When I first started really getting into computers there were few things I liked more than getting my hands on the latest issue of Computer Shopper. And there were few things I enjoyed spying more in those massive periodicals than the latest “portable” PCs.
Back then the sewing machine-sized computers weighed around 18 pounds and commanded a steep premium for their “portability.”
The slick DIY creation you see above captures the spirit of those glorious old machines but manages to do it all on a very modest budget… and it’s also genuinely easy to cart around.
User Ragnar84’s custom build utilizes an Asus ROG STRIX B460-I mini-ITX mainboard. It features an Intel Core i3-10100, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 250GB M.2 SSD. A 3GB EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 adds some gaming muscle and a 15.6″ laptop display panel provides bright, 1080p visuals.
Since the case is designed around a standard mini-ITX board everything can be easily upgraded down the road.
The case itself is built from aluminum T-slot extrusion and custom-cut aluminum, ABS, and clear acrylic panels from the laser cutting pros at SendCutSend.com. A removable handle makes the system easy to carry and can be tucked out of the way when it’s no longer needed.
At just 15.75″ x 6.5″ x 10.25″ the whole rig would fit into just about any backpack when it’s time to head off to a LAN. Heck, you could probably set it up on an airplane tray table if you really wanted to (and had access to a power outlet).
All told Ragnar 84’s total cost for the system — including a genuine Windows 10 Home license — came to just over $1,300. That’s an absolute bargain compared to the $10,000-plus Compaq wanted for the Portable 486 I thought was so amazing back in the early 90s.
via Hack A Day