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An intrepid YouTuber created a handheld that runs macOS Big Sur

An intrepid YouTuber created a handheld that runs macOS Big Sur


It does seem to actually work

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Have you ever been using a recently updated Mac computer and thought, “Man, I would love to use this operating system with a really tiny keyboard and a really tiny screen?” Okay, me neither, but I certainly would love the opportunity to carry a MacBook around in my pocket and whip it out on command.

Apparently, YouTuber Ike T. Sanglay Jr., or “Iketsj,” has had this thought as well. In this eight-minute vlog, the YouTuber builds a tiny handheld PC that can run macOS Big Sur, and it’s very fun.

The PC includes a LattePanda Alpha SBC (single board computer) with an Intel Core m3 CPU and 8GB of RAM, as well as an Arduino Leonardo microcontroller board, a 240GB SATA SSD with the operating system preinstalled, and a 3D-printed case (of course). Watch as Sanglay winds cables, cleans screens, cuts screws, and plugs things into ports. The device comes together slowly but surely, to the tune of some serene music that’s much catchier than a YouTube background tune has any business being.

Sanglay eventually boots the thing up, and sure enough, macOS Big Sur is there. The battery indicator doesn’t appear to be working, but the interface otherwise seems fully operational in the limited footage we see.

Now, does this device have a real purpose in the working world? Probably not, and its creator admits as much. “Maybe you’ll say that the handheld macOS is not practical, yada yada yada. Well, sure, you’re right. I just want to make one for myself,” Sanglay notes on camera.

The YouTuber is also fully aware that the price of the parts required for this stunt comes out to more than the price of an actual M1 Mac Mini. “I know, but where’s the fun in that?” he says.

Still, as someone who’s long been an advocate of macOS in more creative and portable form factors, I am all in favor. While I can’t imagine actually using macOS on a screen this small, I love the idea of being able to carry its powerful functionality around in such a small package. Plus, it’s just a cute little device.