The events of the past three years have proven how much we’ve become dependent on computers, from doing our work, accomplishing homework, or just chilling out after a tiring day. Computers, however, come in different shapes and sizes, depending on what they’re used for. Laptops are great for portability but are hampered by their size when it comes to raw power. On the other hand, desktops and consoles can do almost everything except let you use them away from a wall socket. There’s no one size fits all, which sometimes results in a nightmare trying to manage different machines in different places and contexts. Having a single computer to rule them all is perhaps a computer user’s dream, but this intriguing mini-computer design is trying to make those dreams come true by offering a single machine that can meet all those needs without too many compromises.
Mini PCs have existed for quite a while, popularized by the likes of the Apple Mac Mini and Intel’s now-retired NUC line. But while they do come in a more compact form that lets you move them around and bring them with you almost anywhere, they actually also bring the worst of both laptops and desktops. They’re fairly limited in terms of hardware performance and you still need to connect it to peripherals like a screen or keyboard and mouse to be useful.
At first glance, the Khadas Mind is just like any other mini PC, albeit one that comes in a very slim package. On its own, it’s already quite powerful and useful, with the basic assortment of ports to connect a display and other peripherals to accomplish common computing tasks. What makes it notable, however, is where you can use the computer, thanks to a trio of devices that transform the mini PC into a computer for any and every occasion.
The equally slim Mind Dock, for example, expands the number and types of connections available, so you can have more displays, more storage, and more devices as your work requires. The boxy Mind Graphics, on the other hand, brings in the big guns when it comes to graphics power, turning the small computer into a gaming box or a content creation machine. The Mind xPlay is a portable display with a detachable keyboard and built-in battery, allowing you to use the same computer literally anywhere.
There are still some caveats to this otherwise multifunctional design, primarily in how you need to buy into the whole ecosystem to really make the magic happen. Although the technology behind it is an industry standard, the connector that the mini PC uses is proprietary, so you can only use it with the accessories that you have to buy separately from the same brand. Khadas Mind is also currently not yet available for purchase, so there’s no clue yet how much this flexibility and freedom will cost you, not to mention the other pieces you need to truly have a PC you can use anywhere.