Eat Your Heart Out IPad

We don’t remember where we read it, but our favorite criticism of the iPad is that is does the same things a lot of other Apple devices do. So why wait until April to get your hands on that functionality? [Alexbates] built his own iPad clone using existing hardware and software. This started with an MSI wind that he used as a hackintosh. A touchscreen was added to the display, the keyboard removed, and the LCD flipped around. Boom, a tablet running OS X was born. This is different from others because [Alexbates] took the time to alter the UI to look like the iPad. Sure, it doesn’t automatically flip the display when rotated and there’s no pinch-zooming. But it does have more processing power and storage space.

We’re more likely to hack our own like this rather than purchase a device we’re not all that enthusiastic about.

[Thanks Jadon via Engadget]

44 thoughts on “Eat Your Heart Out IPad

  1. This is cool, but i think one of the keys to the ipad is the multitouch.

    That and I dont get the hate, I think it will be a good product that serves its purpose. I’m mixed between it and the hp slate that may or may not ever arrive.

  2. @tomas316

    are 10h battery and 30$ a month the only better things you can find in the “ipad vs msi”?

    10h battery = slow processor…
    30$ a month = it’s a service…here in italy i have a 5 euro (6$ circa) for 1Gb of hsdpa navigation…but this is not a part of my htc g1….

  3. I suspect one of the first iPad hacks to emerge will be a fully functioning USB port, the fact Apple didn’t put one on just smacks of sheer arrogance, much like when Jobs pleaded to the WSJ to ditch Flash because their mobile devices don’t do it.

    Having used an Asus 701 for a year then a 900 for almost a year and a half (which I’m typing this on) I really like the ability to run the same software I do on my machines at home, if I wanted to go the tablet route I’d probably opt for an Asus T91 because its form factor is almost identical to this 900 and the touchscreen can swivel round & hide the keyboard to make it look/act like a tablet. Oh and the T91 has multitouch.

  4. Yeah, I don’t get it. I can understand the novelty of building a tablet out of a netbook or trying to make Apple look silly by building “an iPad with actual usb ports for $350”, but I don’t understand why someone would be legitimately excited by a desktop computer OS with this form factor. The “why not just use a normal netbook?” argument that everyone uses for the iPad seems much more applicable to a tablet device like this that just runs normal desktop apps.

    If the iPad brings nothing else to the table, at least its apps are specifically designed to take advantage of the touch interface.

  5. Why not just buy a real Apple Tablet? Steve Wozniac has a company that will take your apple laptop and turn it into a real tablet. Less all the duct-tape.

    Also instead of doing a hack, buy an Asus T91MT and get something even better WITH multitouch already in place and the Microsoft Fanbois can get all over excited over their precious Windows 7 bloatware that comes pre-installed.

  6. Cool post!

    @fartface: Because buying a tablet isn’t near as cool as creating your own. And I appreciate the Windoze 7 reference.

    Just FYI:
    “but our favorite criticism of the iPad is that _is_ does the same things a lot of other Apple devices do”
    “but our favorite criticism of the iPad is that _it_ does the same things a lot of other Apple devices do”

  7. god, why are there apple fanfags here? you have no heart for hacking or mods so please leave. the ipad, better know as the ipos is an over sized ipod. buy an android phone or one that can run linux then you will have something useful, oh wait, you idoits think jobs is a god and you just throw money at him. you people think with your wallets not your heads. as fot this build, rock on, thats bad ass

  8. Ipad=most hilarious thing to ever come out of Apple. Your computers may not be respectable, your prices may be outrageous, but a jailbroken Ipod touch/Iphone is awesome. But now you have to give a bad name to the Iphone OS too…way to go. If you want a computer that can run any program for anything you need, run Windows, it still has the largest software library and is the most supported. If you want a secure device that has a great open source community and is incredibly tweakable, get a linux. If you want a nice looking overpriced piece of crap with a fruit on the back, get a mac.

  9. @lulzdude

    My criticism was aimed more at the Hack-a-Day writeup and the “this is like an Apple iPad, only better because it has USB ports HAR HAR HAR” crowd than the original hacker.

    If this is advertised as a fun netbook hack, then that is one thing. If this is advertised as a jab at the iPad’s perceived shortcomings, that’s fine too. But it is quite another to say (as the HaD poster did) that it is somehow a bona-fide $350 iPad clone, because it isn’t. When statements like that are made, it makes people like me think that people like you don’t understand what an iPad is.

  10. I’m still puzzled by people’s complaints about the iPad not having a USB port. What is it exactly that you’re wanting to connect to an iPad via USB?

    The ONLY thing I can think of is storage and that’s easily fixed using something like Dropbox or some sort of networked file storage. They’re offering a camera adapter at some point in the future, which I’m SURE will be reverse engineered/hacked and may possibly lead to ‘disk mode’ access to another USB device.

    MOST (definitely not all) of the software limitations/restrictions can and will be minimized via Jailbreaks I’m sure, but only time will tell! Personally, I’m curious to see what comes out of the Bluetooth stack development. I’d love to be able to connect any Bluetooth keyboard for larger document edits, etc. I’d also love to be able to pair it with a Bluetooth headset (may be possible? I’m assuming they’ll limit, in software, access to just Bluetooth audio out) and Skype Out to my heart’s content. :-)

  11. @wifigod
    “I’m still puzzled by people’s complaints about the iPad not having a USB port. What is it exactly that you’re wanting to connect to an iPad via USB?”

    Ether you sir troll OR full of shit fanboy OR the dumbest person alive. but I will provide you with example:
    1)The point of compact computer is ability to take it on yours journey, but what the point of having computer that dont even show you yours pictures in the end of a day.
    2)want to write something to blog about hotel you in but force to buy overpriced keybord since cant connect the usb one ?
    3)you want to share a file with you friend? oh crap there isnt wifi around

  12. @therian
    1. Ultra portables typically focus on wireless technology like wifi and bluetooth, both of which the ipad has. The point of having a compact ultra portable is to not have to fuck with cords. This is like bitching about a netbook not having a DVD drive.

    2. Any bluetooth keyboard will work on the ipad. These can be had for as low as $30 (or even less with sales)

    3. The iPad hasn’t even shipped and there’s already an adapter to connect it to memory cards and USB mass storage devices. If you didn’t even know this then you shouldn’t be calling other people dumb.

  13. @Ned Scott

    Thanks for pointing out the ridiculousness of therian’s examples.


    I truly hope that English isn’t your primary language as your grammar and spelling are terrible. Normally things like that weigh against your credibility when you call somebody “the dumbest person alive”. Just some food for thought.

    Also, here are my personal responses to your three points:

    1: You’re right, this device is definitely made to be portable. It also has one of the finest multi-touch enabled photo viewers so I’m not sure this point is even valid? Perhaps you were referring to the storage limits? Do you seriously need to carry more than 64GB of pictures and music with you at all times?

    2: Ned covered this fairly well but I’d like to add the fact that THIS IS NOT A LAPTOP OR DESKTOP REPLACEMENT. You talk of wanting to connect a keyboard to it like it’s a very vital thing, but why would you want to carry around a bulky keyboard with you everywhere if this is meant as a portable web browser?

    3: There’s a 3G version if you didn’t know already, so I’m not sure what magic device you think wouldn’t have the exact same limitations.

  14. A sweet build with a lot more functionality then the iPad, very nice.

    I wonder if a person with the right hardware could make the case a little more professional looking (it’s held together by what appears to be electrical tape.)

  15. @wifigod
    About 3:
    As is meant to be portable, it should have several connectivity options.

    Ok, it has 3G. But it won’t be very practical (or even easy for those not tech savvy), the need to upload a file that you have in your iPad (because you downloaded in your house from your PC) to share it with your friend in front of you.

    If its a cellphone, well there’s bluetooth. But if it’s a common netbook without it?

    Ok, Ned Scott mentioned the adapters.

    But anyway, (saying it lightly) is very mean from apple to obligate the consumer to buy a surely expensive adapter, just to share information with the most common gadget… a flash usb memory.

  16. @Reikaze

    It DOES have several connectivity options. It has full WiFi(802.11n which means it can connect to 802.11a,b,g along with n access points), 3G+EDGE, and Bluetooth. I’m not sure what other devices out there have much more connectivity than that, perhaps some Nokia with 3G+WiMax.

    As for being practical in your sharing situation, I mentioned Dropbox above which is extremely easy and quite usable. It allows me to share the same files between my iPod Touch, work computer, and all 3 home computers (running XP, 7, and Linux).

    And just to point out to people who think I’m a fanboy of some type, I do not think the iPad is living up to its full potential in any way whatsoever. However, I do feel it’s got a market, even if its small. I also feel there are many many people who think they need one and most definitely do not. To be honest, I’m still torn on whether to buy one or not. The data plans for 3G are VERY appealing as I can just pay for what I need and there’s no contract BS. I just really wish it had a webcam. :-(

  17. @Ian

    I think you have the right idea as far as iPad connectivity. What’s missing in all of the “OMG I can’t share with my friend” rants above is the question, “Well, what system is your friend running that you want to share with?”. In most common use cases, you can just attach the files to an e-mail and send them immediately using a common, well-supported paradigm. If you want to share a whole bunch of pictures or something, you will just upload them all to facebook or myspace or one of any number of online “locker” services and send your buddy a link.

    That’s one of the reasons the limited local storage for these is not a hindrance – when you are connected to the internet 24/7 you don’t NEED massive local storage.

    Frankly, we’re coming quickly to a day where if my friend doesn’t have a device or system that I can somehow connect with via the internet, local network or bluetooth, he’s the unconnected bumpkin, not me.

  18. @therian

    actually, it can take calls (skype. Throw in some jailbreaking and you can have it running all the time in the background too, or just wait for iphone OS 4.0)

    But no, even without phone calls, that’s not at all what I consider the ipad. The ipad is all about the multitouch interface and UI implementation. Like the majority of Apple’s products, the hardware itself isn’t the actual wow factor.

    I would actually prefer that it DID have a USB port (without an adapter), but that’s hardly a deal-breaker for the ipad as a successful product. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things I would have liked to see different (fuck you apple for charging so much more for memory instead of allowing a user-upgradable option or SD card slot), but let’s try to be balanced here.

  19. @Ian @GroverDill

    I didn’t mean that it has just poor connectivity options to the Net… maybe I failed at explaining my point.

    The connectivity options that I was referring was connectivity to other devices. Common devices…

    Take a example.

    I’m in the lab with my work team… and we all need the datasheet of the atmegaPicwhateverXABC. We all want to program or make something in the protoboard. And I’m the only that has 3G in my iPad. I get the datasheet… but how do I share it with everyone…?
    -Fast! we all need da information NOOOWWW (in low voice and slowmo)
    Or just print it…. NOOOOWWW…

    ups… i say?

    we’ll need to setup a ad-hoc network and then the sharing folders… and later… take a moment to tell everybody how to access to the file?

    that’s not really practical…

    and in the end… it’s just a file that i downloaded to my PadJust4Internet&AppleApprovedApps…

    sorry for my rant… I just needed to clarify my point because I just can’t find the practical use in my environment

  20. @therian

    What people keep trying to explain to you is that the iPad is a new class of device, not a tablet PC as it has been popularly defined (ie. a laptop with no keyboard). PC makers have been selling tablets as you define them for like 10 years, and nobody has bought them because they’ve been too expensive, too bulky to carry around and the interface (ie. a normal desktop interface) and user experience (ie. underpowered compared to desktops or laptops and no instant-on) has sucked.

    I don’t understand why the haters don’t seem to understand this: Apple has introduced the limitations that everyone has been bitching about, because, unlike the tablet makers who came before, Apple is hoping to ACTUALLY SELL SOME TABLETS.

  21. Gotta agree with @GroverDill here. I’m a Linux developer and sysadmin, and I like me nothing better than some good open hardware platforms to tinker with (hey, in 2001 I was working on Linux-based tablets, so I have a soft spot for ’em).

    That said, tablet PC devices have *never* done well in the marketplace. I’ve got a Viliv X70 sitting next to me that runs a full OS (currently Win7 on there, trying to get Linux working properly, but $#@$@ touchscreen is a problem).

    As nifty as it is to run a full OS on a device like this, it just doesn’t work for me as a couch-surfer. I don’t want to deal with OS installs and patches, driver updates, anti-virus, and all that other desktop crap. I just want a thin tablet with a good display that I can use for a certain subset of my daily computing needs.

    That’s what Apple has developed with the iPad. The limitations are intentional, and they’re there because the device is not intended to replace your desktop or laptop. I wish we had built something like it back in 2001.

  22. so I’ve read a bunch of hate on everyone. I hate ipad, I hate windows. mac sucks, windows sucks. lets get to the point shall we? Apple likes to remake old electronics with their signature fruit on the back and then charge triple what its really worth. I hate mac, but honestly where there’s innovation on mac, there’s innovation with Linux. If you want a good portable tablet that isn’t an apple, and you don’t mind not having a 10 hour battery then check out the Compaq TC1100. It’s silver for you macbois out there, and it runs xp to win7 for you microsofties. I’m getting sick and tired of hearing the bitching about the ipad. It sucks when you compare it to similar items on the market, but that’s the thing–ITS NOT THE SAME! You’re trying to say apples taste like oranges, and that’s just ridiculous! you like apple, then you should pay for it. I have better things to spend my money on than over priced hyped up tool-baggage. God forbid someone ever tries to rub one of those things in my face, cause I’ll ask them, “so you can run photoshop on it right? cause it’s a mac and macs do insanely AWESOME with adobe products. oh you can’t? well what fucking good is it?”

  23. and a camera right?
    i mean.. i think i see a camera, but is it functional?
    i have a little camera, i think it’s from a cell phone, but idk i did find it near the ‘cop shop’ in another state. so my first thought was surveillance bug, but more likely cameraphone. i just don’t know what to hook the ribbon cable to, and its too small for a camera to pick up the numbers on it. i would prob. stick it in my laptop if i knew how. but i will wait for the warranty to expire first.
    but the ipad doesnt even have USB ports? one more reason i’m not buying. the main reason is: if i can put this big ass URL,
    no, it doesnt have a touchscreen, but it beats the hell out of the ipad’s specs, and most likely the price too. idk how much ipad costs, because i have no interest in buying one. 4gb DDR3, 320gb hd, 2.2 ghz dualcore, wifi, USB ports dammit! for $430, and you get to try out windows 7 so you can decide whether or not it sucks, before you put linux on it or something. i just use puppy linux, at night, and windows 7 during the day.
    then you can make a giant uber ipad clone, that supports Flash player&shit.

  24. ok. if ipad is $499 then you don’t beat the shit out of the price, after buying a touchscreen mod and plus tax, but yoou do beat the shit out of the performance/price ratio with 4gbDDR3, 15.6″ HD display, 320gb hd, 2.2ghz dualcore, and b/g wifi built in. you would probably want to build a custom LiFePO4 battery pack because you dont get much over 3 hours with the standard battery. and u get the dvdmultidrive or whatever.
    Hack that shit! giant uber ipadclone!
    and while ur busy voiding your warranty,, show unused connections, like hdmi port that goes by vga, and if there is a connection for internal cam
    lol or dont void your warranty til its expired. i just think it is worth hacking, if you feel like hacking a plain looking laptop with really nice specs into something pimptastic

  25. @GroverDill The ipad is a joke plain and simple, just another way for jobs to stick it to you in the bum. From the way you talk I’m fairly certain you prefer apple products. The ipad is absolutely useless. Can it usb host, can it crack wireless, can it even run an actual mac app? the answer in no, making it pointless. Form factor is one thing, but the ipad it’s self is another. I like the idea of a table, but when you confuse the ipad for one you are sadly mistaken. Have fun with a gimp os and unless someone gets linux running on one my feelings will remain the same. If i were to buy a tablet I would rather buy one running android.

  26. it seems most of you forget what drive personal computer, its freedom of choice. Why apple take it away, let user decide if he want to run multiple apps and he is OK with slower speed and less battery time, put simple switch between modes. And cmon apple have some manners don’t show greed so obviously by not including most popular connector, expendable memory or leave no choice for user where to get software or which carrier to use.
    It looks like as grocery clerk ask you 25c for plastic bag and straw (it nothing but would you return there again?), cmon apple no one do this, it just disrespectfully cheap move

  27. I have seen ads for companies who produce Apple tablets from existing Apple products. That’s awesome but still expensive.

    This is genius and I would love to have the stones to do this to one of the old laptops I have laying around the house or workshop.

    Hell, I’d love to have the time, even if it’s an hour a day over a couple of months, to do this.

    I’m not here to bleat about what makes the iPad good or bad – I have my own views – I’m here to check out this hack.

    Kudos to you [AlexBates]…

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