In context: Today’s laptops offer a combination of power, slim design, and low weight few could have imagined decades ago, but there was a time before clamshells when portable PCs were not something you could slip into a briefcase. Now, someone has created a build that pays homage to those “luggable” computers of yesteryear.
Luggable PCs, which first arrived in the early 1980s, could weigh between 15 and 30 pounds and were usually only slightly easier to move around than a standard desktop from the time. PCPartPicker user Ragnar84 has given the luggable a contemporary reimagining that uses modern components while retaining the “portable-ish” aesthetic.
As reported by Hackaday, the “video editor and semi-casual gamer” used a custom-made mini-ITX case for his build. It's only 17.2 liters in volume, so is comparatively small, though you still wouldn’t want it on your lap throughout a seven-hour plane journey.
The display, which is placed behind the case’s glass side panel, is of the 15.6-inch 1080p variety with a 120Hz refresh rate. It includes a GTX 1060—the most popular graphics card among Steam Survey participants—16GB of RAM, and a Core i3-10100 with Intel’s stock cooler. There are also 80mm and 120mm case fans and a 450W PSU. The creator does note that they don’t need the build to “blow my main PC out of the water.”
The luggable also features a removable handle on the top for moving it around, along with a kickstand and USB speakers.
Ragnar84 wisely modeled the entire project in 3D first to make sure everything would fit. They then used T-Slot extrusion and custom-cut aluminum and acrylic panels for the build. “This custom case gives me all the freedom, power, and sturdiness of a tower, with unmatched portability for a custom build,” they wrote.
One example of a luggable was the Commodore SX-64 (below), a “portable” version of the world’s best-selling computer of all time, the Commodore 64. Check it out in The Commodore Story.