Build A Tablet Out Of Your Framework Motherboard

The Framework laptop project is known for quite a few hacker-friendly aspects. For example, they encourage you to reuse its motherboard as a single-board computer – making it into a viable option for your own x86-powered projects. They have published a set of CAD files for that, and people have been working on their own Framework motherboard-based creations ever since; our hacker, [whatthefilament], has already built a few projects around these motherboards. Today, he’s showing us the high-effort design that is the FrameTablet – a 15″ device packing an i5 processor, all in a fully 3D printed chassis. The cool part is – thanks to his instructions, you can build one yourself!

This tablet sports a FullHD touchscreen IPS display and shows some well-thought-out component mounting, using heat-set inserts and screws, increasing such a build’s mechanical longevity. You lose one of the expansion card slots to the USB-C-connected display, but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff, and the touchscreen functionality works wonders in Windows. [whatthefilament] has also published a desk holder and a wall mount to accompany this design – if it’s a bit too large for you to hold in some situations, you can mount it in a more friendly, hands-free way. This is a solid and surprisingly practical tablet, and unlike the Raspberry Pi tablet builds we’ve seen, its x86 heart packs enough power to let you do things like CAD on the go.

With STLs and STEPs available, his build is a decent option for when you’ll want to replace your Framework’s motherboard with a new, upgraded one. You might’ve already noticed a few high-effort projects with these motherboards on our pages – perhaps, this transparent shell handheld with a mech keyboard and trackball, or this personal terminal with a futuristic-looking round display. This project is part of the “send 100 motherboards to hackers” initiative that Framework organized a few months ago, and we can’t say it hasn’t been working out for them!

18 thoughts on “Build A Tablet Out Of Your Framework Motherboard

    1. It uses the same battery as the framework laptop, so I’d guess about as long as that, probably a bit less since the touch screen will have some extra power draw vs the bare LCD panel in the laptop

      1. I’d think it’s worse – I don’t imagine an aftermarket USB-C touchscreen is more power-efficient than the stock Framework laptop screen.

        But I’d love to be proved wrong. I think this is a great project, and I’m considering something similar for my extra Framework mainboard.

      1. Even ARM does. The only architecture that doesn’t is RISC-V, and that’s just not ready for the workloads of a primary or even secondary computer, not to mention that it’s performance in x86 and ARM applications will be quite poor

  1. Pretty clever. I wouldn’t be surprised if framework spruces up the case and starts selling these. It would fit in well with their products and would have minimal extra production costs.

  2. Nice idea and great to share and be iterated. Need one option with an IP rating as well. Screen resolution could also use a bit of improvement though assuming that will eventually be an option. I wonder how CNC production these cases could reasonably be?

  3. This gives me hope that Framework will add the one thing giving me pause to buying one of their computers: true touchscreen support. Maybe someone will 3D print a 2-in-1 case next?

  4. this is very good idea, but i need modular
    if You want Orange Crab FPGA , no problem, 6502 laptop? no problem, spark motherboard or raspberry pi, babana etc? no problem
    standard power, standard screen in mainline linux nothing change in normal ubuntu, solaris or vms, minix, haiku (if arm port was ended)

    Yes! I need this enclosure! definitelly

    1. Perhaps the reasoning is it would make it too easy for somebody else to spin up a shoddy ‘framework’ production line on the cheap and kill their reputation with bad quality knockoffs?

      Don’t get me wrong though I’d love it if it was just available to all, though in fairness it might be already – you ask and they might just give it to you, till somebody tries who can tell.

    2. Because they have NDAs to other people, such that they can’t do that. Releasing to other repair shops was the compromise that maybe everyone happy (or at least equally unhappy).

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