Build your own Laptop, thoughts...


What do y'all think about designing a laptop form factor that let's tech people design their own portable computers? I always did until I went portable and then I switched to Apple.. but what I really want is to build my own laptop like I used to do with my desktops.

For the PC market this was made possible by the AT range of motherboard standards and standard port and slot positioning. Which of course led to cases, PSU, drives and all the other goodies we like to make our own boxes from.

There are now really small motherboards such as the ITX range from VIA. Systems like Pi are too under-powered for building high performance hardware out of.

ITX - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile-ITX

These platforms are a bit tall still for a real laptop.

Intel made some reference designs for Ultra Notebooks to compete with the Apple Macbook Air, so that is another sort of attempt.

So sort of like

1) A standard motherboard design that focused on CPU, Chipset and RAM which tend to be designed together as a cluster.

2) Two sideways PCI style connectors, one that went to graphics and one that went to IO. These daughter boards would also be based on certain dimensions so that together they formed the main board.

3) Cases could then be made that fit these modules

4) Displays would connect into the case and with varying methods the case would connect the GPU board to the monitor

There are other components, such as keyboard, trackpad and power. Storage could be based on the M2 format as an example.

Thunderbolt could also be used as a form of internal universal interconnect, which would allow for more diverse designs and pass through.


Something not as sleek as a Macbook Pro due to the need for more variability and accessibility, just as a build your own desktop is more chunky than an AIO.

Your Thoughts?

Constructive comments on people's attempts to build their own portable computers, examples of existing tech that might work or companies that might be useful.