Don’t buy an IPAD, Make one!

When [Liu] decided he wanted one of the new iPads, rather than fork out the cash he decided to build his own tablet Mac. His creation functions just as you would expect any tablet PC with some nice extra features such as running on Windows XP for any of you Microsoft lovers. [Lui’s] tablet apparently only cost him about $300USD, about half the price of the real thing. The two part video shows the entire construction in fast forward including a demonstration of the final working product. It looks like the tablet is built using spare tablet/laptop components and the case is constructed from sheet aluminum before being painted and labelled with apple stickers. The final product is a bit thicker than the real thing but looks great in the laptop style case [Lui] has whipped up. Kudos to the guy for saving a few bucks and making something great in the process, the video after the break is definitely worth a watch. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of thing, actually we’ve seen a few.

Comments

  1. tooth says:

    that is vary nice. it cost half the price and it has more function than the i pad.it also can run xp. it looks a bit thick but i don’t think i would mind if it has more power and more function.

  2. _txf_ says:

    Not also CAN run XP. It runs windows xp. I would argue that it would have been better to run Android (x86), rather than skin XP to look like an ugly OSX.

  3. EFH says:

    Personally, I don’t get it. The Windows UI works terribly in a tablet form factor; if it worked well, we’d see successful tablet PCs on the market, but we don’t. As it stands, this is cute and fun to do, but the notion that it’s as good as, let alone better than, an iPad is pretty ridiculous. It’s an underpowered PC with no keyboard — big whoop.

  4. Peter says:

    EFH, no offence but have you actually done this before yourself ? – if not which is possibuly the best bet, i wouldnt pass judgement if i were you.

    • Desertfrog702 says:

      Peter I completely agree with you. this dude is going to be the next steve jobs/bill gates of china if he keeps this up. great so ” this isn’t an ipad” NO SHIT PPL!!! guarantee you looked up build an ipad on google and this came up. I want to see you solder some computer shit together and it be able to turn on. THIS IS WHY AMERICA IS SCREWED this little china man mad his own table. WHO CARES WHAT HE CALLED IT!!!! that was one of the coolest youtube vides ive seen. you thinks its lame, well then go ask your momy to buy you one, if this guy keeps this up hell be making his own tablets in a few years. Peter you are one in a few with your head on straight. I think the rest of the comments on here are from nutless kids. and I mean 16-28 possibly even older IDIOTS. ITS THE FUTURE ! WE CANT RELY ON PPL BUILDING SHIT FOR US. THE TECH IS THERE THIS IS A SMART MAN YOUR ALL FUCKING IDIOTS…..

      that being said I love America goodnight

  5. silvesterstillalone says:

    @EFH

    “It’s an underpowered PC with no keyboard — big whoop.”

    So are all tablets, including iPads.

  6. MS3FGX says:

    It’s a nice build, but I would have to agree with the others, actually comparing this to an iPad is pretty disingenuous.

  7. M4CGYV3R says:

    That’s awesome. It’s even cooler that it doesn’t run iOS. I would say “does it run crysis?” as a joke, but it probably does.

    @_txf_: OSX is just ugly period. Seeing as how it isn’t really a Mac, you can install whatever OS you want(that supports the drivers needed). I would personally shoot for some BackTrack 5 on there.

  8. M4CGYV3R says:

    “The Windows UI works terribly in a tablet form factor”
    Not at all worse than the non-iOS version of OSX. It’s not a tablet OS. They -do- make a tablet edition, though, which works just fine.

    “if it worked well, we’d see sucessful tablet PCs on the market, but we don’t.”
    Are you kidding? Have you been under a rock for the last two years or so? Here you go…

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000407&IsNodeId=1&Description=Tablet&name=Tablet%20PCs&Order=BESTMATCH

  9. Nitori says:

    Looks like he just repackaged a netbook to make this.
    I was able to see him wiring things up the the mini PCI-e slot likely to get the USB signals.
    The most impressive part was he made the case.

    I can think of better ways to implement this maybe use a Beagleboard xM and repackage it into one of those cheap Chinese android tablets you can get for $100 off ebay.

    That way you can get better battery life and the beagle board has headers so no messy point to point wiring.

  10. stevie says:

    I’m not sure why this is being compared to an Apple ipad. It doesn’t run mac OS X, it doesn’t look anything like the ipad, it doesn’t have multi touch support.

    It’s just a regular Windows tablet. He could have bought a nice slim android tablet for about $150.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice project. But it’s not practical.

  11. stevie says:

    I meant iOS, not OS X. But since it’s being stickered up as Apple, you’d expect he would have at least installed OS X, since it can run on anything intel now days.

  12. Wolfton says:

    On the second video, it’s shown running Mac OS with stills of running Windows. This is a good hack.

    I wouldn’t have compared this to iPad, but perhaps to the EeePad Transformer. As with any hack, this is better for some, and not for others. Personally I would rather have seen the keyboard dock or connect via bluetooth rather than be connected USB, but show that a user still has the option of connecting USB peripherals.

    I wish I had the skills to put something like this together. If I did, though, I’d just upgrade my old TX-1410 that isn’t reading USB or SD anymore.

  13. Nice hack, maybe I can put some of my salvaged AA1 motherboards to good use.

    For those who are attempting this, one hack which might be worthwhile is to tear apart two small LCD panels and mount them onto a larger backlight panel “back to back” with the pcbs undeneath. Then solder two 24Cxx eeproms with the copied AA1 screen code onto the relevant points on the VGA and LVDS connector, and locate a spare compatible LCD monitor LVDS board for panel *2.

    As far as the AA1 is concerned the official screen is installed, which means it can drive two (yes two!) 800*400 wide panels for a combined resolution of 800*800 i.e. very nearly XGA in a very small form factor.
    Probably even higher if you add code to the end of the HID table in the memory for a larger screen.

  14. Did I mention the pen hack which uses a 3 axis magnetometer sensor to allow you to use a touch screen without the usual headaches? ie drop in contrast, reflections etc? :-)

  15. Dennis says:

    I really wish people would stop calling what amounts to a processor and some storage with an LCD slapped on it an iPad. If it can’t run IOS it ain’t no iPad.

    Nice packaging, though.

  16. Dennis says:

    Oops, forgot the two builtin video cameras. Probably a bit heavy, too.

  17. Bob D says:

    No, it’s not an iPad. However the iPad is by far the best selling tablet computer anywhere. So it’s reasonable that most media outlets, in fact most people, consider tablet computer==iPad.

    C’mon, are you telling me you’ve never called a non-apple portable MP3 playing music device an iPod?

    I wish the pedants would shut up and actually appreciate this sweet build, or shut up and go make something better.

  18. avrpunk says:

    @Bob D,
    No I’ve never called an mp3 player an iPod, but I have called them “media players”. Do you call bananas Chiquitas?

  19. Per Jensen says:

    Very nice build, he really knows how to package the stuff up. I’m a bit dissapointed that the internals is not from a Macbook (it can run OS X without hacking) – at least he could have made an hackintosh out of it… But a nice hack anyway!

  20. Piku says:

    “Chinese man makes iPad look-a-like from scratch”

    No, he really doesn’t. Has Rupert Merdoch taken over HaD?

  21. blue carbuncle says:

    I’m with avrpunk on this one. Used a tablet PC in 2004 at work and tethered Palms for wap so when the big iPad explosion happened, I laughed a little and told myself these were the same folks that were amazed that we had an electoral college a coupla presidents ago lol.

    Closest I got to this was the Asus EEE touch screen mod which I updated to JoliOS before selling it. Anyone who hasn’t checked out that distro (may be called jolicloud) might enjoy its iOS/Android interface and insane support for most drivers ala linux. Dunno http://www.jolicloud.com/download -yeah I know like we need another distro lol. In the end I enjoy keyboards so I’ll probably never go “full retard” and have a tablet as my main computer, but I guess that really isn’t their purpose.

  22. MS3FGX says:

    “C’mon, are you telling me you’ve never called a non-apple portable MP3 playing music device an iPod?”

    WTF, no. Why would you?

  23. Stefan says:

    In what way is this an iPad? It’s a tablet PC with an Apple logo. Nothing special here.

  24. Josh says:

    You guys forgot a period in the title, right after “Dont buy an ipad.”

  25. silvesterstillalone says:

    Heh. Come to think of it, this REALLY isnt an iPad.

    Replaceable battery
    Runs Flash
    Expandable storage
    User serviceable
    Many, many more ports

    Oh, and nobody is likely to steal it at the airport…as long as those stickers are taken off.

  26. Leithoa says:

    The point regarding calling an mp3 player an iPod was: have you ever called product by the most popular brand rather than the generic term. Such as I’m sure many people have called a facial tissue a Kleenex regardless of manufacturer I know I have. Another example would be lock-jaw pliers== vise-grips. Or no-wash hand sanitizer being called Purell. You all knew what the poster was talking about.

  27. KillerBug says:

    “In what way is this an iPad? It’s a tablet PC with an Apple logo. Nothing special here.”

    The iPad isn’t anything special either.

    “C’mon, are you telling me you’ve never called a non-apple portable MP3 playing music device an iPod?”

    No, I never did (I have called the iPad an overgrown iPod if that counts)…but yes I have heard people call Zunes iPods, and I have heard someone call my Toyota a Porsche too (they were not joking…just ignorant)…just because one idiot can’t tell the difference, that does not make them the same thing. An iPod is a lot more than an MP3 player, so calling a $20 MP3 player with no screen an iPod would be incorrect on multiple levels. In the same way, calling a device like a tablet PC an iPod just because it can play MP3s is completely wrong (the only exception being the iPad, as it has the same OS and functionality as an iPod). Even calling something like a Zune an iPod is wrong…because the Zune does not require you to install malware on your PC just to load music, and that is a massive difference from the iPod.

  28. hawkeyeaz1 says:

    Cool, but does it run flash? (And the answer is a resounding “Yes!”)

  29. Dustin Evans says:

    I just got a Chromebook and was looking at doing this exact same thing. Anyone have any tips?

  30. max says:

    is every tablet pc an ipad??

  31. William W says:

    At various times I carry one of 3 android tablets, and/or a nook, and regardless of which one I have out, I inevitably will hear comments “That’s one of those iPads” or get asked if it is an iPad.

    But pedantic people will be pedantic.

  32. Sordeo says:

    I’d agree xp doesn’t work well with touch (he does use a stylus) but 7 works wonderfully with touch: http://windows7tablet.blogspot.com/2011/05/windows-7-touch-optimizations.html

  33. TRONhack3r says:

    yeah kudos to that guy he installed a solid state drive and a battery that probably has more battery life than the ipad so its a win+ as a bonus he can have whatever operating system (maybe even dual boot) he wants which is something the ipad will never have-

  34. Fili says:

    Can it get 7-10 hours of battery life. No… (If you ever opened an iPad you’d see that it’s a big screen with a huge battery and a tiny-tiny board inside.)
    Multitouch? No…
    Less than 9 mm thick? No…
    It also has advantages (like removable storage and OS choice) but it’s not an iPad.

  35. Hunter Nordeng says:

    Only thing i really wanna know after looking at all these comments is, Battery life i could get out of it. Wifi cappabilities, Memory, and can i customize the casing with a Led cut out

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