Swiveling arms replace Laptop LCD hinges

This swivel arm LCD screen is [Ben Heck's] latest hack. It replaces the hinges that normally only allow one point of rotation on the screen. You can still use the laptop like normal, but when space is at a premium a second adjustment, both in rotation and linear position, has been added using the slots and screw knobs seen above. Ostensibly this is to use on an airplane, where there may not be enough space to fully open your laptop. We’ll let you decide if it’s wise to try to get your own hacks past airport security. Historically, the TSA hasn’t been impressed with hardware hackers. We like how this came out and could see ourselves using these techniques to make a convertible tablet notebook by reworking the cable routing.

We’ve embedded [Ben's] quick demo of the finished product after the break. If you want to see the whole build process it is the subject of Episode 5 of the Ben Heck Show.

[Thanks Geoffrey via Engadget]

Comments

  1. 24601 says:

    Is this video another one of those where he starts one project, then in the middle switches to a different project for most of the video, before finally finishing the first project? If so, PASS.

  2. fartface says:

    Is he majorly FAT to not have the room on an airplane to open his laptop?

    Cripes I even had plenty of room to use my 17″ on one of the Delta puddle jumpers. unless his gut sticks out and his fat flows everywhere there is plenty of room for a laptop to be fully open.

  3. arfink says:

    I have met Ben Heckendorn in person, and he’s actually as skinny as a rail. However, if you’re into actually being able to type on your laptop you should know that having the keyboard pressed up against your stomach is hardly helpful. This is so that you can have the base of the laptop a bit farther away and put the screen into a better position. Personally I think it’s a clever design. Also, being able to flip the screen around like that would make an ideal way of making a flip-tablet laptop thingy.

  4. Wolfton says:

    Although TSA may have thier reservations about allowing this in flight…

    I hate, no I HATE it, when I’m using my 17″ or even my 12.1″ Tablet on an airplane and the incredibly inconsiderate yahoo in the seat in front of me abruptly reclines his seat while I’m using my tray table not only to support my laptop but ALSO my shallow cup of Coke the flight attendant just poured for me.

    Hooray for Ben Heck!

  5. JONnyboy says:

    This could also make a sweet all-in-one mode for watching movis on a desk, using a touchscreen, etc.
    Good job!

  6. F-o-CUS says:

    looks great.
    I’d love one!

  7. asheets says:

    I think we just saw the prototype of Ben’s next commercial product…

  8. mbear says:

    Actually there was an IBM Thinkpad that used to do this. It was a proto-tablet model in the 7XX range (I think).

  9. Wizzard says:

    Vadem/Clio did this way before Ben and IBM did- Produced and sold en-masse in 1998.

    http://www.pencomputing.com/archive/PCM25/hardware25/vadem_clio.html

  10. 5318008 says:

    This is like that new Dell (Toshiba? Something, whatever) laptop/tablet that’s out that has a swiveling screen. There’s an actual, commercial, purchasable-now product out there with a swivel screen. But not extensible, which gives me the idea that every laptop from now should have in-built the ability to extend the screen upward once the lid’s open, to improve ergonomics. Wouldn’t be too hard or add much expense.

  11. jim says:

    Very clunky and fragile looking.

  12. Martin H. says:

    @mbear: It was/is the IBM Transnote (P3 with 600 MHz). It has a 10 inch touch display and its base is a bit larger than A4 and letter.

  13. cmholm says:

    I agree with Wolfton and arfink that this design can make it much easier to get a good viewing position in-flight (among other places). My PB G4’s video flex cable shows signs of being close to giving up the ghost, so it’s nice to have an alternative approach when it comes time to fix it.

  14. Erik says:

    Is he fat? No. He’s tall. I have the same problem on planes. More so when the person in front of you pushes their seat back. I’d love this on a laptop. It looks a little fragile But other than that it’s pretty solid in my opinion.

  15. cmholm says:

    OT, looking in the background of the photo… exactly how many old game carts has he got stacked underneath his DVDs?

  16. Hirudinea says:

    Every laptop should have this, with just a little twisting you could make it into a tablet too.

  17. luke says:

    WHYYY?? :'( every time i have a good idea either someone else comes up with it after me but publishes it before me or i realise its from a vague maemory when i eventually re-discover it.
    i though of this two years back. haven’t got round to making it yet and im only 13 so its not like i could get a patent or do anything amazing that costs money.
    anyone else have this happen to them or is it just me?
    (i am not accusing you of stealing)

  18. aztraph says:

    nice idea, i like it, but did he have to make the transformer noise? seriously, i have some spare laptops, think i’ll try this, good job

  19. wernicke says:

    I’m tall enough that I refuse to even try to use my laptop inflight. Not worth the hassle.
    What I’d like to see is a dual-head transformer-like laptop with two monitors that and have some reasonable positionability.

  20. jeditalian says:

    time to exhibit scissorphobia. since scissors probably weren’t invented in time to make a latin word, Xyrophobia is the fear of razors.. anyway: flexible steel cable shielding.

  21. jeditalian says:

    a little preemptive googling would have helped here.. nice thingamajig, i wish my phone did that.

  22. davo1111 says:

    its cool, i like the design. I admire his soldering skills.

  23. ARG-A-TRON says:

    SOOOOO disapointed that he never bothered with a touchscreen conversion kit… that would have made this worth doing…

  24. Star Simpson says:

    As the hardware hacker in question mentioned with respect to airport security, it is NOT the TSA who had any issue with my breadboard sweatshirt.

    * For the TSA to have taken issue with it, I would have to have been trying to board a plane

    * Massachusetts State Police, who did, != TSA.

    cheers,

    Star

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92,417 other followers