Apple slipped one unexpected bit of news into its iPad Pro and MacBook Air announcements today (March 18), throwing in an update to the Mac mini. The updated desktop now features twice the storage originally included on standard configurations of the Mac mini.
The Mac mini retains its dimensions and cool space gray finish – as seen in our Mac mini (2018) review – but is now offered with a $799 configuration that comes standard with 256 gigabytes of solid state storage and a $1,099 configuration boasting 512GB of storage.
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This doubles the storage available for the Mac mini while keeping the same configuration prices. The base Mac mini with an Intel Core i3 CPU now comes with 256GB of SSD storage, up from the 128 GB originally offered on this model at the $799 price. The additional storage options are the same, with a 512GB option for $200 more, 1TB for $400 and 2TB of storage for $800.
The step-up model is also largely unchanged, with an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and now comes standard with 512GB of storage. This can be upgraded to 1TB for $200 or 2TB for $600.
Aside from the expanded storage, the Apple Mac mini remains unchanged. The mini PC still features the same aluminum unibody design, measuring 7.4 x 7.4 x 1.4 in, and boasts four Thunderbolt 3 ports, along with two USB 3.0 connections and a single HDMI output.
As before, the Mac mini can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM, and does offer some limited accessibility for upgrading memory in the future. However, this change in available storage offers the first significant improvement to the Mac mini since the 2018 model was introduced, and the 8th-generation processors that were introduced in 2018 are still being used in Mac mini models going forward.
The doubling of base storage options is a decent improvement on what was already our favorite among the best mini PCs. Given that Apple will often go several years between significant updates on Mac desktops, we anticipate this being the only change to the Mac mini for this year, and don't expect to see a fully refreshed Mac mini until 2022.