Apple’s new Mac mini and MacBook Air

Mac Mini

Apple has a new Mac mini and MacBook Air using Intel’s 8th generation processors. A T2 security chip, Thunderbolt 3 and macOS Mojave complete the range.

New Mac Mini

The Mac mini (website here)  is 197mm square, and 36mm high yet packs a Gigabit Ethernet Port (10Gbps option), HDMI 2.0, two x USB-3.0 and four x 40Gbps Thunderbolt ports.

Inside is a choice of four-core i3 (3.0GHz), 6-core i5 (3.0GHz) or 6-core i7 (3.2Ghz). DDR4-2666MHz RAM is from 8 to 64GB. Storage is from 128GB to 2TB PCIe SSD.

Video is handled by on-chip Intel UHD Graphics 630 which means up to three 4K displays (HDMI and two x Thunderbolt 3 ports). It can also support one 5K and one 4K display.

Mac Mini

Price: from $1,249

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said:

Mac mini customers are going to flip over the new Mac mini. It has more than five times the performance, up to 6-core desktop-class processors, the Apple T2 Security Chip, faster memory up to 64GB, high-performance all-flash storage, and is packed with advanced ports including four Thunderbolt3, two USB-A, HDMI video, audio and Ethernet up to 10 Gbps. All of this power is packed into the same-sized enclosure as before, perfect for customers updating or creating all‑new installations where Mac mini is the ideal solution.

New MacBook Air

The 13” MacBook Air (website here) is smaller, lighter, and has a Retina 2560 x 1600 display. The older MacBook Air has a has the native LCD 1440 x 900 display.

It uses an 8th Generation dual-core i5 (1.6Ghz) with Intel UHD Graphics 617. It as a new third generation keyboard that should solve serious previous generation problems. Improvements include the camera, speakers, trackpad, and it has a fingerprint Touch ID as well. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports support up to two 4K or one 5K displays.

Mac Mini

LPDDR3 RAM is 8 or 16GB (not upgradable) and PCIe SSD ranges from 128GB to 1.5TB. Battery life is 12 hours with Wi-Fi and web.

Price: From $1849

Schiller adds

Redesigning MacBook Air started with a Retina display and all-day battery life, and then we added Touch ID and the Apple T2 Security Chip, the latest processor, incredible sound, the third-generation keyboard and Force Touch trackpad, high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports and of course macOS Mojave, in a beautiful, thinner, lighter, all-aluminium design that a whole new generation of MacBook Air customers are going to love.

What is a T2 security chip?

A multi-function chip with an on-the-fly data SSD encryption. It also ensures that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. The chip also provides HEVC video transcoding that’s up to 30 times faster [than the previous Mac mini].

macOS Mojave new features

  • Dark Mode transforms the desktop with a dramatic new look that puts the focus on your content.
  • Stacks feature organises messy desktops by automatically stacking files into neat groups.
  • Familiar iOS apps — including News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home — are now available on Mac for the first time.
  • FaceTime now adds support for group calling
  •  Mac App Store gets a full redesign featuring rich editorial content and apps from top developers like Microsoft and Adobe.

New MacBook Pro with Radeon coming

A new MacBook Pro is coming with Radeon Pro Vega Graphics Coming next month delivering up to 60% faster graphics performance (over the previous MacBook Pro) for video editing, 3D design and rendering workloads.