Portable Desktop methods

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
@Pedro That is why I didn't pull the trigger yet on those monitors. for one, one of them won't completely fit in my backpack, They will stick out by a few inches(the height of the screen is fine though). My money is tight right now, So I'm in no hurry to buy a spare monitor. I probably won't bother with this until my S4M is built and running.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
I am a new member here but have been watching this thread with great interest .

I am thinking of doing something similar for my next build, but don't want to spend hundreds on an ultra portable monitor.

Example:
For weekend long LAN parties I will simply bring my big gaming monitor, however for overnight work trips I don't want to haul that giant monitor so I too want something lean & mean that also fits in a backpack. I am currently on the hunt for a dead laptop with a 1080P screen (for as little cost as possible). My hope is to pillage the screen, buy a new control board for the screen and make a light weight frame for it (maybe something out of a sheet of HDPE.. Its also electrically insulating, HURRAY!!).

@Pedro I've been thinking. While your idea of pillaging a screen from a dead laptop would be a great idea, the problem becomes fitting a case for it. Unless you want to spend more money trying to make the case for the screen, what about getting a laptop, thin or not, and simply leave the screen inside the laptop bezel and do one of two things:

1. take everything out of the base and place the control board in there instead(including the keyboard, unless you have a board that can convert the keyboard to a usb plug). use the extra space to put speakers, batteries, a storage for a keyboard, whatever.

2. the other option is to still take everything out, but instead, chop/slim the base down enough to fit the control board, and some speakers. add a support on the back of the screen. Then cut some material to cover the now gaping hole and glue it/mount it together.
 

Reldey

Master of Cramming
Feb 14, 2017
387
405
Just wanted to share a pic of my S4 Mini out in the wild...



Also just to note, using the GeChic 15.6 inch portable screen, and it fits perfectly above the S4 Mini. I am sure I'm not the first one to do this, just thought it was funny how the little feet on the display JUST sit at the edge of the wrap-around bezel and side panels.

Just wanted to share my portable S4-Mini classic setup for inspiration...
 

Pedro

Trash Compacter
Dec 12, 2017
43
27
@Pedro I've been thinking. While your idea of pillaging a screen from a dead laptop would be a great idea, the problem becomes fitting a case for it. Unless you want to spend more money trying to make the case for the screen, what about getting a laptop, thin or not, and simply leave the screen inside the laptop bezel and do one of two things:

1. take everything out of the base and place the control board in there instead(including the keyboard, unless you have a board that can convert the keyboard to a usb plug). use the extra space to put speakers, batteries, a storage for a keyboard, whatever.

2. the other option is to still take everything out, but instead, chop/slim the base down enough to fit the control board, and some speakers. add a support on the back of the screen. Then cut some material to cover the now gaping hole and glue it/mount it together.

Combine both ideas.

I know that you can buy circuit board enclosures but if you could re-purpose the main Laptop frame (after gutting it) to house the board for the screen it kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Also, re-using the screens bezel saves a bunch of work so you don't need to build a custom frame.

OR OR!!! You take the screen, flip it around on the laptop and the base of the laptop acts as the screens stand and doesn't extend into what would be your keyboard space.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
@Pedro I've been thinking. While your idea of pillaging a screen from a dead laptop would be a great idea, the problem becomes fitting a case for it. Unless you want to spend more money trying to make the case for the screen, what about getting a laptop, thin or not, and simply leave the screen inside the laptop bezel and do one of two things:

1. take everything out of the base and place the control board in there instead(including the keyboard, unless you have a board that can convert the keyboard to a usb plug). use the extra space to put speakers, batteries, a storage for a keyboard, whatever.

I actually like this idea quite a lot. Most laptop trackpads use the PS/2 interface, just with a different connector, I don't know about they keyboards though, seems like they have too many pins. But if they do you could make a portable display that has speakers, keyboard, trackpad, even its own battery. Almost seems like this could become a popular product ;)
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
@SeñorDonut The problem with not chopping the base up and just taking out the computer components is that you pretty much have a laptop and essentially a giant sized eGPU. My biggest complaints with laptops is that the keyboard and touchpad are fixed to the laptop. Yes, having it fixed like that does make it easier to use while in your lap(although they tell you not to actually use a laptop in your lap) I might consent to the idea if it the source laptop was something really thin like a chromebook.

Although looking at chromebooks on craigslist.. I see some that are going for $50, but they only have 11" screens.

Also, if you were able to get the trackpad converted, you could take the keyboard out, and purchase a mechanical keyboard that fits the hole left by the original keyboard. if you could some how mount it in there, the keys shouldn't prevent the monitor from closing, which means the keyboard would have to sit lower than the original keyboard did. Or, if you weren't able to mount it, you could make it so that it could sit in the hole and be used like that, or taken out and adjusted to your liking.



Edit: If you did option 2, you would obviously need to make a stand for the display, since the bulk of the weight would be gone. This guy for his portable usb monitor used some velcro, a 4 inch tee hinge, and some rubber spray to make a stand. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FE690DI/?tag=theminutiae-20 (click the image in the reviews to see the post)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

Reldey

Master of Cramming
Feb 14, 2017
387
405
If only the GeChic screeen was way cheaper...

also that image is blurry as hell...
Up to you. Their solution is much better in my opinion than trying to make your own. It is much more durable and stable than a stripped down laptop screen would be. You might want to think about how you will be shoving it into a backpack or sleeve without it having the rest of the laptop for rigidity and protection.

There are also foldable tablet stands on amazon that will work much better than trying to make your own out of wood.

I'm a firm believer in spending more to get the product you actually need, instead of trying to compromise cheaply and end up not even using the result.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
Up to you. Their solution is much better in my opinion than trying to make your own. It is much more durable and stable than a stripped down laptop screen would be. You might want to think about how you will be shoving it into a backpack or sleeve without it having the rest of the laptop for rigidity and protection.

There are also foldable tablet stands on amazon that will work much better than trying to make your own out of wood.

I'm a firm believer in spending more to get the product you actually need, instead of trying to compromise cheaply and end up not even using the result.

@Reldey If i think about shoving the screen in a backpack, option 1 is the better choice. While doing so is pretty much the same as a laptop and an over-sized eGPU, it would at least protect the screen more than just a 300$+ screen that I would have to buy another case for to protect the screen from getting scrached during travel.


Edit: found a used Dell Latitude e6510 for $100 on craigslist. Found a controller board on ebay for $23.61 /w free shipping. Making the cost if i went with this, $123.61.
 
Last edited:

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,382
5,936
I've got to say I am completely befuddled as to why one would buy a 200 dollar S4M, presumably fill it with equally nice hardware, and then plug it into a 15.6" Gechic screen running at 1080P. I'm a bit drunk and also by nature a bit of a dick, but why not just get a Raven Ridge APU on an ITX board and kill every game ever at 1080p while also having improved portability? Obviously the S4M is a sweet assed case, but it's also the antithesis of a GeChic monitor.

Have you considered getting a messenger bag like this (450mm x 340mm main pouch):

https://www.timbuk2.com/commute-mes...6114&dwvar_208_size=8&category=messenger-bags

And a larger and nicer monitor?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: IntoxicatedPuma

winterbladexx

Average Stuffer
Sep 30, 2017
76
34
I've got to say I am completely befuddled as to why one would buy a 200 dollar S4M, presumably fill it with equally nice hardware, and then plug it into a 15.6" Gechic screen running at 1080P. I'm a bit drunk and also by nature a bit of a dick, but why not just get a Raven Ridge APU on an ITX board and kill every game ever at 1080p while also having improved portability? Obviously the S4M is a sweet assed case, but it's also the antithesis of a GeChic monitor.

Have you considered getting a messenger bag like this (450mm x 340mm main pouch):

https://www.timbuk2.com/commute-mes...6114&dwvar_208_size=8&category=messenger-bags

And a larger and nicer monitor?
For me, it's because a 144HZ monitor at home which I believe the APU won't be enough.
 

Reldey

Master of Cramming
Feb 14, 2017
387
405
Check and mate. This is why I shouldn't post after midnight while intoxicated.
Yeah, same the gechic is just for travel. I have a 1440p screen at home. The gechic also comes with a thick plastic screen protector in the box. You don't need to buy another protector.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
@Kmpkt Hey, if you can find a 1440p monitor that is 15" for under 200$ I'd be more than happy to use that. I also have dual 25" 1440p monitors at home. And again, like @Reldey said, the 15" monitor is just for travel.
 

chx

Master of Cramming
May 18, 2016
553
282
The usual taobao place has 17" 4K monitors, if you are interested I can dig it out.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
I actually like this idea quite a lot. Most laptop trackpads use the PS/2 interface, just with a different connector, I don't know about they keyboards though, seems like they have too many pins. But if they do you could make a portable display that has speakers, keyboard, trackpad, even its own battery. Almost seems like this could become a popular product ;)

@SeñorDonut I had another idea. What about instead of trying to re-purpose the laptop keyboard and touchpad, and getting two of the same laptops, yank the screen from the second one, then pull out the hardware from the first one, and cut a rectangle out of the base of the first one, and try and fit the screen you pulled from the second into the base of the first one. place two controller boards in the base of the gutted laptop and then try to install a vesa mount/make it vesa compatible on the bottom of the base. Then connect a stand to the vesa mount.

While the screens won't be side by side, you will have dual screens and you won't have to buy any cases, as they will just fold in on each other.

and best thing is, if you screw up the first time cutting, you have another chance to get it right.

tl;dr - Basically combine two laptop screens into one laptop like the Acer Iconia 6120, minus the touch capability.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Aug 7, 2015
112
53
There are quite alot of good ideas posted here.
Personally, my current portable gaming rig is my modded SG05 with an old 17" LCD mon with the base removed.
The LCD, keyboard + mouse and power and vga cables goes in the backpack.
Although I'm thinking about switching to using a notebook and using Steam In-home streaming instead so I don't have to carry the peripherals .
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Nov 29, 2017
293
243
I browsed that portable monitor thread again, and somehow missed a post about Sibolan monitors. They have a 17" 1080p monitor for $265. Although they also have a 13" monitor thats 2K for a little more. While I liked the idea of dual screen monitors, I think I may have gone in the wrong direction by trying to put another monitor in the base of the laptop.

While strange, that orientation might work but now that I think about it, it would be uncomfortable to have to look up every time I want to manage something on the second screen. I'm gonna put this on the back-burner for now, as my priority right now is getting my desktop build up and running. I still have to buy the motherboard too, as it comes out next week.