The newer, thinner Mac mini is small-and-light enough that it could be converted into a portable machine, Ben Heck style. So, I had an idea: Craft a portable enclosure for the Mac mini, that provides display, keyboard, and trackpad… and is cheap enough to be mass-produced!
Think about it. The Mac mini i5 2.5 GHz is comparable to the 15-inch MacBook Pro that costs well over a thousand dollars more! What if, for a mere $150, you could make your Mac mini into something that’s both portable, and usable on the road!
The goal of my new pet project is going to be to build just that. Something that will be easy enough for Mac mini owners to want to just grab-and-go with their Mac mini while on travel, and save the $1,600 that would go to a MacBook Pro for something else.
Without further ado, here’s what my goals are for the inevitable Kickstarter project.
* Goal is to create a case that encloses the Mac mini and a Motorola Lapdock. The Motorola Lapdock is perfect for this situation, as it is basically a battery-powered display-keyboard-and-trackpad. Also, at under $80 refurbished on many retailers, it’s cheap.
* The enclosure must be flawlessly ventilated, to protect both the Lapdock and Mac mini.
* The enclosure must be totable, as in, a single unit that can easily be held, and transported, in one hand.
* The enclosure must enable the Lapdock to be used without interference, as in, it has to be comfortable to use the device.
* The enclosure must be usable at home. Meaning, you have to be able to leave the Mac mini in the enclosure when you arrive back at home. To be effortless, the machine would have to work in your home setup without removal.
If this sounds like Apple’s classic Duo Dock in reverse… now you’re getting the idea.
So, what do you think, Mac mini owners? Would you pay something between one and two hundred dollars to convert your Mac mini into something you could take with you on extended trips? I’m thinking this will eventually head the Kickstarter route. Initial feedback I’ve heard from people is positive, so let me know what you think!