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Next Mac mini could have iMac 2021 features and M2 chip power

New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know
(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

Apple's next Mac mini could feature a rather slick redesign that echoes some of the smart features of the iMac 2021

That's going by mocked up renders made by concept artist Ian Zelbo based on information from leaker Jon Prosser, which show of a slimmer compact desktop Mac with more ports.

Over the years, Apple's compact desktop device has gone through little-to-no changes. When the latest Mac mini M1 was introduced, we didn't see a new design at all. 

Instead, Apple reused the previous design and focused on the internal components, which in retrospect isn't bad at all, though a little change on the exterior side would still have been good to see. 

Prosser said that the design of the next Mac mini should be more compact that before. "With the new Apple Silicon, the Mac mini does not have to be that big," he explained. And a smaller, slimmer redesign would actually make sense since Apple managed to pack a lot of Apple M1 chip power into its new iMac 2021, and yet it ended up being almost as thin as the iPad Air 2020

Now, when it comes to the renders, the first thing that you see is an addition of a lot more ports (finally). According to Prosser, the next Mac mini will feature the same magnetic charging connector that is included with the new iMac, four Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, Ethernet and HDMI ports. However, to the disappointment of photo and video creators, there will apparently be no SD card slot.

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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)
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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)
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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)
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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)
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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)
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New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

Prosser also speculated about the potential addition of more colors, which wouldn't be as big of a surprise, given that most of Apple's latest flagship devices now come in a wide range of funky colors; that includes the iPhone 12, AirPods Max and the latest iMac. The metal top of the desktop device is also being swapped out for what looks like "a plexiglass-like material," which will sit on top of the aluminium enclosure. 

"I have been told that they have been testing different colors. Interpret that however you'd like," Prosser said. 

And regarding internals, a recent Bloomberg report mentions the fact that the next Mac mini will feature the same Apple Silicon as the upcoming MacBook Pro 2021. That's thought to be the Apple M2 chip, which is tipped to pack a 12-core CPU, 16 or 32 GPU cores as well as support for up to 64GB of RAM. The new chip featured in both the upcoming Mac mini and the next MacBook Pro is also said to have "a more advanced neural engine."

The design leak and renders came shortly after Jon Prosser reassured everyone via Twitter that the new Macbook Pro could be revealed during Apple's WWDC 2021 conference. With WWDC 2021 just around the corner, time will tell which of these leaks come to fruition. 

Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering consumer tech news, deals, streaming, gaming and more. When she’s not playing horror games, she’s a part-time piano enthusiast and experimenting in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.