How to Build Your Own Laptop With a Kit

Updated March 23, 2017

When searching for the right laptop, you may not find an option that combines the specifications and hardware you desire into a form that is right for you. In this situation, you can build your own laptop using a "barebones" kit. Laptop kits are available from vendors in all sorts of configurations. Determining all of the desired and necessary equipment and software can be a difficult task, and it will require a good amount of work. But the end result is a computer that truly caters to your exact needs.

Locate a barebones kit that works for you. This is the most important choice you will make while building the laptop, as the kit will encompass your screen, keyboard size and layout, track-pad and motherboard. This kit will ultimately determine the size, appearance and performance capabilities of your laptop.

Investigate the features of your kit to ensure it will be compatible with all your desired software. While the majority of your laptop will be customisable, you will be unable to modify existing features on your motherboard and will likely be unable to change any graphical processor units that accompany the kit. If you want to use your laptop for gaming, be certain that the included GPU will be appropriate for the software you are going to run.

Ensure that any hardware you wish to install will be compatible with the kit you have chosen. Depending on the manufacturer of the kit, you may be unable to use certain pieces of hardware such as memory or CPU. (See the manufacturer's website.)

Locate and purchase a processor that is compatible with your kit. Look for the most power-efficient processor you can find, as this component will draw more power from your battery than any other part of the computer. As a result, the processor you choose will greatly affect your battery life.

Determine the amount of RAM that will be needed for your system. This amount depends on the operating system you will be using and the type of software you wish to run. Once you know how much RAM you need and the format of the RAM (DDR or DDR2 in most cases), you can simply purchase the cheapest brand of RAM in that size and format.

Consider the amount of hard drive space you will want available, and purchase an internal 2.5-inch laptop hard drive in an acceptable size for your needs. Choose a size larger than 30 GB if you wish to use a modern operating system and store a decent amount of data on the computer.

Clear your work space, and gather all your necessary tools and equipment. Ensure that the area is free from static electricity, which can damage the delicate structures of computer equipment.

Open up the back of the kit using your screwdriver and place each item in the respective slot. There should be slots for a hard drive, CPU, RAM and battery. Depending on your kit, you may have other sections for memory cards, bluetooth or other such devices.

Once everything is securely in place, close up any open slots on the bottom of the kit. Do not seal any dirt or foreign objects inside the kit when you close it back up. Once everything is place, and your boot disc has been inserted or installed, you should be able to power up the computer and begin using it. You may need to install drivers for some of your components; see the manufacturer's website.

Things You'll Need

  • Desired hardware
  • Barebones laptop kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Clean, open work space
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About the Author

Jacob Stover is a writer and editor from Ann Arbor. He has been writing professionally since 2009. His work has been published in the "Wayne State University Literary Review." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and film studies from Wayne State University.