I used this as my Computer for a Month
I built a cyber deck in the past and i did a video on that. I never ended up actually using it very much because it didnt run windows, so this does – and this is kind of a mock up – that is kind of like a prop, but i can actually use it day to day see how it is. My file design was inspired by the raspberry pi keyboard, this intel concept, computer and, of course, cyberdecks at the start of this project. I first researched mini pcs and also emailed framework to see if any of their modular motherboards were available. Unfortunately, at the time they hadnt been released yet so i just tore apart my gaming laptop, which, for 400 on craigslist, was actually the same price as a framework motherboard and has a 1650 ti. The only thing i had to be careful about is some laptop motherboards wont boot up if they dont have a display attached. So i had to test that out before i committed to the project. I also experimented with driving non native displays directly off of the motherboard. Unfortunately, i didnt have any success with this, but my computer doesnt have a mux switch anyway, so i decided not to fret about the uglier exterior and just accept that ill get a marginally better gaming performance by using my display out for the chassis, i use the Onyx wormhole keyboard with the gold pink keys. I love this thing, but let me tell you: it was horrible to disassemble.
I 3d printed a base that lifts the whole keyboard up by about a quarter inch giving me just enough room for the motherboard, because both the prints and the housing were made out of translucent material. It was a perfect application for this uv curing jb weld adhesive, which i highly recommend i removed the cpu fan and replaced them with this little rgb fan never cut heat pipes. I very carefully bent the heat pipes up and out of the way so it fit. I also removed the left daughter board and later thermal epoxied on a heat sink right above the cpu socket. I have important stuff on this drive. Thats, not backed up im about to cut it in half see if it still works this, it works. It booted. Thank god. I was right about that. The wi fi card was also too large for the housing, so i made a little clearer thing for it and then routed the antenna to the side externally and then the other side to get around the unfortunate external cable. I got this low profile, hdmi right, angle, adapter and then the power button is external as well, and all this external hardware might look jank, but it gives it like this really kind of harsh dystopic future type of prop vibe to it, which i really like this Was what i was going for, you might think it looks janky and it kind of does but thats kind of the aesthetic so now lets get into the review.
How has this been to use? So? First of all, while i do like the typewriter aesthetic, with just the ultra wide display, and while i did find it was helpful to use this just with that one display when i was trying to just focus on like writing a script or doing something that was Kind of productive for the most part i used this with the external monitor mounted up top, so i 3d printed brackets into the chassis design. That holds the monitor exactly at the right angle, for when im sitting at a desk – and i found the dual monitor – solution really helpful. It honestly makes me want to buy a zenbook duo, just because i found so many use cases where i was using that lower display. Although the ergonomics of this, you know when stationary even better than the zenbook, because the display the main display is a little bit higher and closer to eye level regarding the dual displays, though, i did notice that some games would let you mouse from the game to The lower window, while others required you to window the game, to move your mouse to the other display, and i did try both windowed and full screen modes for this. Some games just didnt, play nice with multiple monitors and thats more of a windows issue, and overall so long as i was using it at a desk having this large of real estate in this nice of input, devices for such a small footprint was nice and, while Battery life was unchanged.
The lack of a trackpad really makes this a desktop device. Doesnt work well in the lap, although, if youre able to wirelessly connect it to tv that that could be kind of cool using it like on the couch, with the main display being the tv. So that kind of summarizes it.