2014 Mac Mini size revisited

By Peter Chubb - Jul 9, 2014

It was way back in February that we discussed the possibility of the rumored 2014 Mac mini being shrunk to a much smaller size than that of the current version. Apple has showed no sign of updating its smaller desktop, although they have shown an interest in looking out for those with a cheaper budget with the introduction of the cheaper iMac, as well as making the cheapest version of the iPod touch even cheaper, along with improved camera features.

A sign of things to come – Maybe this is just the start for Apple, as they could now be thinking more about those consumers with less disposable income in 2014, and we all know that the Mac mini is ideal for those who cannot afford an iMac. Don’t get us wrong, some people do not have a need for the larger desktop, but those that do settle for the mini.

We don’t mean settle in a negative way, as the Mac mini is still an impressive machine for its size, although that size could get much smaller going on the number of rumors doing the rounds over the past few months.

There have been many Mac mini concepts and one that seems to be the most popular is the one that looks like a miniature Mac Pro. The design of this device was not loved at first, but it has now become a very popular design, one that we have to say looks very funky.

A smaller design like this is very possible with the 2014 Mac Mini refresh because it does not have the thermal requirements of a high-end system, they could even go for a fanless design.

What stops the Mac mini from being smaller – There are many reasons that could stop Apple from making the mini as small as some users would like it, one of which is the power supply. Apple places the power supply inside and if they keep doing so they will never be able to decrease its size by much. You have to ask yourself if you would rather have a smaller Mac mini, but then have a large power supply to store on the outside, which can become an issue for some?

One other reason stopping a decrease in size, and that is hardware. If Apple has any hope of appealing to the gamer, which rumors suggest they do, then they will need to include better desktop hardware rather than hardware on par with laptops, which will mean sticking to a size similar to the current model.

Are you prepared to compromise on hardware just so Apple can shrink the next Mac mini?

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Also See: WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

  • I am wondering if Apple would design a new device combine with ipad and macbook air. Or make IOS and Mac OS X become one. Microsoft has this idea on windows 8, but they doesn’t do it well. I think Apple can do it better.

  • jabberingjason

    Apple aren’t stupid, they carefully keep product overlap to a minimum to maximize the coverage of their existing, multi-teared product range, at the same time keeping them close enough to “up-sell” you when you’re in the market and just can’t resist the slightly higher specs of the device just above the model you were originally in the market for.

    The Mac Mini will only get as small, or as powerful, or as cheap as the existing product below and above it allows. Occasionally, and rarely so, they will slip a completely new device neatly in-between. This is where Apple’s true genius come into play at the retail level.

    A smaller and less powerful Mac Mini for, say, email, web browsing, basic entertainment and Home/Office apps, and light gaming, would encroach too far into their existing mobile range of devices, that already cater for a small form-factor/lower power range (and higher if you include their notebook range) device. While an overly powerful Mini (with much better dedicated graphics), even at the same size and form-factor would start to push too heavily into iMac territory (even with it’s glorious design and awesome display), which would then risk endangering sales that product line.

    A perfect example of this concept is that Apple could easily do what Ubuntu (Canonical) have been trying to gain traction on for some time now. By leveraging the existing, more than ample power in their iPhone and iPad range, Apple could easily allow you to dual-boot into a fully fledged OS environment when your iPhone or iPad is say plugged or ‘Air Played’ to a secondary display. Which would basically give you the benefits of a fully fledged OS X environment that could quite literally run while in your pocket and while connected wirelessly to your display, bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Why haven’t they? Well, apart from obvious limitations in terms of battery life and other issues related to small form-factor mobile devices, the answer is simple. The Mac Mini. To much product overlap and one less premium priced Apple device you would need to purchase. Which, need I remind you, is BIG no-no for your shareholders when you’re in the business of making and selling the most devices you possibly can.

    This is the Apple eco-system in a nutshell. It’s what keeps the evolution of their current devices balanced and in check. And it makes predicting their product updates all the more easy. They do, very occasionally, shake things up, add a game-changing device or take an existing device in a surprising (not always new or better) direction. But make no mistake about it, every aspect is carefully measured, weighed, considered and re-considered regarding the effects of an update to a single device in their stable will have on their entire range of products.

  • jdb

    What do you mean by a “bigger” iMac? Both the Mini and iMac are available with nearly identical specs (CPU, RAM, ‘drive). If you’re not a gamer or producing 3D graphics, then the iMac’s only real difference (the optional discrete graphics card) won’t matter anyway. This ridiculous comparison (other than for gamers/3D’ers) is just about preference: Does the consumer want an all-in-one computer with integral screen (i.e. iMac), where a screen failure means a computer failure, and vice-versa? Or does the consumer want a computer separate from the screen (e.g. Mac Mini, Mac Pro), so that either component can be replaced independent of the other. The latter choice is the most economical for the consumer, but of course plenty of folks don’t mind paying more for the former – a pretty product that constrains them.

    All this talk about shrinking the Mini is nonsense if you don’t consider the usage. If the Mini shrinks, then it will give up some of the hardware that makes it a perfect desktop computer. And in that case, desktop users will look elsewhere and it won’t matter to them what the Mini has left in it. Why would anyone design or surmise the next generation of computer based on form factor first, in ignorance of function? That’s certainly not how Apple arrived at the Mac Pro.

    For the record, since I’ve been happy with the Mini for desktop usage, including image and video editing, I hope that its capabilities continue to grow along with Intel’s hardware. Anyone who wants the Mini to shrink in size and capability, in all likelihood, is not a Mini user and should be looking elsewhere (maybe for an appliance like Apple TV?)…

  • Victor

    i hope apple can make a new mac mini with haswell processors and hopefully this new mac mini will be released by December 2014.

    • jerrymcguire12

      How about release it by September???

  • Manuel

    I prefer a powerful hardware.