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How to Create a Portable Mac Mini with an iPad

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The YouTuber shows off the internal circuit board of the Mac mini, complete with heat sink, connectors, and some cables. Another image shows a collection of prototypes printed in various colors and materials, all with the same grid effect as the Mac Pro. In a post on Saturday, Nelson hints at downsizing, asking, “What color would you like to see a M1 Mac mini that is only 28% the size of the original?” It wraps around the Mac mini and has a hinged section that holds the iPad mini and effectively acts as a cover. iPad mini connects to Mac mini via a USB-C cable that wraps neatly around the edge and tucks away.

The project doesn’t aim to make the Mac mini a truly wireless device, as it still relies on a power cord plugged into a wall outlet rather than a portable power adapter. iPad mini runs Duet, which displays Mac mini’s display output on your screen while retaining support for Apple Pencil. While it can’t be considered a MacBook replacement, the configuration at least allows its creator to be mobile with the Mac mini, complete with a screen that’s also a detachable iPad mini, and without worrying too much about thermal throttling limits.

How to create a “portable” Mac Mini with an iPad

  • The YouTuber 3D printed an impressive little case for his Mac mini, which also serves as the base for another Apple product he says is just the right size for him: the iPad mini 6.
  • The 3D-printed case features an adjustable laptop-style lid that houses the iPad mini, as well as a cable management channel to store the USB-C cable that connects the two devices.
  • Scott uses the “Duet Display” app to cast his Mac mini’s screen to his iPad in full Retina resolution. This keeps touch input on the iPad mini, allowing Scott to forego a mouse and only carry a Magic Keyboard when on the go.
  • YouTuber’s creation is far from perfect and is certainly a solution to an incredibly unique problem, but it certainly works.
  • Mac mini powered by M1 provides enough processing power for YouTuber needs, including video editing on the go.
  • With rumors that Apple will soon release a new Mac mini with an even more powerful M2 chip, Scott could upgrade his Mac mini later this year.

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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.

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