Research: Photos – Taking apart the Acer Travelmate 244ML

Posted on November 26, 2010

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My girl has an old Acer Travelmate of which the motherboard died completely a few years ago. Researching the options to build a “DIY tablet PC” I decided to take it apart and see what possibilities it offers to re-use parts from existing machines.

Laptops are reasonably compact, so they might offer some re-usable parts.

Here are some photos I made during the deconstruction process. More from this series can be found here on Flickr.

Related posts

The “Scrablet” – A research document to document different options to build a Do It Yourself Tablet Computer using either scrap material and / or stuf from eBay and other sources

Taking apart the Archos 32showing you how compact a portable computer can be

Snapshots of the Acer Travelmate 244ML

One of the sceen hinges

One of the sceen hinges

LCD screen - flat cable and cable to computer

LCD screen - to be re-used for a home brew Touch Screen - flat cable and cable to computer

LCD screen - Inverter - responsible for feeding the backlight

LCD screen - Inverter - responsible for feeding the backlight

Acer otherboard - CPU and CPU holder

Acer otherboard - CPU and CPU holder

Pentium Intel Celeron 2.6 GHZ - bottom side

Pentium Intel Celeron 2.6 GHZ - bottom side

Acer Travelmate - Close up on motherboard

Acer Travelmate - Connector of the battery

Acer Travelmate - Close up on motherboard

Acer Travelmate - PCI card holders, connectors and keyboard connector

Acer Travelmate - bottom side of motherboard - beauty shot

Acer Travelmate - bottom side of motherboard - beauty shot

Acer Travelmate - Memory slot

Acer Travelmate - Memory slot

Acer Travelmate - bottom side of Touch pad

Acer Travelmate - bottom side of Touch pad

Conclusion

It was fun to take the Acer Travelmate apart. In most cases I have no clue what the different parts do. I am just about able to distinguish the CPU, disconnect the different parts and put it all back together again.

Compared to my Dell, which is roughly a year older, Acer does a very clean job, almost close to being art. Most parts are on the one single board (where Dell used several separate parts – to put the power-in and the USB ports on, for instance) and the board itself measures a nice 30 x 16 x 2.5 centimeters.

Compared to the Archos 32 – which I took apart twelve days ago (see photos here) the insides are those of a giant. The same space used for the Intel CPU is the space needed for the motherboard of the Archos. The fit-PC2 is much more compact as well – which is the reason I purchased that machine today on this Dutch site.

All together it is too big for what I want and need. (See the “Scrablet” post) And things can definitely be done more compact as the Archos tablet and the providers of the micro and nano ITX boards prove: fitting an entire Intel PC on 10 x 7.5 centimeters.

The LCD display will be re-used to build a Touch Screen using some parts bought on eBay (see again the “Scrablet” post, under “Update”)

The next thing to do is find a Eee-pc with a broken screen and do the same as done with the Acer (and Dell) but re-use the motherboard and re-package it into a box that can be used as a stand-alone machine.

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