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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Laptop?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are typically fewer do-it-yourself (DIY) options available to build a laptop than to put together a desktop computer, but it is still possible. The easiest way to put together a DIY laptop is to buy a barebones kit. These kits typically consist of a case and a few components, such as the battery, screen, and motherboard. The other way to build a DIY laptop is to obtain all the components separately and fabricate a case to put them in. Many different creative DIY projects can be put together in this way, including picture frame computers and laptops.

Many companies sell barebones laptop kits that can come with a variety of different parts. The simplest kits typically only have a laptop shell, motherboard, battery, and screen. All of the other components, including the central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), and hard drive, need to be obtained separately to build this type of DIY laptop. Since there are so many different laptop specifications, it is important to verify that all of the component parts will work together. The CPU and RAM in particular need to be designed to work with the motherboard that came with the kit.

Another similar option is to purchase a complete DIY kit. Some manufacturers sell kits that include everything necessary to build a complete laptop. These kits are often customizable, and buyers can pick and choose the particular components that will go into each individual DIY laptop. The choices may be more limited than with a barebones kit, but there is also a convenience factor because everything comes together in one box and is guaranteed to fit together properly.

The other option when constructing a DIY laptop is to build everything from the ground up. This sort of endeavor can be perfect for people that are very interested in DIY projects and crafts, and allows for a great deal of creativity. The first step when starting this type of project is to decide what type of a case will be fabricated. Some options are metal and wood, though this will typically be limited by each individual's knowledge and skill level.

When building a DIY laptop from scratch, one option is to use old laptop components instead of purchasing new ones. If an old laptop has broken hinges, a malfunctioning screen, or a bad keyboard, it can be perfect for cannibalizing into a DIY project. One option is to place all of the necessary components into a picture frame that can be hung on a wall, held, or set up on a desk with a stand. It is also possible to use materials such as wood and metal to build a DIY laptop that evokes a steampunk or other similar theme.

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