The beauty of a modular ecosystem lies in how it allows individuals to repurpose components in unconventional ways. This is precisely what [Ben Makes Everything] has achieved by using a Framework laptop’s motherboard and battery to create a slab-style cyberdeck. (Video, embedded below.)
The Framework motherboard presents an excellent choice for custom portable computer projects due to its relatively compact size and built-in modular I/O port options, all based on USB-C. Framework even released additional documentation to support this use-case. It’s significantly more powerful than the standard Raspberry PI, which is typically employed in similar projects. Ben chose a 2400 x 900 IPS display that can draw power and video through a single USB-C cable. For user input, he opted for an Apple keyboard and an optical trackball with a PS2 interface. He utilized a Arduino Pro Micro as a PS2-to-USB adaptor, using the remaining pins on the Arduino as a versatile interface for electronic projects.
The enclosure is crafted from machined aluminum plates with 3D printed spacers to secure all components. The screen can be tilted up to 45 degrees for more ergonomic desktop use. The Framework motherboard is equipped with four USB-C ports for peripheral devices; [Ben] allocated one for the display and another for a USB hub which connects the keyboard, Arduino, and external USB and HDMI connectors. The remaining USB-C ports are still available for original Framework expansion cards.
The completed project not only looks fantastic but may also be highly functional. It would have been a great entry in our recent Cyberdeck Challenge.