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.

37 thoughts on “Don’t Buy An IPAD, Make One!

  1. that is vary nice. it cost half the price and it has more function than the i 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. 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.

    1. 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

  3. 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.

  4. “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…

    1. @M4CGYV3R
      You must be joking “Are you kidding? Have you been under a rock for the last two years or so? Here you go…”

      Have you used, or even just read the reviews for those tablets??? Video card issues, digitizer issues, 2-3 hour battery life for the most popular tablet, that is a joke! There is a reason Apple sold 3,000,000 new iPad’s in the first three days, you can’t even argue with that.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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 -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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. “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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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-

  18. 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.

  19. 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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