BeagleBoard-based Laptop

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(Case: Reusing an old laptop case)
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===Case===
===Case===
Wood. Ridiculously cheap, easy to work with, and decently strong. No, it's not pretty, and it could be lighter and thinner, but remember, cheap is the name of the game. Plastics and metals can be cheap... if you have ways to work with them.
Wood. Ridiculously cheap, easy to work with, and decently strong. No, it's not pretty, and it could be lighter and thinner, but remember, cheap is the name of the game. Plastics and metals can be cheap... if you have ways to work with them.
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You could also try an old laptop case... perhaps you can also use the screen and some of the peripherals too.  Be aware that the motherboard space in most laptops is small and awkwardly shaped - but maybe the Beagle is small enough to cope.
===LCD===
===LCD===

Revision as of 13:08, 8 October 2009

This page has been created to share information on creating a laptop based on the BeagleBoard.

Contents

The easy way

Just buy a Touch Book, and be done with it. But, that's no fun, now, is it?

The hard way

So, you want to actually do this yourself.

Here's what you'll need, at bare minimum:

  • BeagleBoard (revision C3 recommended)
  • Powered USB hub
  • USB keyboard and pointing device
  • Storage device of some kind (in this case, either an SD card or a USB mass storage device)
  • LCD that can be interfaced to DVI/HDMI or the BeagleBoard's built-in LCD controller
  • Some way of powering this LCD (if it can run off of +5 VDC, and its inverter can too, all the better)
  • Some form of case (hinges are important, too)

Other things that you'll want:

  • Speakers
  • A DVI/HDMI splitter, if you're using a DVI/HDMI LCD (for multi-monitor support)
  • USB Wifi
  • USB ethernet
  • Battery and charging circuit

Thoughts of how to do it

Ideally, this would be done cheaply. Seeing as this is DIY, you can cheat. Find a cheap used LCD on eBay? Go for it. Got a dead ThinkPad lying around with a keyboard that would be perfect for this? Why not?

Case

Wood. Ridiculously cheap, easy to work with, and decently strong. No, it's not pretty, and it could be lighter and thinner, but remember, cheap is the name of the game. Plastics and metals can be cheap... if you have ways to work with them.

You could also try an old laptop case... perhaps you can also use the screen and some of the peripherals too. Be aware that the motherboard space in most laptops is small and awkwardly shaped - but maybe the Beagle is small enough to cope.

LCD

To get one decently small with reasonable resolution, there's only one option, really... find something out of a broken laptop. Of course, you'll need to hook it to either DVI or LVDS, have fun with that...

Keyboard and pointing device

First things first, this is RISC OS, you need three buttons. ThinkPads are your best bet, as they've all (well, all the recent ones) got three-button TrackPoints, although you'll need to adapt the keyboard to dual PS/2, and then USB, somehow.

Power

If you're doing this on the cheap, remember that charging LiIon is difficult, expensive, and/or dangerous, pick 2 of the 3. NiMH is probably the way to go.




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