Stephen Hackett, in a guest piece for MacStories:
For some long-time fans, the Mac mini brought back memories of the Macintosh LC, Apple’s low-cost Mac in the early 1990s. While totally adorable, the LC was hamstrung to hit a price point, something that Apple managed to avoid with the Mac mini, at least at first. The Mac mini was slower than other desktop Macs at the time, but I thought the compromises made were perfectly fair.
Currently, the Late 2014 Mac mini is the newest model available. While it may look like the 2011 and 2012 machines, Apple made several changes that have made its smallest Mac noticeably worse.
From its humble beginnings as the BYODKM Mac to its role as a server, the Mac mini has been a faithful workhorse for 12 years now. It deserves another chance.
I can’t help but think that the days of the Mac Mini are numbered, even more so than the Mac Pro’s. Its price points compete with the iPad line, which Apple has long said represents their vision for the future of the computer. I would love for there to be another Mac Mini, in the vein of the upgradable 2012 model, but I’m not convinced it’s likely.