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Starlink Mini is Here!

On Wednesday, June 19, 2024 Starlink releases the “Mini Dishy” model.

Starlink Mini is a compact, portable kit that can easily fit in a backpack, designed to provide high-speed, low-latency internet on the go. -starlink.com

The much rumored Starlink Mini has finally arrived, and we are here to cover what we know so far.

The Mini has been floating around rumor circles and articles for a while now since Starlink got FCC approval for it some time ago. There were sketches and guesses on what it was going to be like, but now we know for sure!

Let’s dive into the details of the specs, pricing and who they are sending emails to for purchase.

Who Can Buy It?

As of today, only some Residential account holders are being emailed with the option to buy Starlink Mini as an “add-on” to their current service, and they must keep their current Residential service activated. This is sure to be opened up to other current customers and new subscribers in the near future, but we have no idea when. Let’s hope soon! Starlink is stating they will ship in July for the initial, limited sales of the Mini.

Pricing

The initial pricing of the Starlink Mini is $599. We were hoping it would be much less, as Elon stated it would cost half as much as the current one, but no luck.

The Mini is being sold as a $30/mo add-on to your existing Residential service, and you get 50gb/mo of mobile data that you can use anywhere in the United States, with additional data available at $1/gb. As of now, they are offering one Mini purchase per account that gets the email.

Specs

Now for the fun part! Let’s look closer at the size, wi-fi and power specs.

Size

The Starlink Mini Dishy with built in wi-fi comes in at around only 2.5 pounds! It’s dimensions are 11.75″ x 10.2″ x 1.45″. This is easily their most compact model to date, and can “easily fit in a backpack”, as they state on their specs page.

Wi-Fi

There is some great news for mobile users when it comes to the specs of the Starlink Mini kit. The dish comes with built-in wi-fi!! This is a great feature, buuuut…it does say it is only compatible with Starlink mesh systems if you need to extend your wi-fi beyond it’s range. It is also only wi-fi 5, not wi-fi 6 like some were hoping for. Can’t win ’em all, but still a nice all-in-one package!

There is an ethernet LAN port on it. That being said, if you want to hardwire it, you will be running 2 cables from wherever you place Dishy, one for power and one for ethernet.

Power

Maybe the best part about it for RVers and other mobile users is that it can run on DC power right out of the box!!! They are selling a USB-C to barrel jack adapter to use with it, so it is meant to run on DC. The input rating is 12-48vdc 60w.

The power consumption they show is a mere 25-40w average, a big drop from the ratings of the previous models! Hopefully real world use shows a big power drop and confirms this. If nothing else, you won’t have inverter losses converting power to run it and can run it with your inverter off if you want to. It also comes with a power supply to run on standard wall outlets, so they give you all the options you need to run it right out of the box this time without having to hack it.

What’s in the Box?

Right out of the box, you are getting the Mini Dishy, DC power cable, power supply (wall plug), a kickstand like the gen 3 had, a Starlink Plug to seal up the ethernet LAN port when not in use, and a pipe adapter, which is a nice little perk that you had to buy separately with all previous models!

Things Not to Like

There are a few things to note that may be perceived as negatives for some users.

Built In Wi-Fi

First off, the built in wi-fi is nice, but there are a couple reasons that this may not work for some. It is wi-fi 5, not the latest gen wi-fi 6, so performance may not be as good as the larger Gen3 model. Starlink also states that it is not compatible with third party mesh systems, only theirs. Also, if you have to place Mini Dishy 50′ away or further to clear obstructions, the wi-fi may be weak inside your RV, if using it for that use case.

There is an ethernet LAN port on it. That being said, if you want to hardwire it, you will be running 2 cables from wherever you place Dishy, one for power and one for ethernet. You will also need to buy their proprietary ethernet cable with the waterproofing grommet to keep it water/dust proof.

Power Adapter

The DC adapter (barrel jack to usb-c) does not come with it, but they do sell it separately. You can likely source one on Amazon as well, just pay attention to the required specs they list if purchasing aftermarket.

Add-on Only

As of now, the only way to get it is limited to some Residential account holders that got an email invite. Unfortunately at today’s launch of the Mini, it is only available as an add-on to those randomly selected Residential users. We are hoping for a lower priced Mobile/Roam plan, or at least as a standalone unit that can be used on their current plan offerings. We will have to wait and see on this.

Hardware Price

The Price is $599, which is higher than initially expected. Elon himself said it was going to cost half of what the current one does, but that has not come true so far. This is a bit chunk as an add one to Residential users who already paid that for their standard unit. Hopefully this price comes down to the $300-400 range, at least.

Final Thoughts

I, for one, am very excited for how the Mini hardware turned out. It seems to tick pretty much all the boxes a lot of us mobile users were looking for. It’s smaller, uses less power, can be run on 12-48v DC, has built in wi-fi, and has pretty much everything you need right out of the box to get going!

Unfortunately for most of us, the news about the service being an add-on only, having data caps and the $599 price point have left us disappointed for all the hype surrounding it recently.

Summary: Hardware good, service option bad. (At least for mobile users. This will be nice for some fixed, residential account holders to start)

I would love to hear your thoughts on the info we have so far on the Mini and whether you will be buying it to replace your current Starlink. Drop a comment below!

Full specs listed here on Starlink’s Specifications Page: https://www.starlink.com/specifications?spec=5

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