In late 2014 Apple revved the Mac mini, removing the quad-core SKU and making the RAM soldered to the logic board.
W. T. F.
I’d understand this if the company had changed the machine’s enclosure, but the easy-access door remains in place.
I might be upgrading my mid-2011 Mac mini’s hard drive and RAM in the near future. The machine is primarily used as a home server, hosting media that can be streamed to any of the Apple TVs in the house. But I’m interested in a faster hard drive — probably going SSD — and more RAM because I often find myself logging into the mini from my iPad to perform tasks that are a bit easier on the Mac.
It’s a shame that new Mac mini buyers aren’t able to do the same — purchase an inexpensive configuration with the intention of upgrading in the future. Luckily the hard drive is still user-replaceable, but the RAM should be as well. I don’t see any good reason for Apple to have made this change and I hope to see it corrected in the next revision.