Turn That Old Tablet Into A Linux Laptop Under $ 100

Small laptops have always been devices that promise so much, but somehow fail to deliver on their promises. From Atari Portfolio handhelds to the recent crop of netbooks, they have either been extremely expensive if they are good, or so compromised by their size constraints that they are almost useless. We’ve seen DOS, EPOC, Windows, WinCE, Palm OS, Linux, and more distributions in tiny form factors over the years, but few have made a significant mark.

The prospect of a “suitable” computer in your hand, however, is not something to give up just yet. Now we come to the point where the previous generation of high-end Android tablets are both powerful enough and big enough to be available at a very reasonable price. Perhaps these can provide the little laptop hunter with a basis for something useful. [NODE] certainly think so, because it is produces a nice little Ubuntu laptop using a used Nexus 7 tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard case. Android is replaced by an Ubuntu image, and a cardboard display frame is held in place by magnetic strips. A step-by-step guide was set up to help other interested people follow the same path.

This isn’t the most amazing of the hardware hacks, as it mostly involves elements of commerce and software. However, it’s worth a look as it offers a route to a very acceptable small Linux laptop for an extremely reasonable price. One concern is that the Ubuntu version doesn’t appear to be recent, but we’re sure readers will point out any newer version of the distro in the comments. If you fancy taking a look at the finished laptop, it posted a video that we’ve included under the break.


We’ve shown you a few homemade handhelds over the years, including this one with a Raspberry Pi at heart, and this Commodore 64. Or you can take a look at our DIY laptop roundup.

Going through Lifehacker.

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