How to Make a Tablet Pc From an Old Laptop




Check out my other projects:
Xbox Hackintosh casemod
DIY Spy phone

In this project i used an old Fujitsu Siemens life book S series laptop. It has got a 1 Ghz processor and 256 Mb ram, (not sure about the graphic card but i know its between 8-32 Mb). In this instructable i will show how to do tablet pc the easy way(and the cheapest) , and how to do it hard way (including "touch" screen etc). I personaly did it the hard way about half way and run out of materials and  i decided to finish it the easy way.

In this project you will need: 

1.Old laptop
2. Soldering iron
3.some wires
4. Basic tools to open up the laptop

And if you are doing the hard way you will also need:

6.Lots of straight plastic
7.Something to melt down the plastic
8. And for the touch screen i would have used device called Minio Xi (look from google)(and buy from Ebay)  . It is mostly used to make projektor sceen "touch" screen. This device uses infrared to map out where the pen is moving on the screen. I will talk about it later in the quide.

The skils you will need to make this are:

1. Soldering
2. Plastic soldering
3. Basic knowledge how things work
4. Lots of patience

And of course for the hard way you will also need:

5.Problem solving skills
6.Serious knowledge how things work
7.Way to know how to make "special" tools
8. Huge amount of patience :D

And sorry for my English its not my main language but i will try to make it readable :D

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Step 1: Tearing Up the Laptop

This is just basic demolition of the laptop.
Decide wich parts you will use in your project and wich you will modify.

Step 2: Building the Tablet Pc (easy Way) Part 1

rememberthat youare working insensitiveelectronic equipmentinvolved.Make sure to groundyourselfbefore you start working.Remember alsothat the LCDmonitor uses veryhighvoltagewhenturned on.Thisdoes not killyou, buthurtsa lot.

The basic idea of the easy way is to flip the screen upside down on the laptop chasis.
This can be a easy job to do but there is always something that wont fit, work. so you have to make it work or fit or both.
For examble in my case i had to find out how to make the power button to work and fit in so i can power up the pc.
As you can see in the seacond picture i had to solder two wires to the pins in order to get the ON/OFF switch to the other side of the laptop.
After i did that i had to modify the heatsink to fit under the screen
as you can see in the picture number 5. Without the heatsink the laptop overheats and shuts down
after that i put all in their own place and installed speacers and other things i needed and did a test run as you can see in the last two pictures

Step 3: Easy Way Part 2 (plastic Soldering)

when you'reat the pointwhenyouputall theparts on their the screens original frame on the LCD screen, andtrywhether it fits right.If you arepleasedyou can start  plasticsoldering.

Heat up the soldering iron about 240 degrees celsius and start welding the plastic together.


Step 4: Easy Way Part 3

and now its ready.  use USB mouse to operate it and on screen keyboard to write

Step 5: Now for the Hard Way

afteryou have extractedthe wholecomputer, fit thenecessary componentsonyour computer screento seehow much spaceyou need and howmuchextrathere is and how to make more space.
I had to tear up the battery plastic chasis in order to fit it in the space i had. Use flat screwdriver to do that.
when  done everything needed proceed to the next part.

Step 6: Hard Way Part 2 (Making the Tablet Pc Body)

This is the part where i had to stop building this one. Mainly reason is that i run out of materials and the seacond reason that i'm too lazy :D But i wil show you how to take it to the end but you will have to use your own brain and imagination to do that.

First of all i started to make the frame to the tablet. i cut the plastic the way i needed it and folded the plastic the way i had to in orded to make the frame to the tablet. the frame is about the size of the screen.
this is where i drop out. You can use plexi glass to make the top and bottom sides to the frame.

And for the touch screen part. I would have used Mimio Xi to do that. It uses one USB  port to power and to work. it uses infrared to map out where the pen is moving. the pen sends infrared to the mimio xi and the mimio calculates where the pen is moving. the pen is like computer mouse but instead moving it on the table you can move it on the screen. The mimio xi Is very expensive to buy but you can find it from the Ebay cheap. and you don't have to buy the whole thing you will only need the same parts shown on the last picture. there is the pen and the receiver. But make sure first that it works on the laptop before building it, because it needs drivers and the software to work. I have one mimio xi my self and its on my video projector screen so i can operate computer from the wall if i have to, and let me tell you. IT IS useless but so cool to use :DD

So this is it this is all the information you need. Have fun Building your own laptop tablet. and Make a post if you did the hard way to the finish. Please RATE AND COMMENT and if there is something bothering PM me and i'l do something about it. Happy building!

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    99 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    if you would like to do this but dont want windows or apple software try this
    it is android made for pc. you can install it from cd or via usb.
    this works best and its light to use

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Man thanks for a great innovative idea i am thinking to start a project on this i have anlysed the project but there a problem with that big batteries behind on my acer v5 131 netbook is there anyway to replace them with some small batteries or like some kind usb charging! Please help me on this


    Reply 5 years ago

    is the touchscreen compatible with Android?


    2 years ago

    I'm building this as just a little side project. I messed up the screen on the second one, but luckily i had 2 laptops. I don't plan on building a case for it yet since the components I'm using are a little slow, but i do have a spare motherboard i can use. Feel free to email me for updates on mine.


    3 years ago

    Any guides for dell xps m170?


    3 years ago

    Hi. I got to the part where I have everything arranged like the LCD and such, but my laptops power button is on the keyboard, which I have to remove. Putting the keyboard so that the power button sticks out is out of the option because the only place where the short cable allows the power button to protrude is in the way of the LCD cable.


    3 years ago

    whats the cheapest old laptop you can get


    4 years ago on Introduction

    great idea to turn a laptop whit windows into a type of computer that originaly doesnt support windows OS, pay respect to this guy, he deserves it

    1 reply

    Hey guys,there is another cheaper way to build a laptop under $70-$100.


    1.grab a cheap tablet (with atleast 8gb internal memory.)*(any android smartphone/phablet should do it) "Change my software 7 edition (for win 7) or change my software 8 edition(for windows 8)

    3.master reset or backup all app data.

    4.connect the tab/phone(**android only) via pc cable supplied or buy it under$2

    5.launch the app and make sure if internet is on.

    6.waait for few hours(**depends on internet speed) as it will download drivers + 2 gb of the operating system.

    7.after installation plz restart or let it do automatically

    8.enjoy(first login takes time)

    There you go .experience windows7/8 like as if in a pc.

    9....(optional) after lagon go to taskbar,right click on it,Select toolbars and select touch keyboard so it is eay to type in.

    Download it from here: (depens on platform. alternatively transform android tab to ipad,windows tablet,some blackberry sort of os and vice verse(description over the website)

    **tried it on miromax tablet and over Galaxy tab 10.1

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    I'm going to do this with my zv6000, RAM is maxed and just needs a new hard drive. I'm starting out with just rotating the screen. if it works out I'll see about buying a touch panel for the screen so I have more functionality.


    4 years ago on Step 4

    This doesn't make sense.. if you can just flip your screen around melt it, and switch to an on screen keyboard.. I dont see how any software tracks the touch aspect from a backwards screen.... why turn the screen around and melt it?

    1 reply

    He meant use the on-screen keyboard using your mouse. Not your hand, as no touch-screen software/hardware has ben built into the laptop yet.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    about the thin, tape-like connecting wires that connect most parts of the laptop to its mainboard, how can you expand it?

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    There isn't really a way to expand the cable. It's too fragile. But you could try to search a longer cable from the internet. like in example .


    4 years ago on Step 4

    They also sell touchscreen conversion kits I believe so then it could be a true touch tablet, last you can install windows 8 since it's designed for touch :3

    no unless you add touchscreen kit (touchscreen overlay) which would cost around $100 - $200, which beats the purpose of this project . I guess the OP is using mouse to type on on-screen keyboard.