Building my own Tablet PC

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by jaydenbain, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. jaydenbain

    jaydenbain Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I am currently a high school student with a pretty good knowledge of the operation of a computer, I am for one of my subjects (research project) building my own Windows based tablet PC, I have spent some time searching several possible ways to actually do this and I have found that the cheapest and simplest way is to buy a net book (my ideal size would be 10.1 inch) disassemble it use most of the components including the screen which as far as I am aware I will need to buy a separate touchscreen overlay and touch adapter for it to work, the idea for a case/shell was to use mold-able carbon fiber and shape it myself.

    This is a forum dedicated to any advice that anyone in the community can offer to me, even the smallest tips can be helpful, I would really appreciate any advice I can get as this is a new field for me. thanks in advance!
     
  2. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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  3. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    Well you could start with a 10in device like the Lenovo S10 convertible, but that is using an older Atom cpu, there is also a few 10in Toshiba convertibles that have digitizer support. If you really want to go different LG made a 10.6in convertible years ago with a dedicated gpu, but that was mostly offered overseas. It was the P100
     
  4. jaydenbain

    jaydenbain Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for your replies, I would like to build my own rather than just buy a completed one. One of the main reasons I want to use a net book is that they usually have a very long battery life that would be needed to run a tablet, as well as great battery life they are usually relatively thin, and this will help when when I take it apart to use in my custom case, I can save on thickness but using the already thinned lay-out.

    This is a laptop/net book that I have found, ASUS Eee PC 1025C-MU17 10.1-Inch Netbook Review It has a great battery life 8+ hours of use, it is thin, has modern ports such a a hdmi input, and best of all it is extremely cheap!
     
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    are you doing touch panel only? You could add a wacom digitizer if you use the right shielding between your motherboard and your screen... just tear apart a used 10" intuos or bamboo... it could be under the touch layer. Its been done before under monitors, just search "DIY cintiq". It would add complications but also be that much cooler!! just a thought. I plan on messing around with my old Toshiba laptop (after I replace it with a T902), using an old intuos I have kicking around.
     
  6. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Doing carbon fiber will be expensive, you should make a posotive shape for the front and back out of wood or something that can easily be shaped, then apply mold release and lay it up with fiberglass (dangerous stuff if you don't have respirators, or proper clothing/ gloves -glass and bondo dust as well as glass slivers and other good stuff), touch up the fiberglass negative and apply mold release, lay up at least 4 layers of epoxy infused carbon fiber cloth, vacuum bag and vacuum pump the whole thing, If they come out fine, you need to cut out the sections where the screen will be, vent holes, holes for buttons and so on, then you need to attach stand offs and other mounting/ separating material inside. Then come up with a way to attach both halves together without being obtrusive and so much more (a LOT can go into designing a computer from the ground up, retrofitting existing hardware into another configuration will prove to be extremely difficult as well, several magnitude more so if you don't have a clue what you are doing, or a real drive/ personal motivation to do so)


    If it were me, I would work in moderately thin gauge sheet metal (stainless steel if possible, about 20ga) as metal is very easy to work with and form into a shape, plus it takes stress well and can be reshaped or easily modified later, plus it requires very little, safety equipment, know-how, or tools [a flex shaft tool/ dremmel, jeweller's/ coping saw, rulers and tape measures, sharpie markers and pencils, sheet metal pliers, a vice, hammers, files and sand paper, of course drill bits and maybe a tap and die set and other assorted things are all you really need to do 90% of metal work by hand] and the results are durable, light, and look nice if you do it right... most schools should have most of those tools, if not ask your parents and grand parents or even uncles if they have the tools and you can do the work there or borrow the tools, get sheet metal from them if they have a left over stuff, otherwise buy it new from a supply place [maybe even home depot] or used from a scrap yard or metal recycler.

    Just buy a fully working used ASUS Netbook from ebay for $100 or less, it is a lot better than buying a new several hundred dollar one and killing it (your losses are a LOT lower), ebay also has resistive touch screens out there [I think ~$50-75 is an approximate price, expect 2+ weeks for shipping from China] but be careful of the size and aspect ratio (when you get a netbook in, measure the actual diagonal dimensions as well as the vertical and horizontal size to be sure one of the touch screens will fit), then the cost of the metal/ case material


    Oh, and don't expect to get it much thinner than it is already as most designs have a motherboard that has the components spaced out a lot and then they just stack components like hard drive, and ram module on the board not caring about thickness [the specs on that specific ASUS says .8"-1.35" thick, the .8 being near the front where few components are, expect about 1" total thickness at minimum, especially with a touch screen overlay and the case. Most netbooks and notebooks are all about the same thickness because it is a LOT cheaper for the manufactures to have spread out motherboards, and thicker cases that has much better airflow)


    PS: that thread about the slate conversion of the Toshiba M4 is mine, if you aren't able to gleam some useful insights from it you are doing something terribly wrong. And while I haven't updated the thread I have actually made progress on it in a completely different direction, I ended up mounting it in what is basically a small drawing board (so it is like a self contained 14" Cintiq and computer that can sit fine on a desk) I'll update the thread sometime soon.

    PPS: Other than the actual building of it, the most important thing is having/ knowing the parts you will have, then vigorously planning every detail of what you will do, if you have hand drafting skills, or can do Computer Aided Drafting/ drawing [2D at least, 3D is best] then start ASAP, and be meticulous

    Best of luck! You are going to need it!
     
  7. jaydenbain

    jaydenbain Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks Agent 9, that is all extremely useful advice especially the advice on using the carbon fiber! it has given me some direction now and I will remember to have a look at your thread on the slate conversion for any other useful tips I can pick up.

    Everyone else keep the tips coming I appreciate anything I can get :)
     
  8. jaydenbain

    jaydenbain Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I am just wondering if anyone has some advice on the touch screen conversion and what will be involved, I am aware I will need to buy a touchscreen overlay and then some kind of adapter to run it, but I have no idea what size overlay to buy or what the adapter is/does?

    I will more than likely be using a screen with a size of 10.1 Inches so what size will the Touchscreen overlay have to be? and if you know where to purchase both the touch screen and the adapter, a link or referral to a website would be great :)
     
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