Picture of LapPi - A Raspberry Pi Netbook
The Raspberry Pi is a remarkable machine. Lightweight, powerful, and until now it was completely tethered to a wall socket. The LapPi is built to free the Pi! It's made from a mixture of spare parts, unallocated electronics, and scrapped components & cables I have built it in response to the Raspberry Pi Challenge. The challenge was picked up on the 15th of October via retweet from @raspberry_pi, and by the end of the day I knew what I wanted to do....

The basic idea is simple. Put a Raspberry Pi inside an aluminum case, wire it up to a screen, keyboard, mouse & batteries. Then plug in a USB hub, connect Wifi, Bluetooth, and the receiver for a wireless keyboard. We will also need to extend the Network port, add a headphone socket & speakers, fit in a battery pack, and then wire it all together! Simples.

The LapPi made joint second in the Raspberry Pi Challenge! Congratulations to the other winners, and well done to everyone who entered.

Step 1: Materials & Preparations

I have used a 7" LCD panel & logic board. It has HDMI, VGA, Composite & 2 AV inputs. For the purposes of the LapPi we will only be using the HDMI connection. The logic board also has a menu board with buttons to select inputs, & configure the LCD panel. The panel is 800x480 with LED backlights, it requires a 12v feed.

Before I began work I checked that the Raspberry Pi worked with the screen. I also configured the display's resolution, and made a funky desktop picture.

Components used;

1 x Raspberry Pi.
1 x 8gb SD Card.
1 x Raspy Juice Expansion Board.
1 x LCD with Logic Board & Menu Board.
1 x Aluminum Case.
1 x 4-Port USB Hub (powered).
1 x +5v 1a LDO from Flytron*
1 x USB GPS Dongle.
1 x USB WiFi.
1 x USB Bluetooth Dongle.
1 x Mini USB 2.4ghz Wireless Keyboard & Track-pad.
2 x Mini Speakers.
1 x Microphone Socket.
1 x Ten AA Battery Holder.
10 x NiMh 1.2v AA Cells | or | 8 x Alkaline 1.5v AA Cells.
1 x Panel Mount USB Socket.
1 x Panel Mount RJ45 Socket.
1 x Panel Mount 2.1mm DC Socket.
1 x Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) Slide Switch.
1 x HDMI Cable.
1 x IDE Cable.
1 x Network Cable.
2 x Metal Mesh.
1 x Passive Heat-sink.
3 x Sticky Foam Strips.
1 x Ringed Tie-Wrap.
1 x Standard Tie-Wrap.
1 x Tie-Wrap Sticky Block.

I have removed the casings from the USB dongles, the USB HUB, and de-soldered the USB dongle plugs.

The battery pack will provide 12v if used with 10 1.2v NiMh Rechargeable batteries. To get 12v from standard alkaline batteries you will need only 8 cells, as Alkaline non-Rechargeable cells provide a higher output of 1.5v. The LapPi is designed to operate on 12v.

It is worth noting that not all USB devices are compatible with the Raspberry Pi. The elinux.org wiki contains a list of verified compatible peripherals.

UPDATE: In Step 14 I replace the underpowered LDO with a 15w DC-DC Converter & fit a 2x1watt Stereo Amplifier.

Additional parts used for the update;

1 x DC-DC 15w 12v-5v 3A Converter.
1 x RK Education Stereo Amplifier.
1 x Switch (DPDT).
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How long does the Raspberry Pi last on battery power with the 15w 3amp converter. and 8 1.5v AA batteries. I am looking at a portable project. A very low budget project.

kmarriott4 months ago

In the process of building my own! This project Rocks!! Thank you for some great ideas! I love what you did here!

NickR84 months ago

Is there an alternative to the raspy juice expansion board? They are currently out of stock

SilverJimny (author)  NickR84 months ago

something like this would probably work | https://pi.gate.ac.uk/pages/mopi.html

OlivD4 months ago

I have a project of a small computer but with a DVD\CD Player. I know
that it's impossible to use a CD player with an Android Tablet so my
question is : Is it possible ? How ? (Hardware and Software ?)

Dolphinone5 months ago
Would it be practical to make the case water and or air tight?
Kutluhan5 months ago

Wifi, GPS, & Bluetooth you decided the hard way. You can just use mini dongles.

puihuenlaw7 months ago

Exercise me, how big the Aluminum Case should I buy?

Also keep the shields (wifi, gps, bluetooth..) in your mind. They all must be fit into lower area.

SilverJimny (author)  puihuenlaw7 months ago

Depends on your screen size. You'll need to match it to your LCD.

about 7 inch lcd. A 25.5X16X8CM(XxZxY) Aluminum Case?

SilverJimny (author)  puihuenlaw7 months ago

So long as the internal space is large enough for the screen you'll be fine. Remember to account for a border around the edge to mount the LCD.

I no longer have the LapPi in my possession, or a 7" LCD so unfortunately I can't take any measurements for you.

Oh too bad :(

I think 8cm whole tall and 4 cm per side tall is OK

Should I use bigger case like 9.5cm whole tall ??

PaytonW7 months ago

Approximately how much does this all cost?

SilverJimny (author)  PaytonW7 months ago

from what I remember it was about £200. I built it from spare parts so I can't give an exact figure. I imagine you'll be able to build it for a little less than that now.

Crafterkid12311 months ago

make a larger keyboard and a thinner case. seriously. also polish the wood or replace it with plastic, doesn't fit well.

tomzbeast1 year ago

can you make me one? how much

bandicoot_1 year ago
Sir, I recommend a larger keyboard.


Check this shop out for the amp kit,



jakecake1 year ago
This is one of my first instructable but the battery is connected to the what
Oliverhall1 year ago

Great project! I love homemade raspberry pi laptops ;)

Here's is a good webstore to buy the parts that you are using in your project: http://voltatek.com/en/7-raspberry-pi

nerd74731 year ago
I also am in need of a screen or a power source for my screen
nerd74731 year ago
how curious I am currently working on a raspberry pi laptop I call it the pi-top
Man Cave1 year ago
I'm been thinking about making a raspberry pi umpc using a sylvania 7 inch laptop like the ones you can get at cvs pharmacy as a case. Does anyone know if the rpi will fit and if the circuitry such as the screen, battery pack, keyboard, ect. would work?

UMPC stands for ultra mobile personal computer. (kinda like the open pandora)

with that said please dont tell me about the red and black 3d printed cased one else has made, because that one is bulky and doesn't fold. i would try to build something much sleeker and more expensive looking.
SilverJimny (author)  HiPoweredHacker1 year ago

¡Alucinante! (In spanish)
codie281 year ago
What is this capable of? How much can it handle? Btw nice design mate.
SilverJimny (author)  codie281 year ago
It can do whatever a Raspberry Pi inside an aluminium flight case can do. Really it's a case of what can you do with it.
tomzbeast1 year ago
mate I will pay you cash + your time can you please make me one absolutely amAZING
How big and how heavy is the final product?
Can you make me one? I will pay US dollars, name your price, I will pay for shipping and handling, I you want to make it! Thanks for listening, and bless your face! If you sneezed while reading this bless you, email me at nicholaslupo1@gmail.com

I scrolled already trough a billion pages on all diffrent sites how much did you pay for the case?
SilverJimny (author)  dennisbengel2 years ago
£24.99 for 3 cases of different sizes. They were from Maplin.co.uk, but I can't find them listed any more.
Where can i get a cheap aluminum case
SilverJimny (author)  dennisbengel2 years ago
What is the weight with everything in it
robotteen2 years ago
how much does this cost overall in $
mshaw192 years ago
How much did this all cost?
SilverJimny (author)  mshaw192 years ago
Approximately £250
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