Various retailers and Apple resellers are signaling low or depleted Mac mini stock, possibly indicating that a refresh is on the way. The small desktop Mac is overdue for a refresh.
Apple is known to have last updated the Mac mini in July 2011, when the diminutive desktop Mac lost the optical drive, but added support for the high-speed Thunderbolt port, and the Sandy Bridge line of processors from Intel.
However, those specs are old news now, with Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs long overdue to make their way into several desktop Macs, including the iMac and the Mac mini. As far as the Mac Pro is concerned, the user base has lost all hope for a refresh.
is now reporting
that numerous sellers found in the site's Mac Price Guide are currently out of stock of the Mac mini, indicating an imminent refresh.
Starting at $599/€463, the 2.3GHz Mac mini comes with 2GB of RAM and packs a 500GB hard disk drive. It uses Intel HD Graphics 3000 and ships with OS X Mountain Lion pre-installed.
A 2.5GHz version using the same dual-core Intel Core i5 architecture comes with 4GB of memory, the same amount of on-board storage and the AMD Radeon HD 6630M series for graphics. It sells for $799/€618.
Mac mini with OS X Server has a 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, dual 500GB hard drives (for a total 1TB of storage), 4GB memory, Intel HD Graphics 3000 (384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory), and ships with OS X Server and OS X Mountain Lion. This one sells for $999/€772.
Video standards include the Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution, an HDMI port with support for up to 1920-by-1200 resolution, and DVI output using HDMI to DVI Adapter (included). The computer also supports dual displays and video mirroring.
Apple is expected to hold an event later this month during which the company is said to unveil its new iPad mini. A Macintosh refresh may also be in the cards for this event.