I’ve been working on this project on and off for the last six months or so. There’s still lots left to do, but I did the first major mock-up today and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome so far.
- Framework powered Thinkpad 701C
- iPad 7 display panel (2160x1620)
- Fully working original keyboard and trackpoint
- Ports/peripherals: 3x USB-A, 2x USB-C, 1x GigE, headphone jack, Wifi, Bluetooth
For those that may not know, the Thinkpad 701C (aka the “butterfly”) is a ~10" compact laptop that IBM sold for a brief period in the mid-90s. It has a full sized keyboard that flares out as you open the lid. I bought a broken one on a whim last year for no particular reason, but in fairly short order I decided it needed a new lease on life and some Framework hardware would be the perfect way to go about it.
I also wanted a modern display to go with the modern processor. I discovered that the iPad 7 panel is an almost perfect match to the original screen, so I adapted that to work with the eDP connector on the mainboard. I posted about that here: 10.2" iPad 7 display on the internal eDP connector
There is no room for expansion cards, so I’ve exposed the two right USB-C connectors directly. One of the left ports connects to a custom USB-C port replicator that exposes two external type-A connectors, one internal type-A connector (for a Logitech dongle), and one external gigabit Ethernet connector. I’ve finished the schematic for the port replicator, but detailed layout is pending some more CAD work.
The keyboard and trackpoint are connected to a Teensy 3.6 microcontroller that runs a customized build of QMK so they both enumate as USB input devices.
Making all this fit inside the envelope of a 701C has been a challenge. I’ve had to design a brand new lower case and hinge bracket. What you see in the photos is a first draft FDM print. I plan to MJF print the final version of the case and may DMLS print the hinge bracket.
I plan on posting all of the design files on my github when it’s done.