Homebrew Mac tablet means you’ll never fully live in a post-PC world

MacTab DIY tabletMrQuiffster/Instructables

Do you ever feel like your iPad is a little limiting? Maybe you want your Mac apps on a tablet or you'd like a larger screen. As it happens, you can build your very own tablet from scratch, albeit one that runs Mac OS X rather than iOS.

Self-confessed tinkerer and Instructables user MrQuiffster created this custom-built tablet, which he nicknamed the MacTab. His homebrew tablet uses parts from a second-hand MacBook combined with the Wacom digitizer (and matching stylus) from an HP TX1000 tablet PC.

MrQuiffster tore open the MacBook, removed the LCD panel, and cut a screen-sized hole in the laptop's lid. He also turned the LCD mounts around so that the screen would face out of the hole in the lid. He then took out the keyboard, trackpad, and related connectors, and replaced them with a USB hub, modules for 3G and Bluetooth, and an SD card reader. The Wacom Digitizer board attaches to the back of the MacTab screen, and gives you a working touchscreen.

This isn't an easy hack to pull off, so make sure you have a good workspace with all the necessary tools, and do some research before getting started. If you want a Mac tablet but don't feel comfortable with hardware hacking, you might want to look into the Modbook instead. Also, while MrQuiffster got all of his parts from eBay, make sure you shop around to get a good deal, or your MacTab project could get expensive.

If you think you’re ready to step away from iOS and recycle an old Macbook, check out MrQuiffster’s full tutorial and photos on Instructables.

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