Smashed tablet in NES case lives out its days as an emulator


The creator of this project started off with a 7″ tablet he received from a coworker. The screen was horribly smashed from one corner spreading out through the entire surface. But the hardware inside still worked, including the HDMI out port. He ended up transplanting the tablet hardware for use as an emulator.

After a bit of sizing up it was determined that the tablet hardware would fit inside the case of a broken NES. The battery would have been a tough fit, but this thing is always going to need to be connected to a television so there’s no need to work without mains power. The back plate was cut down to size and used as a try for mounting the motherboard in the case. Before that step he wired up a USB hub and mounted it so that two ports could be accessed through the original controller port openings.

There’s no details on the software used, but the final image in the gallery shows a game of Starfox being played.

[Thanks Cody]


  1. Re posting reddit now…

  2. MS3FGX says:

    Uh, I don’t know, seems like fixing the glass would have been worth it considering the $1,500 pricetag of that particular tablet.

    • RoadWarrior222 says:

      Often you find that for machines less than 5 years old, the LCD assembly goes for 80% of the current used value of that machine :-/

      • Blue Footed Booby says:

        I’ve found it’s that way for lots of electronics. Not benefiting from economy of scale like the original manufacturers do seems to cancel out most of the savings you get by doing repairs. It’d prevent a lot of waste if this weren’t the case, but damned if I know how to fix it.

  3. Joejoedancer says:

    That is one expensive emulator.

  4. John says:

    This is more of a very simple case-mod than anything else.

  5. crashsuit says:

    This kind of thing would be a nice easy mod for someone to get into using one of the ubiquitous Android TV sticks. Mount it in the console’s housing, route some power, a hub, and some cables, and you’re good.

  6. KP says:

    Somebody found the hotglue…

  7. Sam Schmidt says:

    As others have pointed out that is not a 7″ tablet. It is a very expensive and capable 11.6″ WIndows 7 tablet made by Samsung. Sorry to say but that is quite a waste considering how definitely repairable it could have been :-(

  8. Fritz Toch says:

    Yeah, I’ve got several “smashed” cheapo Android tabs around, none were more than 100 when I got them, and I’d love more ideas for repurposing them.

  9. Random Hackaday user says:

    This was actually on OCAU wayyy before stupid reddit so who gives a toss. ORiginal link for those who are interested

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    I have to agree with what’s been said.

    Putting expensive PC guts into an NES case is more like a case mod, except this one looks like it could be refined a bit more to use the NES hardware better.

    Still an interesting start.

  11. Marvin says:

    Oh, wow, that hurts… The screen wasn’t even broken!!

    Next time send me the tablet, and I’ll send you a NES case with a raspi in it which would do the same job without wasting a heap of money…

  12. RoadWarrior222 says:

    Wait up, he put windoze 8 on it, so isn’t it more of a hack getting non-commercial or non MS approved software running on it??? Or do you think he’s running in a VM?

  13. ColdTurkey says:

    Agree with most posts, this is a MASSIVE waste of high-ish end hardware. There is nothing wrong with that screen, would be worth a fair bit to someone with ability to repair it (likely most readers)

  14. ferdinand says:

    i want to make this 2 but want to use a raspberrypi or android board to do this.
    android have a good nes emulator and its simple to do can use the orginele tv and powwer conector of the nes to hook up a new board

  15. compukidmike says:

    30 seconds of google searching turned up this… $160 for a new touchscreen

    • THISguy says:

      Insult to injury!! Would have made more sense, like most people have said so far, to use a low-end android tablet. Like a COBY 7″ you can buy at most Raley’s stores for less than $100 USD.

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