Why do we love the Mac mini? First, it’s inexpensive. Second, it can be hidden away easily. Third, it runs macOS. It’s quite, powerful, and the only Mac capable of spanning the scale from bottom to top. Let me explain.
Low, Meet High
First, let’s move the Mac mini to the absolute low end of planet Apple. Stuff an Apple-design, ARM-based A-series CPU in a modular case (I’ll get to the modular component in a moment), give it the latest and most necessary ports, add a version of Linux to the mix as an OS option, and call it a day at $399 with a higher priced option for extra RAM and larger SSD.
SSD only. No hard disk drive.
From there, the sky is not limited. Add another tier to the Mac mini with Intel Inside and make the options the most recent CPUs and keep them updated every year. It cannot be that hard. What that does is give Apple a foothold into ARM-territory with its own CPU designs. That experience will be invaluable in a new Mac notebook with an Apple-designed, ARM-based CPU inside.
You know it’s coming. This is a good way to test the water, and having a Linux server and desktop option brings in the tech crowd.
Alright, with Intel Inside Mac mini needs a modular component; a case that looks and feels like the thin and light Mac mini itself, but with room for external GPUs. They’re all the rage these days and there is no reason Apple cannot park one into a modular case for the Mac mini.
Since the whole shebang is modular, let’s add another modular case for extra storage option that can be user installed. And the modular cases are stackable, each with extra ports.
Finally, since we’re talking expandable modularity here, how about a Mac mini version with some real power– perhaps some Xeon or AMD Ryzen Threadripper options; all in a modular, stackable case that smacks of power use. The Mac Pro, maybe?
Think about it for a moment. The Mac mini as an entry-level Mac, sans keyboard, mouse, or display, but with options to grow and expand with ease; a truly modular device with easy upgradeability from the case to the innards.
One design that starts at $399 with an AMD inside, all the way to a Mac mini Mac Pro, fully modular, powerful as hell, ultra small package.
Yeah, that’s a hybrid Mac of sorts, especially with an option to run a version of Linux inside (Macs already run Windows 10 and various flavors of Unix, but I’m talking an Apple approved version).