An Ugly But Functional Pi Laptop

It’s got a face only its mother could love. Or a Hackaday writer, since this ugly e-waste laptop proudly sports a Jolly Wrencher on its back.

All joking aside, this is a great example of doing what you can with what you’ve got. [starhawk] is limited on funds, and a regular laptop is beyond his means. But being light in the wallet is no reason to go without when you can scrounge parts from friends and family. The base of the laptop is a mini USB keyboard, with the top formed mainly by a 7″ HDMI panel. The back of the display is adorned with a Raspberry Pi 3, a USB hub, a little sound dongle, and the aforementioned Jolly Wrencher. The whole thing is powered by a cast-off power supply brick — no exploding batteries to worry about!

Other Pi-based laptops we’ve covered may be sleeker, but we’ve got to admit that [starhawk]’s keyboard is probably the better choice for working on the next great American novel. And a Linux laptop for next to nothing? That’s a win in our book.

17 thoughts on “An Ugly But Functional Pi Laptop

  1. my compliments to the title of this article. It wasn’t misleading, it wasn’t click bait, it was spot on.
    I got what I expected after reading this article/project. Which is a fun project for various reasons.
    And ugly… well some would disagree but I’m not one of them.

  2. I’d move the Pi & stuff from “behind the screen” to “to the left of the screen”, could have more hackability potential and be thinner to. But then, you’d need some kind of a frame – laser-cut wood/acrylic is just what you need (unfortunately, not everybody has the luxury of laser cutter access).

  3. Actually, minor correction. I can afford regular laptops, and have at least two (a Dell e4310 and a Thinkpad X220 purchased on HaD’s recommendation — thanks guys, this thing has the worst WiFi I’ve ever seen…). This was primarily an exercise in boredom, as well as one to see what the Pi could and couldn’t do. As the Pi3 is so anemic that it can’t pull up the Imgur page about the build — I bought a “10ZiG” brand thin client with an N270 inside for the princely sum (sarcasm) of $16. Go eBay… ;)

  4. Now todays old people mostly grew up with electricity and know enough to worry about the collapse of society if the power goes off. What am I going to have to worry about in 25 years or so? Yah that if a nasty piece of malware wipes out the firmware of laser cutters and 3D printers overnight, none of the younger generations will be able to make or fix anything.

    While some of the kids are fighting back the zombies and wolf packs with clumsy 8ft lengths of 2×4, I’ll have to grab one of the brighter ones and drag him back to my old shop. “See this sonny, this is what you can CUT things with!” “But gramps, that’s just a piece of metal with a jagged edge, hahaha, it’s like you expect those pointy bits to iteratively rip chunks of material off, hahaha…”

  5. One man’s UGly is another man’s, project for a rainy day. In high school electronics.I made the smallest transistor radio, but to the teacher’s dismay, I had NO interest in packaging it. The rest of the class fell into line. They may as well have been in wood or auto shop with a kit for a chess… make that, a checker board. I applaude the effort and the success. They are balanced. Sometimes you chip flint… other times a shrap point on a fire blackened stick is the right tool. Bravo…! Bellisima!

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