The Rasberry Pi Turns Into A Tiny Laptop

By Khurram Aziz email: | Dec 24, 2012 10:53 AM EST

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A computer hardware expert has turned the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi single-board computer into a fully functional laptop computer.

Nathan Morgan, CEO of Austin-based Parts People, delved into his collection of computer parts, including a battery from an old Dell Latitude D600 laptop, to put together the creation which features WiFi, Bluetooth, a Raspberry Pi SD card slot, 64GB SSD for storage, and a powered USB port. What's more it has a fully functional QWERTY keyboard, a touchpad mouse, an LCD screen taken from an old camera and boasts a battery life of up to 10 hours.

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"When I started this project four weeks ago, I just wanted to see if it was possible to make an ultra-portable, mobile Raspberry Pi that you can take to-go," writes Morgan on his blog. "As I was building my Pi-to-Go I kept saying to myself, it would be cool if it had this, and then I would find a way to make it happen."

The Raspberry Pi is the work of the UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation which developed the $35 single-board computer in 2009 to help promote basic computer science in schools. Over the years people have used the Raspberry Pi as personal video recorders, retro gaming machines, weather stations, in-car PCs, and music players, but Morgan is the first to turn it into a laptop.

In true open source spirit, he's released all the step-by-step details of how to create the machine on his blog, complete with pictures and links to where to buy the parts. However, one Web site has calculated that creating a similar device could cost you $391.30 in total, but that's not the point of this fun project.

The complete specs of the mini-laptop are:

  • CPU - 700MHZ
  • Memory - 256MB
  • Storage - 4GB SD Card
  • Extended Storage - 64GB Sata II SSD
  • Wifi - Built-in B/GN Card
  • Bluetooth - Built-in Bluetooth 3.0
  • Peripherals - 1 Powered USB Port
  • Video output - HDMI Port
  • Keyboard/mouse - QWERTY with Touchpad Mouse

The system is built around Linux operating system and comes inside its own little case.

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