mini, which was disappointing, since the device hadn't been updated since 2014. But Mac Mini fans' wishes were finally granted.

This Mac Mini cheat sheet has everything you need to know about the Mac Mini device up to this point, and is a "living document" that will be updated as more information about the device is released.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

What is the Mac Mini?

The Mac Mini is an entire Mac desktop experience within a compact square frame. Designed to be externally connected to a desktop monitor, the Mac Mini doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. However, the new Mac Mini comes with a slew of ports that make it compatible with almost all monitor options.

The latest Mac Mini iteration was introduced at Apple's October 2018 event, featuring a new color, faster processor, better graphic capabilities, and eco-friendly design. This tiny powerhouse is great for business pros and creative minds.

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What are the main features of latest Mac Mini?

The new Mac Mini's exterior is identical to that of the 2014 version, however, it now sports a space gray color. Its new, sleek look matches its impressive interior, which features four and six-core, 8th-generation Intel processors. Hiking up the memory to 64GB, the new Mac Mini is the "most powerful Mac Mini [they]'ve ever made," said Tom Boger, senior director of Mac hardware product marketing, at the Apple Event.

SEE: BYOD Business Strategies: Adoption Plans, Deployment Options, IT Concerns, and Cost Savings (Tech Pro Research)

Mac Mini now comes with a 10GB Ethernet port option, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and HDMI 2.0. Plug the device into an old Macbook device, Mac desktop screen, or even a television, and get started.

The newest Mac Mini, along with the other devices announced at the October 2018 event, were all produced with the economy in mind. With the interior made of 60% recycled plastic, and the exterior featuring 100% recycled aluminum, Apple reduced the Mac Mini's carbon footprint by 50%.

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What are the specifications for the Mac Mini?

  • Processor: 3.6GHz Intel Core i3 or six-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, both configurable to up to 2TB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Video Support: Thunderbolt 3 digital video and HDMI 2.0
  • Audio: 3.5 mm headphone jack and HDMI 2.0 for multichannel audio
  • Operating System: MacOS
  • Price: starts at $799

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

Who is the target audience for the Mac Mini?

The Mac Mini is ideal for traveling business professionals or remote workers. Its compact design fits perfectly into a backpack or purse, with all the functionality of a full desktop Mac. The only limitation is its lack of accessories, but with a portable mouse and keyboard, users could even turn any television into a monitor, with the proper HDMI adaptors. If you work from home, you can easily unplug the Mac Mini to take into the office for a meeting, or on the road for a conference.

The new Mac Mini is also a "perfect component for many creative uses," said Boger at the October event. Its processing power is ideal for sound mixing, video production, video streaming, graphic design, and more.

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How much does the Mac Mini cost?

The Mac Mini starts at $799, which is quite a jump from the previous model, but understandable given the amount of processing power and functionality. The Mini is still the most inexpensive Mac system on the market.

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How does this Mac Mini differ from the previous model?

The previous Mac Mini was a silver aluminum square brick, costing only $499. The updated Mac Mini comes in a sleek space gray, and jumping to $799. Previously, the Mac Mini could only hold 16GB of memory, while the new version can hold a whopping 64GB. With six-core processors, the new Mac Mini is 5x faster than the previous model.

A major change for the Mac Mini is the connectivity, now featuring more relevant and timely ports. The older model had a single GB Ethernet option, an HDMI port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, four USB 3 options, an SDXC card slot, an audio in port, and a headphone jack. The new version reflects the connections of today, with 10GB Ethernet port option, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, headphone jack, and HDMI 2.0.

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Where and when can I buy the new Mac Mini?

The Mac Mini is available today to pre-order today, and will be available to the public November 7, 2018.

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Credit: Apple

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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