Author Options:

Laptop Style Keyboard to Use with Desktop Computer Answered

How hard would it be to remove the monitor from an old laptop and configure the keyboard to be used with a desktop computer?

I am a touchpad user. I recently purchased a all in one computer. Now I am having to use a mouse. I love the computer but my arm makes it very difficult to use the mouse. I just knew there was something like this out there that I could purchase but I cannot find one anywhere.

Any suggestions would be great.


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

2 years ago

Thank you for your response. I have ordered several keyboards with touchpads but have found they do not work like a traditional laptop/touchpad does. These are geared more towards folks that like to surf the web on their smart TVs, or to use with a tablet. I don't think what I am looking for exists.

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

2 years ago

There exist keyboards with built-in touchpad, and also just the touchpad, with a USB plug on the other end, so you can plug it into a desktop computer. I mean, they're out there.

I'll show you some pictures of them. Or, I mean, I'll show you what DuckDuckGo showed me, in response to an image search for, "usb touchpad",


Regarding the question of re-using individual peripherals from a laptop, like just the touchpad, or just the keyboard, or just the monitor... Usually that is tricky, without guarantee of success.

I mean, the reason why it is tricky, is because you have to deal with tiny, flimsy, unlabeled wires, that might, or might not be, using some common, well-known, data protocol, that a desktop PC also uses.

Like, as an example, the best case would be if those 4 unlabeled conductors are actually unlabeled USB, and you merely have to figure out which wire is which, of {gnd, +5V, D+, D-}

I was trying to find an example of this, but where to look? Hackaday? Youtube?


Usually laptop monitors do not use a well-known protocol, like vga or hdmi, internally. Or at least that used to be the case, basically making the idea of reusing a laptop display, a nice idea, yet almost impossible, unless you used all of the old laptop; i.e. processor, plus operating system, plus graphics card, plus, display, just to make the display work.

I mean you can find examples of people doing this. Like installing a lightweight operating system, onto an old laptop, for to basically make it into a, power wasting, digital picture frame.