Apple just unveiled a new M1 Mac that no one was expecting (but should have) — the Mac mini.
Featuring the Apple M1 chip, the new Mac mini boasts 3x faster CPU performance and up to 6x faster graphics, compared to the previous generation mini, Apple said during Tuesday’s “One More Thing” keynote.
“Today, M1 comes to Mac Mini, bringing a seismic shift in what an ultra-compact desktop can do,” said Julie Broms, Apple’s senior manager of hardware engineering, during the event.
New Mac mini specs
With eight cores, the mini’s M1 CPU makes the machine 5x faster than 90% of most PC desktops sold in the last year, Apple claimed. The new chip also boasts an 8-core GPU and brings the machine learning-oriented Neural Engine to the mini (with a 15x performance boost).
“With M1 bringing the Neural Engine to Mac mini, machine-learning workloads take a quantum leap forward with up to 15 times faster ML performance than the previous generation,” said Broms. “This means the new Mac mini will supercharge innovative features that are powered by ML, like magically increasing the resolution of a photo in Pixelmator Pro, giving it more sharpness and detail. It also makes Mac mini a great machine for developers, scientists and engineers utilizing deep-learning technologies like TensorFlow or Create ML.”
Looks the same, but looks might be deceiving
Looks-wise, the new Mac mini comes with the same industrial design as the previous model. It features two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt and USB 4, as well as Ethernet and HDMI for hooking up a TV.
“With the Mac mini’s advanced thermal design, M1 is unleashed — easily sustaining its breakthrough performance while the mini stays cool and quiet,” Broms said.
The new mini supports up to two displays, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution. It also packs Wi-Fi 6 for fast wireless.
It now starts at $699 — $100 less than its predecessor.
Although few pundits predicted a new Mac mini at Tuesday’s event, they probably should have. Apple has been sending out Apple Silicon-powered Mac minis to developers to help transition their apps to the new platform.
The M1 Mac mini is available for preorder today on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will ship next week.