Maker Ike T. Sanglay Jr. has shown off what he believes to be the world's first handheld computer capable of running Apple's macOS 11 "Big Sur" operating system — courtesy of a LattePanda Alpha single-board computer in a 3D-printed housing.
"As for how I installed macOS," Sanglay explains in his video walk-through of the project, "I just followed the OpenCore Dortania guide. The LattePanda Alpha has an Intel [Core] m3-8100Y CPU and 8 gigabytes of RAM."
While the LattePanda Alpha is powerful enough to run Apple's latest macOS release — albeit unofficially, with Apple long looking down on those who create "hackintosh" builds running macOS without valid licenses — it's not a handheld, which is where Sanglay's build comes in.
Implementing a Broadcom Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module, additional cooling fans, and a battery originally designed for a Chuwi MiniBook laptop, Sanglay's project adds a keyboard and touchpad, an Arduino Leonardo as a board management controller, and a custom housing printed in PLA Plus — "more heat-resistant and stronger than regular PLA," Sanglay notes.
An HDMI display completes the handheld, though takes up the primary video output of the LattePanda SBC — "but we can still get video on the USB [Type-]C port," Sanglay adds, meaning it's possible to drive two displays from the device.
"Maybe you'll say that handheld macOS is not practical, yada yada," Sanglay predicts. "Well, sure, you're right: I just want to make one for myself. Besides, I think I'll mostly use this as a Mac Mini per se."
"'Oh, but for that price you could have bought an [Apple] M1 Mac Mini instead.' I know, but where's the fun in that?"
The full build, with links to the guides for installing macOS Big Sur on non-Apple hardware, is showcased on Sanglay's YouTube channel.