Intel’s NUC line of computers are compact PCs designed to take up a lot less space than a typical desktop computer… but due to their small size, they typically have the kind of hardware you’d expect from a laptop.

So maybe it’s not surprising that someone decided to build a DIY laptop powered by an NUC.

Axel Wolestenholme’s “Completely Modular Intel NUC Laptop” combines a 16 inch display, a 185 Wh battery, an NUC, and an off-the-shelf keyboard… and some plywood.

It’s not the prettiest (or lightest) laptop around — it has an entire Intel NUC NUC8I5INH mini desktop crammed into the DIY case.

But it’s a portable computer that runs on battery power, and as Wolstenholme points out, it’s modular — you can replace the screen, keyboard, or battery. You can open up the NUC to add memory or storage, or replace the NUC with a different mini PC altogether.

He says he chose the NUC8I5INH because its Intel Core i5-8265U processor and AMD Radeon 540X discrete graphics offer better performance than an Intel Bean Canyon NUC (with a Coffee Lake-U processor and Iris Plus graphics), while still consuming only around 40 watts of power.

That means the DIY laptop can run for about 3-4 hours on a charge… when using an enormous battery (that’s too large to pack in checked luggage when boarding a flight in the United States).

Of course, you could probably get away with using a smaller battery if you opted for a less powerful mini PC. We’ve seen plenty of DIY laptops made from Raspberry Pi computers over the years — including models small enough to fit in your pocket and run off a small USB power bank.

You can find more details about Wolstenholme DIY modular laptop (along with some of its pros and cons) in the 11 minute video below:


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3 replies on “DIY laptop made from an Intel NUC mini desktop with AMD graphics (video)”

  1. Missing the point entirely. This isn’t to have the cheapest laptop. It’s because the guy wanted to build something.

    I work on cars..often it costs more for me to do something. But I relax doing it, I teach my kids how cars work etc.

    Not everything is about the lowest purchase price.

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