I had built a few projects, including a carputer for my ’79 Camaro and a small computer out of a radio controlled car shell with flashing lights on HDD activity etc, all of which use ideas taken from this website.
This, my first original computer design came out of frustration and I hope one day we will see a case that allows people to bolt together their own laptop in a weekend – and not have to spend days in the shed annoying the neighbours with my angle grinder and learning how to mig weld aluminium like I did!
There are ‘bare bones’ kits from some manufacturers, but you are still expected to pay through the nose. To have one designed around standard Mini-ITX components would be great for the kind of people who do not want a laptop that we can fit in an envelope, rather a unit that we can use all around the house for a decent price.
I decided to create a laptop that at any point, I could upgrade every component as they grew too old. For very little money, I have created a 2GHz processor laptop with 1GB Ram, and an ATI Radeon 9200 128MB graphics card. OK, so it is a PCI graphics card and could be faster, but everything is upgradable – I could slot in a motherboard with PCI Express in the future.
The size of this could have been a lot smaller. With a Nano-ITX mainboard and no external graphics card it could almost be as small as a regular laptop, but that was not my plan. It needed to be as powerful as aÃ‚ regular desktop or I could not use it every day for office applications and games.