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how do you build a laptop? Answered



There are such things as barebones laptops that come with motherboard, processor and screen all attached, and then you choose parts that go with them. Most parts have to ship from far off places like Taiwan but it can work out cheaper (granted the final laptop can be bulky). It's not for the faint hearted, but to build a true laptop it's the best bet.

Try here first for some ideas:

Due to cost and labor-intensiveness it makes more sense to buy a pre-configured one in most cases. "Barebones" isn't really a common term for laptops. There's some manufacturers working on laptops with more replaceable parts (there's a big demand for replacable video cards in laptops). But, none that I've seen get off the ground and make a product that's worth buying or priced in a reasonable range. Most of what I've seen is just regular laptops stripped of hard drives and RAM... which really doesn't scream BAREBONES to me. From what I've seen and experienced, a cheaper alternative to buying a barebones system, is buying a cheap laptop in the store and then buying parts to upgrade it! I bought my own laptop for $300. I paid an extra $100 for 2 gigs of ram and installed it when I got them home. For $400 I had a computer with the specs I wanted. I had investigated "barebones" laptops before and the cheapest I found that met my needs was roughly $600, before buying parts to go in it. One of the parts I needed was a DVD RW drive. The barebones system needed a specialized drive that was only made for that system, by that company. The drive cost $250. The store-bought system was $300 and included a DVD RW drive plus a whole bunch of things like bluetooth that the other system didn't offer.

You wouldn't be the first person to want to do this. Lots of people have made it their goal over the years. That said, nobody I know of has done it successfully. I can think of a few examples of kit-built portable computers that fit in briefcases, but this was in the 80's and not comparable to computers of today.

Ok, so... how can this be done? First, you'll need a little experience in building PC's, and preferably some experience working with miniature form-factors.

The "briefcase" model could be done (and has been, see link). Basically, it's just what it sounds like... the guts of a PC stuffed in a briefcase with an LCD monitor. This much is actually pretty easy if you buy a mini-ITX motherboard and small-form-factor components. If you make enough room, you might be able to install a battery and an inverter plus a small computer power supply, or better yet a battery and a custom power-supply.

Making a smaller laptop, as in something similar to what you see on store shelves will require expensive laptop parts, or a lot of sacrifices with regular PC parts.

Link to a briefcase PC:

Easiest method would be to order one form one of the many supply houses. Almost all brands offer a customize option on their site. Laptops are touchy and hard to assemble as an end user (the parts are much less common, and harder to work with).