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size matters. what?
December 10, 2007 10:35 PM   Subscribe

say i bought one of those eee pc laptops (google it if you don't know). How unrealistically difficult would it be to replace the sad little screen with something larger?

what do LCD connections look like? is there a seated interface, or would I have to expose the wires and soldering them manually?

would the hardware even make use of a larger lcd panel?
posted by nihlton to Technology (13 answers total)
 
Out of the question. If you want a bigger screen, buy a bigger computer.

(Back in the day, I was one of the militant owners of the Radio Shack Color Computer. The "Coco" was one of the home-computer-religion factions, competing with the Atari 800, the Apple II, and the Radio Shack TRS-80. Ah, them was the days.

The Coco had a 6809E processor in it, one of the nicest 8-bit architectures at the time. But it wasn't all that fast, especially in that particular machine. One time on a Coco BBS, one user talked about all the cool stuff he'd heard about the new 68000 from Motorola. He ended his post by asking if it was possible to replace the 6809E in his Coco with a 68000.

You're asking essentially the same question. The answer isn't just "no", it's "HELL no".)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:43 PM on December 10, 2007


This post from the EEEuser forum is the place to start.
posted by euphorb at 10:54 PM on December 10, 2007


So you want the tiny little computer, you just wish it wasn't so... tiny? That doesn't make much sense. Maybe we could be more helpful if you'd elaborate on what about the eee appeals to you if it isn't the small size.

My next guess would be the solid state storage as opposed to a mechanical hard drive. (no noise or heat) If that's the case, Transcend makes an 8GB flash IDE drive. Look for it on Newegg. You could probably get an old laptop reasonably cheap and put one of those in it.

For all I know, that's what's in the eee. The OS and software is all free open source stuff, right? With a little work (and less than swapping out an LCD screen if you're willing to take that on) you could probably build something that would act a lot like the eee in a larger form factor.
posted by Naberius at 11:15 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's usually a seated interface or a flat flex ribbon cable, but there is no standard or anything. It's possible that you could fashion your own cable, I guess, but you would still need an inverter for the backlight, and you probably can't easily use the one that's in there already. So you would have to find an inverter compatible with the EEE mainboard and add that as well. There's probably some other concerns I'm not thinking about, too. This mod isn't impossible, I don't think, but pulling it off would definitely be a pretty elite hack.
posted by tracert at 11:35 PM on December 10, 2007


You can connect an external monitor to it...as big as you want...of course that makes it less portable. :)
posted by AltReality at 11:37 PM on December 10, 2007


Naberius: I assume nihlton wants the eee pc in the same form factor without the awful vertical bars on the side of the panel. I'm not sure what possessed Asus to design it this way, but it's unattractive and makes the screen look even smaller than it is. They should have either fit a larger screen in there or reduced the overall size.
posted by null terminated at 11:39 PM on December 10, 2007


SCDB, CoCo users UNITE!!! Couldn't stand the Commies myself (VIC20, C64 users) back in the day. I've mellowed since then. ;)

Regarding the Eee, the tiny size is the reason I'm buying one in the next week or two. Need something smaller than my current laptop for the train commute I'll be starting soon. Laptops are pretty much designed around the hardware that's in there, with very little flexibility, expect for replacing hard drives and memory. If you do manage to shoehorn a larger screen into it somehow, your battery life will definitely suffer, not to mention the overall workmanship of the case may be compromised. If you're wanting a larger screen, I'd say go look at one of the laptops with a 12" screen instead, but the price goes up as a result. Prior to the Eee coming out I was looking at purchasing one of these 12" tablets with the sweet swing screen. But it also came with Vista so I didn't really like that aspect...
posted by barc0001 at 11:54 PM on December 10, 2007


Rumour has it, then doesn't have it, then might have it, that there's a 10 inch screen version in the works.

As an aside, I had a play with one in a computer shop here in London, and the teeny screen is actually fine. They also had it hooked up to an external monitor, and you can close the lid and use it with that monitor fine, as the graphics card supports lots of different screen resolutions.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:46 AM on December 11, 2007


Have you actually used one? I'm not sure what your motivation is. I haven't found the screen on mine to be a problem. You'd be sacrificing your speakers as well (they're on either side of the screen).
posted by The Monkey at 4:36 AM on December 11, 2007


On my system (Sony VIAO):
The monitor connection is small, 15-pins in three rows of five each, staggered like seats in a theatre. The connector is flat on top and bottom, one end larger than the other with rounded sides. The PC side is female, the cable side is male.

The pins are laid out like this:

* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *

(Ignore the dot(.) in the second line, I used it to represent white space.

My favorite external monitor is ViewSonic.
posted by swarkentien at 5:45 AM on December 11, 2007


Sorry, the pins in the second row should be pushed one column to the right. MetaFilter compresses whitespace.
posted by swarkentien at 5:47 AM on December 11, 2007


@Naberieus: If you look at the EEE PC, you'll notice it has a huge bezel, and the screen could really be more like 10 inches rather than 7.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2007


Whoa, you're right! That's a lot of space. And man, it looks just... cheap in that shot null terminated posted. Okay, I see your point.

Last time someone mentioned the eee, I waxed rhapsodic about my old Sharp PV-5000 which had a screen of about the same size, and I never had a concern about the screen itself. But there is something about all that extra plastic surrounding it that distracts you from the screen itself, isn't there?
posted by Naberius at 12:52 PM on December 11, 2007


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