Here is what I want from a laptop:
- custom keyboard
The first candidate was a cheap deal for a Toshiba Satellite C870 with wrecked hinge plastics.
The Toshiba Satellite C870 AIO
Originally I was thinking to use this as a (normal) laptop, but I had to look for new display plastics, keyboard and what not, so what the heck, I decided let's do it another way.
R.I.P. victims of weight reduction
First thing I tried was to just put some aluminium corner profiles to the hinges and use them as a stand. That worked nice, but I had to somehow attach the 17-inch display panel to the chassis.
Sure, plastic band was first thing on the list ;) But anyway, I bought some more aluminium profiles, cut them, drilled them and fixed myself a nice little frame for the display.
Then fixed the Frame to the top cover of the laptop, where the mainboard and most other components are attached:
Fixing the frame was somewhat tricky. I wanted to use the original screw holes, so I bought 12mm long screws and a load of 2mm nuts.
What's so tricky, you might ask? Try buying a 4mm wrench - none of these are sold to begin with. I had to do all those tiny screws by hand.
Then again, I guess it was worth the effort:
The Satellite C870 was a valid machine and I did work on it for a few months, but being a low-end model it suffered from several flaws. Without going into details, the main problem was that my Core i7-3720QM was capped at 35W, which translates to heavy throttling at high CPU and iGPU loads.
The Dell Latitude E5430 AIO
That's why I was delighted when I found that cheap Latitude E5430 on Ebay. It had broken display and keyboard, but why bother - I still had the 17.3" panel from the Sattelite C870 ;)
Quite surprising IMO, it looks that one of the most universally interchangeable components of a laptop is the 40-pin display panel, beating even generic stuff like RAM and chargers.
The guys from Patriot must have expected that someone will remove the SSD casing.
Those terminator-style LEDs...