New Project: Luggable PC Mark II

I’ve been using my Luggable PC for about four months. It was originally built with retired computer parts, but the concept worked so well I transplanted the guts of my main desktop tower into the enclosure and now it is my only computer. I use it at home connected to my Monoprice 28″ UHD monitor (predecessor to the current Monoprice 28″ UHD monitor) and when I want a computer on the go, I close the screen and take it with me.

Luggable PC Mark I

Unfortunately that means leaving the UHD (3840×2160) monitor behind. While the built-in 17″ screen (with the flip swivel hinge I’m proud of) is a respectable 1920×1200 resolution, it feels quite cramped when I’m spoiled by a UHD screen at home.

So that became the motivation for a sequel: the Luggable PC Mark II. The main thrust of the project is a larger, higher resolution screen. And this time, I want to build the chassis around a monitor available at retail, instead of a salvaged laptop panel like the Mark I. Being specific to a salvaged panel is not very friendly for others to build their own. Tailoring Mark II to a monitor people can buy would be better.

So the next question is size. Tux-Lab experiments with the Yamakasi Catleap monitor taught me 28″ is too big to be easily portable. Looking over the computer monitor market for sizes between 17″ and 28″, the 24″ size seems to be the best one to experiment with. It is a popular size with a wide selection of makes and resolutions up to and including UHD if the budget allows for it.

And while external dimensions vary, they are mostly less than 14″ high and 22″ wide. Why these dimensions? They are the limits for carry-on luggage at United Airlines, which seems roughly representative of (or possibly more restrictive than) most airlines. I still hold the dream a Luggable PC can fit in an overhead compartment. (Assuming I can get it past TSA.)

There’s no point in a 24″ FHD (1920×1080) monitor since that’s no better than the screen I already have.  My project budget is not daring enough to jump straight into a 24″ UHD monitor price tag. So the hunt is on for a 24″ QHD (2560×1440) monitor that I should be able to find for well less than half the price.

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