DIYer building custom ARM-based laptop, may launch Kickstarter campaign

Dec 17, 2012
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Custom-building desktop computers is nothing new nowadays, but custom-building laptops is a different story. Because of the complex parts and how they're assembled, building a laptop yourself isn't for the faint of heart, and most people don't have access to the necessary resources anyway, but virtuoso hardware hacker and DIYer Andrew "Bunnie" Huang is setting out to build his own open-source, ARM-based laptop himself.

The laptop is being powered by an ARM Cortex A9 processor and will run Linux. The hardware that Huang is using is NDA-free and is as open as he can make it, with documents already online for curious minds to study. He's expecting to finish testing the machine in the next few months, and may even launch a Kickstarter campaign if enough people are interested.

Huang started the design of the custom-built laptop back in June, and just last week he started playing around the first prototype motherboards, which were "hot off the SMT line." Huang successfully got the laptop to boot into linux, and he's currently "grinding through the validation" process of all the components.

One of Huang's main goals for the project is to make the laptop as open as possible so that "others of sufficient skill and resources can also build" a custom laptop like his. Huang mentions that the hardware and its sub-components are picked so as to make the laptop the "most practically open hardware laptop" he could create. Users can download the datasheets for all the components for free.


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