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.

Ragnar84’s i3-based luggable PC

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

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  1. Wow, Lee… that first paragraph really struck a chord with me; I was exactly the same way, back in the day. At one point, I even convinced my brother to save up and get one. It was a Pentium Pro model from BSI. I actually still have it, and reincarnating it with ‘modernized’ guts is one of my long term whimsy projects I have yet to get to. But this project is quite awesome.w

    Anyhow, did you know the luggable market is actually still alive and well? In fact, some of the old players from back in the early Computer Shopper ad days are still around.. check them out:
    https://www.bsicomputer.com/products/portable-computer-4
    https://www.theportablepc.com/portable-pc.html

  2. Great idea putting an unisolated screen close to heating elements.

    Specially nice the one blowing heat at the screen (CPU fan).

    Screens really love heat so one should take care to keep them toasty as possible. /s