This is an idea whose time has come. A modular Mac. Think of it as a single Mac designed to be 1) an entry level Mac for the masses, and 2) a powerful Mac for those who need more digital horsepower, and, 3) a Mac that can expand to handle all the needs of a professional.
One Mac. Simple and elegant and affordable. One Mac that can be expanded to handle tasks that require more power. A modular Mac.
Today’s Macs come in many and varied flavors. Entry level notebooks like the aging MacBook Air (without a Retina display) for $999. Powerful MacBook Pro models with new 6-core Intel i9 Inside, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage for $3,899. There’s the iMac Pro with 8-core Xeon CPUs, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for $4,999.
Wait. There’s more.
In between are various Mac notebooks and desktops but not one Mac is truly a modular Mac.
Modular design, or “modularity in design”, is a design approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules or skids, that can be independently created and then used in different systems. A modular system can be characterized by functional partitioning into discrete scalable, reusable modules; rigorous use of well-defined modular interfaces; and making use of industry standards for interfaces.
It’s time for a modular Mac and the Mac mini would seem to be a perfect candidate.
The base model Mac mini of the future would be simple and elegant; powerful enough for day-to-day entry-level requirements with Apple’s basic Mac apps, but with options to expand storage, add RAM, drop in an external GPU, and even swap out the core for a more advanced modular package.
I’m thinking a case with an Apple iPhone chip inside– an A-Series CPU. Already they’re as powerful as the entry-level MacBook Pro models. Keyboard, mouse, and display are add-ons. Apple could create a Mac mini with three models. The Apple A-Series model as entry level. An Intel Inside mid-range model. And, and Xeon-powered Mac mini model for professionals– all in a similar case design, that can take add-on options for more storage, and external eGPUs for more graphics power.
Apple would have one basic design that could power entry-level, mid-range, and power users– something that cannot be done with Mac notebooks or iMacs, or even the beautiful but flawed Mac Pro.
I like this idea. I want one.