By: +David Herron; Date: October 27, 2017
Tired of paying thousands of dollars for laptops you can't customize? We used to be able to take apart laptops, fix anything, upgrade them any way we want. Increasingly we're facing laptop choices where the need-for-thin and lightweighting means laptops are glued together, with components soldered to logic boards, and the whole thing is unfixable and unupgradeable. One response is what I've done - this is being typed on a 2012 MacBook Pro that's upgraded to the max in the hope it'll remain viable until sometime in the future when Apple wakes up to what we want. The mindset currently running Apple is missing something big.
Another choice is what's shown in this video -- find out a way to make your own laptop using cheap DIY methods. DIY computer hardware is growing more powerful every year. The exact build shown here is pretty ridiculous, so we should treat this as demonstration of a minimum-viable-product rather than a completed anything. Namely, the build shown here is a Raspberry Pi in a rough cardboard case, a pair of 18650 battery cells with a voltage regulator for power, various hacked up cables, a simple HDMI for display, and everything hot-glued together.
There are several ways to improve on this -- for example the Orange Pi and Banana Pi lines both include boards with 2GB of memory and support SATA drives -- hello large SSD for fast mass storage. And it should be possible to rig up a proper rigid case and a better keyboard/mouse. For a display it's possible to get a laptop display, remove the LCD portion, find an HDMI driver board, and rig it up in a bezel.