Enthusiast built a retro styled computer with a 5 inch
Hardware

Enthusiast built a retro styled computer with a 5 inch round display

After building a DIY mini laptop based on the Raspberry Pi Zero 2W computer this year, enthusiast Penk Chen has created a new retro-style model. The so-called mainboard terminal is a computer with a circular display and a motherboard used in Framework modular laptops.

    Image source: CNX Software

Image source: CNX Software

The computer was tested with Ubuntu 22.04 out of the box, so only minor changes to the display configuration are required to ensure correct operation. Since the motherboard is based on a solution supporting Intel Core i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7 or i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake processors, it is likely that the solution will be compatible with other operating systems.

    Image source: CNX Software

Image source: CNX Software

The main components are commercially available:

  • Framework Laptop Motherboard (From $399)
  • buildable keyboard OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3 ($140);
  • 5-inch, 1080×1080 pixel round LCD display and HDMI adapter board (about $82).

Most of the work was done on the design of the mainboard terminal housing, Penk has released the STL files for the 3D printer on Github under the free MIT license.

Since the display has an unusual resolution, additional configuration with xrand is required:

    Image source: CNX Software

Image source: CNX Software

A terminal emulator is also installed, which for aesthetic reasons imitates the old cathode display with a different curvature. To do this, you must change the following line in the app/qml/ApplicationSettings.qml directory:

    Image source: CNX Software

Image source: CNX Software

All 3D printed parts are attached to each other with 5 x 2 mm magnets, although Penk does not rule out that some prefer screw connections, and can also make cutouts for USB 4.0 ports. A computer with a round display has a very limited scope, but looks very atmospheric.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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