What updates to the Mac Mini, iMac will Apple announce at iPad Mini event?

Summary:Rumors are swirling that Apple will detail how it will refresh its consumer desktop line at its press extravanganza on October 23. How will the Mac Mini and the iMac be updated?

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While the main course of Apple's October 23 press event will presumably be the launch of the long-awaited iPad Mini tablet, there's always dessert on the menu at these gatherings. (In the Steve Jobs era, that would be the "one more thing" part of his address.) There's already talk that a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display will be introduced, and there are rumors that Apple will be presenting updated iMacs and Mac Minis on Tuesday as well.

With the upcoming holiday shopping season soon among us, the desktop refresh makes sense, but which forms will it take? It'd be highly likely that the systems would get Intel Ivy Bridge processors options, which would include improved integrated graphics for the base Mac Mini. Speaking of graphics, Apple could ship the new desktops with AMD's latest Radeon 7000 graphics cards -- right now the more expensive Mac Mini configuration and all iMacs ship with Radeon 6000 mobile processors.

Rumormongers, however, have mostly ruled out that the iMacs will get Retina Display updates (for now), though a Chinese website is claiming that they will get a facelift with a thinner design that resembles a water droplet. They supposedly will also have the screen glued to the glass front (at least the 21.5-inch model) to help improve display quality.

Other improvements could be in the way of new connectivity options. While the current Mac desktops sport Thunderbolt inputs, it would be logical that the Lightning connector on the new iPhone 5 (and maybe brand-new iPads) would join it. Mac Minis and iMacs still feature USB 2.0 ports, so moving to USB 3.0 could be another spec improvement. SlashGear says it's being tipped off that the Mac Mini could get 16GB or even 32GB of RAM.

One thing that may not change is the pricing for Mac Minis and iMacs. 9to5Mac is reporting that there will be no change in pricing -- the starting price for the Mac Mini will remain $599 and $1,199 for the iMac.

What upgrades would you like to see Apple give the Mac Mini and iMac? Let us know your ideas in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Apple, PCs

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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