YouTuber builds custom handheld PC with macOS Big Sur

Being able to install macOS on non-Mac computers is nothing exactly new thanks to the Hackintosh process, but a YouTuber decided to put Apple’s operating system on a rather unusual machine. Ike T. Sanglay Jr. has built a tiny handheld PC that runs the Intel version of macOS Big Sur, which is the latest available to users right now.

The internal hardware, as you might expect, is not exactly amazing — but it’s still PC hardware in a small device. Ike used a LattePanda Alpha SBC (single board computer) with an Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB RAM, a 240GB SSD, and an Arduino Leonardo microcontroller.

To put everything together with the display, keyboard, and all the cables, the YouTuber used a special 3D-printed case. There’s also a single fan inside to keep everything cool — because, you know, it runs on an Intel processor. With the hardware ready, the next step was to install macOS Big Sur just as with any other Hackintosh PC.

Ike has successfully booted the custom handheld PC into macOS, but unfortunately, as noted by The Verge, the YouTuber didn’t show much detail about how the system runs on it. This might be because some things don’t seem to work properly (like the battery indicator), but at least Ike has proven that Big Sur runs on this machine.

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.

Of course, there isn’t much practical use for a handheld PC running macOS with limited functionality, but the YouTuber acknowledges that he did it just for fun.

Also, it’s quite interesting to see how computer hardware has evolved to the point where it can be put into smaller devices, like a handheld PC or even an iPad (which, honestly, should be able to run macOS at this point).

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