how to make a tablet pc mother board to run android? or is there a generic board that can be bought?

i really want to make a tablet pc which is probably completely out of my depth but hey theres no harm in trying. obviously at home making a logic board for one would be very difficult and i wouldn't know where to start with the schematic. i was wondering if any companies do it or if there is a generic board that alot of the tablets use that i could buy. i dont see any problem with obtaining a screen and designing/ making a case. i obviously can't use a computer motherboard because of the size and heat of it. can anyone help? thanks in advance

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I've been looking to do the same project (maybe we can keep each other informed), and I was looking at the BeagleBoard as a mobo. It can come with a Linux kernel, but depending on the size of the project you're looking to do, the EM-X270 mobo would work (http://www.compulab.co.il/x270em/html/x270-em-datasheet.htm). The Telit module attached to it has access to at least one provider's (T Mobile) 3G wavelengths (1900 MHz, I want to say) if you're up to the activation cost.

The EM-X270 is a tad dated, but it has respectable specs. Developing an Android skin might work to the betterment of utilizing less of the board's computing abilities.

The BeagleBoard would require some desoldering to remove some of the ports (I'm looking at you, VGA). The nice thing about the BeagleBoard, though, is that there's a battery developed for it, and as far as I know if you hook two up in parallel, you can come out with some really respectable battery life (13 hours, I believe).

We can keep each other posted on this. I've done a tad bit of research on it, but haven't quite gotten it down yet. Best of luck!
Could you use a Raspberry Pi as a motherboard? It' a lot cheaper than BeagleBoard and can do HD video.
MANIAC (author)  Michael.JosephII6 years ago
thanks for the info. both those boards seem quite good. a problem would be trying to connect a screen to it and programming. im not so strong on the porgramming side. i was wondering if you could get an lcd (maybe a netbook one) screen and then layer this on top:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200446143128#ht_2210wt_1139

problem would be getting a controller, programming it and programming the board to work with it. i dont think adding a battery pack would be very difficult and the case of it can be made from acrylic making it cheap but look decent. you can get designs custom built at ponoko.com . also, it would need wifi. so i guess the main problems are the screen, and some sort of network card/ chip (internal)?
I know the EM-X270 can be purchased with a wifi option, I was thinking of using one of the BeagleBoard's USB ports for a wifi nub (eg: http://www.provantage.com/trendnet-tew-649ub~7TDW901Y.htm).

I did some research, and it looks like using a capacitive touch screen would be better suited for tablet/smartphone projects (eg. http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/142-400&CAWELAID=220204199) after layering it over another screen. It's more expensive, but the responsiveness and usability of multitouch is much greater than with a resistive touch screen.

Unfortunately for the both of us programming is my weakest area, as well, so I don't really have anything to offer in that area.
I would be more then happy to help with the Coding aspects of it. I am very familiar with Coding OS, Expecialy Debian builds. Just let me know mabye we can be a trio and start our own APPLE :P
Hi I too interested on this please keep post your findings
Oh yeah IT would be Open source because it rules woot.
PS, I found out that Compulab has a service where they can see whether or not a specific display is compatible with the EM-X270:

http://www.compulab.co.il/x270cm/html/x270-lcd.htm

If they can adapt that, then that might eliminate a bunch of our troubles.
espowqyl5 years ago
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More information:
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I am interested in this project as well. I have a good software background and can contribute to the software part of the project. Beagle bone looks a promising architecture to begin with. But here are some resources which I would like to share with you based on my findings:
http://www.conexant.com/products/entry.jsp?id=626
(really cheap, but dont know where to source this from)
http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/OMAP3_Boards
http://www.ultratronik.de/mensch-maschine-interface.html?&L=2

With Aakash tablet (http://www.akashtablet.com/) coming for less than $60 in India, i am sure we post a low cost instructable out here. Let me know your thoughts.