Apple May Release New Low-Cost Laptop and Mac Mini for Pros

(Image credit: JMiks /

Apple has plans to release an affordable laptop and a Mac mini aimed at professionals by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported todayThe releases would update product lines that have been running long in the tooth.

The Mac mini desktop hasn't been replaced since its last update in fall 2014. It currently starts at $499, but the report suggests that the new Mac will be oriented towards professionals with more storage and processor options that could drive up the price.

Apple's current cheapest laptop is the MacBook Air, which starts at $999. If a new low-cost option is coming to Apple's notebook line, this would be the computer to beat. Bloomberg's report suggests that the new laptop, which will reportedly still be called the Air, will still have a 13-inch screen, but finally, after years of speculation, get a high-resolution retina display along with thinner bezels. No word on if it will you use the same polarizing keyboard seen on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, or if it will have ports other than Thunderbolt 3. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Quanta Computer, which make the existing MacBooks, will reportedly make the new laptop. Apple declined to comment to Bloomberg.

The rumor that a low-cost MacBook is coming has been around for awhile, but it gained weight today considering Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who shares the byline on the Bloomberg article with Debby Wu, has a long history of inside sources at Apple. 

Apple is releasing the newest version of macOS, Mojave (10.14), so it's possible that if there are new machines, Apple will choose to unveil them closer to that launch.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • Giroro
    What kind of 'professional' would need a low-end mac?
  • excalibur1814
    This is a mistake. The illusion of being 'special' is what keeps 'some' of the sales alive. If they do this the Macs become just the same as the cheaper Windows machines.
  • jpe1701
    EXCALIBUR1814 I think they mean inexpensive relative to the other Mac products not cheap windows machines. Business people that don't need a dedicated GPU would buy them for the build quality if they are priced right and have Apples usual quality (minus the keyboard issue) I would think.
  • adamboy64
    I've been looking forward to a new Mac Mini lineup, rumours have been floating around for a while that they'll do a refresh. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
  • studmoose
    I waited for two new MacBook Pros for both my daughter's STEM college semester and for my needs, only told that it would probably come out around the end of 2018 or in early 2019. Apple like to run close to the vest. Then, Apple springs the new MacBooks without any notice. So, we bought two Lenovo X1 laptops last month, including docks, mice, and a bunch of extended on-site next day warranties, etc. Apple lost out on $6 grand for that. We'll, at least Lenovo doesn't fleece customers out of $700 for defective keyboards.

    Now, they play it coy with the Mini Mac, after waiting for almost two years for it to come out, I'm close to moving on the HP Z2 Mini, which has an i7-8700, 32GB, 1TB SSD and is 8"x8"x3". The Z2 is going on to it's 4th Generation, which will come out any week now. Digital Storm was hinting at their Spark SFF, but they are playing Apple's game too. No indication when that will come out, after waiting 8 months.

    I'm tired of playing Apple's guessing game anymore. I tried twice to buy their products, and both times I am let down--because they give no heads up on product plans.
  • salgado18
    These are for indie game developers trying to publish iOS games.
  • termathor
    Low cost laptops ? Heck, any usable Macbook is 2kE, those days ! And with parts from 2015 !

    I'd expect a low cost Macbook to have 2GB of RAM and an intel core-duo with a 500 GB hard drive ...
  • jn77
    Guess what? We are releasing a new Ipad with a built in keyboard and you are paying $300 for the built in keyboard.
  • gggplaya
    21249348 said:
    What kind of 'professional' would need a low-end mac?

    You don't need a high powered mac for Lightroom, Excel, Word, Powerpoint etc..... I think they should reword the article as being designed for "commercial" use, like in the retail space as well, secretaries, office workers etc..... I think that's the market they're trying to capture with a lower cost mac.

    I think probably the best way to achieve this is to plop in a Ryzen 2200GE processor. You would have good quad core and graphics performance for cheap. Add a custom case, ram and motherboard with an external power supply and you've got a great office PC.

  • stdragon
    Basically, an Intel NUC with OSX.