A64-OLinuXino OSHW 64-bit ARM DIY Laptop idea update


A64-OLinuXino Laptop idea becomes with better shape, we managed to find supplier for the laptop plastic ABS body with 11.6″, 1366*768 LCD and keyboard where we can embed our A64-OLinuXino motherboard.


the body have power supply jack, 2x USB hosts, HDMI, SD card connector, headphones 3.5 mm jack, four speakers,camera, touchpad, power button



needless to mention this window button will become Tux 😀


60 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alejandro Mery
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 15:53:12

    can it be 1080p instead? 😦


  2. hosni
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 15:59:16

    great !


  3. Radu DAN
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:11:13

    Nice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Данаил Рабаджийски (DanailDR)
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:13:06

    Maybe touchscreen display?


  5. zoobab
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:14:25

    I would love to see a GPIO connector exposed out of a standard laptop, like the NanoNote was doing years ago: http://blog.nanl.de/2011/02/ben-nanonote-able-to-control-radio-power-sockets/


  6. Julien De
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:15:36

    That would be such a great idea…
    Do you have any idea of what the final total price would be around?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:16:45

      depend on camera resolution, LCD screen if it will have TS or not, etc the price may be in range 200-300 euro, one of the idea is to be DIY with building blocks, you choose screen, camera etc modules


      • BrightBlueJim
        Apr 29, 2016 @ 00:50:45

        Yes! I’ve never had any use for the internal cameras on laptops. I’ve bought at least four of them and used them exactly zero times. Being able to choose screen resolution and with/without touchscreen would also be a plus. Modular is beautiful.

  7. SK
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:25:15

    Definitely looks stylish, but have you seen real parts yet to asses quality, these look like just 3D concepts.

    Also will there be enough space in it? I guess you will build a special A64 board for it or reuse some SOM-like design with proper base board and maybe more tiny I/O boards around?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:29:27

      this is just 3D model, I will have samples soon, sure we will make board to fit inside, actually there will be three boards but more on this later 😉


  8. Bill S
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:35:17

    If you are going to go through the trouble of making your own laptop, you might as well make the screen a high-DPI screen. People who uses Linux laptop would spend a lot of time in the terminal, reading text, writing scripts and programs … I know I do. I came to adopt a MBP because of the retina display.


    • zoobab
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:40:20

      I have an A10 based laptop taking dust because the screen and keyboards are utter crap. But if those 2 could be replaced by the same as the ones that drive my Lenovo laptop, I would probably adopt it for typing this comment.


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 16:44:19

      hmm I found high-DPI are not good for terminal work specially with my eyes too small 2 mm fonts are almost invisible for me. the good thing is A64 supports up to 4K displays so any option will be possible if one want to pay the price, these retina IPS displays are quite expensive if I judge by the prices of the spare LCD parts for phones and tablets with retina LCDs


      • Danny
        Nov 08, 2015 @ 17:06:13

        >hmm I found high-DPI are not good for terminal work specially with my eyes too small 2 mm fonts are almost invisible for me.

        That’s weird, I hear that over and over again.

        But the high ppi are not in order to get the text smaller (and if the text does get smaller, it’s a bug in the application) but in order to get it sharper.

        I was a run-of-the-mill 70ppi CRT monitor user once but now after using a Nokia N9 with 250 ppi going back even to (newer) 100 ppi computer screens is… jarring. It’s definitely much much worse. And nowadays 250 ppi is low.

        I agree that the parts are more expensive.

  9. jflesch
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 17:22:52

    Awesome idea !

    Just FIY, here is my wishlist for my perfect dream laptop:
    – long battery life (> 3h)
    – lightweight (optional)
    – doesn’t heat too much (I like coding (-> compiling) with my laptop on my laps)
    – robust (or at least easy to repair, but I guess with DIY stuff, it’s a given)
    – Debian as main OS
    – able to run Gnome 3 + a HD video

    Since it will be DIY, I guess I would be able to take care of the following points myself:
    – no godd*mn useless touchscreen !
    – in my case, I have no use for the internal speaker or the camera

    The thing that would make it absolutely perfect:
    – a docking station

    If you can sell something even just close to that as a DIY kit or individual pieces, I think I’ll never buy my laptops somewhere else again ! 🙂


  10. Jérémie
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 17:48:53

    In addition to jflesch I would add a TypeMatrix style keyboard


  11. GeeKen
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 19:07:39

    Such a logical progression – this is an impressive, paradigm shift 🙂

    As far as screens go I will take whatever comes with it – I can always plug in my 4k, 27″ screen when I am near it. Simply need fast ability to switch between Video channels – or to automatically switch between them, somehow.

    Btw, Philips are bringing out new Screens that reduce the damaging light frequencies toward the eyes / retina. I will dive into this and get pricing – both for the “in-laptop” and external-use situations.

    * *


  12. bfgs
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 22:23:28

    In the picture. there is a lot of room next to both sides of the keyboard. Could you please use a keyboard, where the arrow keys are NOT squeezed?


  13. 99guspuppet
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 23:02:00

    Screen is okay

    4 things I want

    Ability to Miracast
    Simple wired IO such as i2c, serial , etc.
    Wireless charging
    Bluetooth for keyboard and mouse and ….


  14. 99guspuppet
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 23:04:21

    Swappable battery maybe flat bat underneath laptop


  15. 99guspuppet
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 23:05:31

    Brilliant that you are working on this ….. DIY ability to make special purpose laptops for special purposes


  16. tudor.suciu@gmail.com
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 23:28:27

    It’s a great idea! I hope that the camera is not a usb one. I would certainly like the screen to be 13,3 or 14 inch. In 11,6 inch I already have the HP chromebook with IPS screen. In the end I use my Lenovo R400 much more.


  17. davidlt
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 04:58:01

    Could we make it 1080p?


  18. sandeep
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 06:55:08

    Hi @Olimex sounds like a really neat idea.can you give some idea of the price and how long tou wish to support of continue this product or its sucessors.

    I m working on an open source projects data acquistion framework that is affordable enough to be owned by science and engineering students in developing nations like India and would love this device to be used as a computer for the same.


  19. Bertrand
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 08:46:29

    Awesome idea. Keep going.


  20. Stupido
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 09:54:29

    Thumbs up (all 4 of them 😉 and +1 for the higher resolution display but also 13 inch and up as size…
    actually can’t you fit your 15 FHD screen? you also have 15” touchscreen… 😉
    to me that looks optimal size/pixel density


  21. cfriedt
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 13:24:06

    If it’s an 8-core chip, I’m sold!

    Might I suggest a TRRS Connector for the 3.5mm port so that both stereo audio and microphone can be used on the same line?


  22. samy
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 13:54:37

    Please note the importance of alternative keyboard layouts! Which certainly will add additional costs. However, the option of selling a diy kit would keep the handling/logistics cost lower.


  23. sucotronic
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 14:35:35

    This idea sounds great, and with you being the “builders” the quality and durability will be ensured 😉

    Just one thing… none alwinner chip has a open source gpu driver, so it’ll mean that the device will be stuck in a specific kernel version because there’ll be only one compiled propietary driver for it :S


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 14:41:05

      can you please tell me single ARM SoC which have open source gpu driver 😉 there are ways to work around the kernel version with Hybris like Jolla does, and to use Android drivers in mainline kernel, but our developers so far have no knowledge how to do this properly, if someone know how to do this and give us a hand we could have one day mainline kernel for Allwinner with accelerated video/graphics


      • sucotronic
        Nov 06, 2015 @ 15:00:50

        Wow, that was a fast response!! Of course I know there is no open gpu driver for any arm chip, and that is soooo sad. The Hybris stuff reminds me of the time when people used the windows driver on linux though ndiswrapper, and it was a “bit” better than nothing, but a very bad solution. The only exception is broadcom, but only for the pi 😛

        Anyway, I only mentioned it for reference for other people. I’m happy to see this project being a reality, and even buying one in the future 😉

        Only one suggestion, please consider to use some kind of standard battery system, like putting 18650 cells with some kind of in-house protection-charging-diagnosis circuit (I’m sure you’d do great).

      • ade
        Jan 02, 2017 @ 16:35:33

        > can you please tell me single ARM SoC which have open source gpu driver😉

        Tegra K1 ? https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU4OTg
        From Wikipedia : “In June 2014, Codethink reported to run Wayland-based Weston compositor with Linux kernel 3.15, making use of EGL and a “100% open-source graphics driver stack” on a Tegra K1″

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Jan 02, 2017 @ 16:41:44

        how exciting, Nvidia has nothing but marketing BS on their site about this SoC

  24. zoobab
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 15:11:54

    “The only exception is broadcom, but only for the pi”

    Not even, the first thing you boot on a pi is a blob needed to handle the GPU access. Rpi does not have an open source driver.


  25. Trackback: Olimex ARM64 OSH laptop update | Firmware Security
  26. Stefan Marinov
    Nov 07, 2015 @ 12:16:13

    Neat! One more minor detail that will be really appreciated by many of us would be a standard-compliant (either ISO or ANSI) backlit QWERTY keyboard, at least as an optional component. I will follow this project closely with or without it, though.


  27. Bilal Tonga
    Nov 07, 2015 @ 14:45:36

    its a great idea!
    is it a big deal making it DIY type laptop?
    Do you plan selling motherboards alone ? I prefer buy parts and build my own laptop with 3d printed body.it will be perfect 🙂


  28. Filipe
    Nov 08, 2015 @ 10:05:58

    Shut up and take my money!


  29. Luis Cesar / Portugal
    Nov 08, 2015 @ 20:43:33

    From a peripheral and small country, like Bulgaria I wish to congratulate the Olimex for more this step on her success. And to say that I’ll one customer of yours.


  30. ignat99
    Nov 09, 2015 @ 11:42:03


  31. anonima
    Nov 09, 2015 @ 13:03:32



  32. Trackback: Allwinner A64 Datasheet and User Manual Released
  33. Victor
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 20:28:23

    Some time ago I wanted to write to you asking why you don’t work on an ARM open hardware laptop… Well, I didn’t do it because I feel inconsistent for that kind of talking and I didn’t want to feel just stupid. Finally, I regret: at least I would think that I have great ideas 😉 In fact, having an idea is nothing. Building it is something hard. And this is the difference between you and most of us. Just go on. One day I will throw all my machines for having only Olimex open hardware stuff. Tomorrow ?…


  34. Alexander Todorov
    Nov 24, 2015 @ 22:44:44

    Hey guys,
    can the power adapter be microUSB so it’s compatible with phone chargers. It would be really nice if we don’t have to carry around another charger.
    I can live with a trade-off microUSB + regular charger holes but possible to take either one at a time as input. I’m also fine if the charging time is slower when using a phone charger vs. the regular one.


    • SK
      Nov 25, 2015 @ 00:56:27

      I am not sure phone charger would be able to provide enough power for screen + board + wifi + peripherals, etc.


  35. Khalil Gibran
    Dec 20, 2015 @ 15:41:18

    Reblogged this on kgibran.


  36. Khalil Gibran
    Dec 20, 2015 @ 15:42:20

    The window button can also be replaced by a daemon picture?


  37. khertan
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 11:35:56

    Wahou … like the concept … please, i prefer a good quality screen than a cheap HD. (no need for TS)


  38. Ed Lukacs
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 04:34:42

    Just wondering what’s happening. The silence is deafening.


  39. cocolino
    Aug 10, 2016 @ 22:28:55

    why not a 3D printable case?


  40. name
    Aug 18, 2016 @ 23:41:18

    my wish:

    A. total software support (drivers) for GPU and 3D accellerated graphics, i don’t want step-by-step video reproduction.

    A.1. choose hardware (i.e. wifi chip) that DOES NOT require non-free firmware, check Free Software Foundation website for list of openhardware (openess must be also at software side)

    B. option to upgrade to 4GB or more ram (i need to run virtual machines and they need ram).

    C. 2 usb port are not enough, please add another one

    D. rj45 port. ADD IT. wireless is only for fag*** apple user. (no, i don’t want to use an external usb/lan converter!)

    E. add PHISICAL switch to disable/enable wifi, microphone, webcam (yes, i am paranoic)

    F. please don’t use stupid resolution as 1366×768, go higher.

    F.1. 11.6” is not enough, im near half century old, i need larger display (ok 14”: do you remember thinkpad T60? got it.)

    G. internal space for MECHANICAL HDD ( I HATE SDD)

    H. touchscreen is not needed, the laptop has a keyboard and mouse. i hate fat-from-finger on display!

    I. add on case 2-3 type of plug for power supply, so i can reutilize at least one of several power supply i accumulate in last years

    No problem if you have to had half kilo or more: lightweight is not a must.
    No problem if i have to add money to your initial 2-300EUR

    I had a board (radxa lite) with RK3188 and i am good impressed by that soc. Has your soc the same horsepower? there are benchmark around i can read?

    it is possible to bookmark? preorder?

    will you offer local keyboard? (german, france, italy, ecc?)


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