This Custom-Built Walnut "Laptop" Hides a Raspberry Pi, Camera, Mic, Speakers, and a USB Power Bank
Pseudonymous maker "mw33212" has put together a laptop with a difference: It's housed in a custom-made walnut chassis, with a fold-out keyboard hidden in a drawer.
"[I] saw the LCD panel on a big discount — presumably since it’s such a weird shape — and wanted to see what I could do with it," mw33212 explains of the project's origins. "Yes, it’s hugely impractical vs. a real laptop although it should work for most day to day stuff and was pretty inexpensive to build."
The screen in question is an ultra-wide panel with an unusual 1920×515 resolution, which set the maker back $70 with a driver board that accepts an HDMI input. This is linked to a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer, which in turn connects to a foldable keyboard with integrated track pad, a camera, a microphone, and an amplifier that drives a pair of speakers.
It's the chassis which catches your attention, though. "The case is made from 5mm and 10mm walnut," mw33212 writes, "which is more than sturdy enough for this application. Indian rosewood and maple for the borders. Hand tools and a cordless drill for the woodworking.
"Overheating was a concern [but] for a full 6 hour cycle looping YouTube it never seemed to have any issues whatsoever and the cooling fans on the [Raspberry] Pi, as well as a few ventilation holes, seem to work fine."
The laptop is driven by a USB power bank, which offers around six hours of active use per charge. Fully assembled, the device is portable but weighty: Its creator estimates its measurements at 13×4×2.5" and around 3.5lbs — though its footprint in use is larger, thanks to a drawer at the bottom which opens out to reveal the folding keyboard.
More details are available on the project's Reddit thread.