Commodore 64 Laptop


[Ben Heck] has just completed one of his more unique laptop game consoles. This time around it’s a Commodore 64, which he’s been attempting since 2006. Recently he scrapped everything and started fresh on what turned out to be the fastest build yet. While it certainly looks similar to his other laptops, he put in a lot of effort to give it the appearance of an 80’s computer from the beige color to the texture. He used an original C64C motherboard since it was the final and smallest revision and coupled that with an original keyboard. A 1541-III-DTV allows use of an SD card as a floppy device. Just drag any disk image onto the card and it’s ready to go. Check out a video of it in use below.


41 thoughts on “Commodore 64 Laptop

  1. Maybe Im alone but Im really getting tired of Ben Heck butchering classic machines for stuff like this.

    Especialy for this system. A 6502 based computer is very easy to build and might even be worth calling a hack, rather than your average case mod.

  2. @kirby

    Better to be ‘butchered’ here than sit forever in a dusty cardboard box under the stairs.

    Or worse yet, in a landfill or some puddle of mercury in China.

    I think he comes up with a functional product in the end, even to the point of an SD ‘floppy drive’.

    As someone who cut their teeth on a

    I have some nostalgia, but not enough to carry around a 16lb ‘portable’. If somebody made that into a 15″ portable as thin as this Comm64 I would love it, even if they cut up the original to do it.

    I am more of a virtual guy though, so if I can get an emulator or dosbox to run on a handheld it would be neat. (I have had a few GP2X’s, the USB support was a huge disappointment, I hope the Wiz and the Pandora have great USB support, the Pandora has a keyboard though, so no real need)

  3. @People who say it is only a case mod:

    That screen is obviously not a C64 screen, so he would have needed to hack something up to deal with that problem.

    C64 uses a tape drive, i believe, and not SD cards. More hacking required to connect the SD and have it act like a tape.

  4. BAAHAHAHAHA!!!! comma 8 comma 1 my friend…. comma 8 comma 1. priceless!

    and @ nubie – the wiz and pandora do look sweet, emulation is definitely the way to go. i need some money, i cant wait to one day have a handheld library of all the best old school systems and games in 1 device.

  5. kirby,
    In this you are _so_ alone.

    Butchering? Seriously?
    This guy has the goods and has had them for years.

    Year after year, project after project of fully functional re-realized hardware and every one is award-worthy.

    Let’s see what you got.

  6. yeah. alone. If a C64 were rare then I might have a different view. But this is like a retro sci-fi, an 8bitpunk fantasy made real. It is art, it is design, it is technology. It shows serious chops, and its mere existence adds joy to the gray boxed existence of this cubedroid. So a couple C64s had to die to birth this… there are plenty more sitting on shelves or in garages.

  7. He did not mod a SX-64 because they are Worth a crapload of money. I sold my old one (NIB) on ebay for nearly $690.00 2 years ago.

    Plus the Motherboard in the SX-64 was freaking huge as it was not a consumer item bot a business item.

    Neat exercize in casemodding. Kind of pointless though outside the “oooh cool” aspect.

    Now make me a TRS-80 model IV laptop… with the 8″ floppy! that would be impressive!

  8. Some ask where’s the mod. If you don’t know, you obviously NEVER spent any real time with a C64.

    For those that say it was a waste of time. It wasn’t your time that was wasted, and you made up your own mind to read this, so maybe you just need to shut-the-f-up.

    For those that say, “wouldn’t it be easier” to put it on such-n-such or this-or-that…. wouldn’t take some of the challenge and/or fun out of the experience? Fcuk… if you want to get technical and plan on doing what’s easy, just play/use the original device/software/hardware…

    Good… no… great work work man… I challenge anyone making comments (especially negative ones) to make something comparably better that has been shown to us here…

  9. Sweet mod/hack!

    @mono : There is, get a psp w/cfw, a higher-end palm os device, a nintendo ds with a slot-1 storage device, the list goes on. Once you get it just google (device name) (system name) emulator.

  10. Man, I am saddened by the amount of criticism on people doing “useless” stuff. This site is about that kind of thinking. Taking crap and making it useful again is nothing short of noble. There are no real “pointless” any things at all here, it is about learning the trade. Some trade in retro.

    And this is about an awesome mod by the way, if it got any better than this, I have no idea how. A c64 laptop, and he was playing Golden Ax on it, that is fricking cool. I applaud you.

  11. Bravo!! Great hack,love the look the shape and man it’s portable!And for all the folks b!tching about the slow load of the serial sd card adapter…..
    There are expansion port cards with oodles of features such as nic and sd support, mp3 playback etc etc etc….
    The choice is open to the imagination and hardware limits lol.And since the development of such expansion cards is ongoing ….I will leave it up to some one in the crowd to fill i those details with useful links {cheers}:D

  12. This is a very cool project. I give much credit to the man who made this happen. To those of you who have better ideas…. Put your skilz where your mouth is… Post your project here… Then we can talk crap about what you do, and make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after a lot of hard work.. Yes any slacker can emulate or talk smack, but a true piece of functioning retro hardware with a new twist is always cool…

  13. The ones who are putting up the negative comments I would guess are young enough they weren’t even around during the 8-bit era.
    My first computer was a Commodore. Not a 64 but a VIC-20.
    This hack is excellent, I would love to get my hands on it.
    Sure you can get a emulator to run on your I-Phone.
    But it’s not the SAME. The screen, the keyboard with the Commodore symbols on the front, and not to mention the Atari 2600 joystick.

    I would equate this project to someone restoring an 35 year old car. Sure it’s not fuel injected, doesn’t have a CD player, A/C, GPS, or Onstar.
    But it does what it was intended to and the nostalgic value is off the charts.
    I guess you would have to have lived through that period in computer evolution to really appreciate what this guy has done.

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