Once in a while, a creation comes along that is equal parts crazy and genius. While some of you may laugh at the idea of a portable Mac Mini, I think many photographers could really benefit from owning one.
Finding creative solutions to niche problems has become a lot easier in the last few decades. Thanks to the likes of YouTube sharing free technical knowledge and the ever-growing accessibility of 3D printing, ideas can be realized like never before. One maker who would agree with that sentiment is YouTuber and maker Scott Yu-Jan who set himself the task of trying to make the Mac Mini portable.
The video starts with Yu-Ja explaining why he hates laptops and how he wanted to come up with a better solution for working on his computer while traveling. Yu-Ja goes onto talk about his design process and the eureka moment when he realized he could pair the Mac Mini with the iPad Mini he already owned. From there it was just a matter of 3D printing a sleek-looking housing to combine these two devices and the results are rather impressive.
This creation relies on a cabled connection between the iPad and the Mac Mini and an app called Duet so they can talk to each other. The fact an iPad is being used as a screen also means the user can benefit from the device’s touch screen capabilities. Yu-Jan also uses the Apple pencil with his iPad which means he can control the computer with the pencil directly on the screen. Something I think would appeal to many photographers who are already used to a pen and tablet combination in their workflow.
While this particular creation still relies on a mains power supply, it would not take much to make this truly portable with a battery pack of some sort. I know many photographers already have solutions for powering their gear while out on location so they probably wouldn’t even need to buy anything extra for this setup to work. This portable Mac Mini is bound to ruffle some feathers but I think this marriage of devices is something that some photographers could benefit from using. Especially if they own a Mac Mini and iPad already.
What do you think of this portable Mac Mini? Think you would build one yourself? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he’s not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward “About Me” statements on websites…
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For those that love this idea a BTS video explaining more of the process has just been released: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMO67C98eyc
Pretty rad and great exercise, however, not really practical.
This reminds me of the DI Why section of reddit.
Has he released his April Fools vid early? I got about 4 minutes in so maybe he delivers the punchline that it’s a gag device at the end. Otherwise, this is a laptop! A very heavy, very expensive laptop that doesn’t have a keyboard or a power supply. There are plenty of laptops available that have a touch screen, will weigh less, cost less and be portable- which is kind of the point of a laptop.
WTF. If you really don’t want a laptop, this assemblage that looks like an early 90s laptop is not better.