Part I: The Main Objective. (Same as Luggable PC Mark I)
The PC market is largely dominated by two main categories: (1) Large desktop towers offering wide spectrum of options and upgrade capability, and (2) laptops offering portability in exchange for limited options and upgrade capability.
The laptop market has seen a great deal of innovation in form factors. From super thin-and-light convertible tablets to heavyweight expensive "Gamer Laptops." The latter pushes the limits of laptop form factor towards the desktop segment.
In contrast, the PC desktop market has not seen a similar level of innovation. The only significant deviation from the standard tower are the all-in-one PCs ("iMac clones") sharing many of the same limitation as laptops. In general there's been far less pushing the limits of desktop machines towards portability.
The "Luggable PC" project ventures into this under-explored space, to design a portable chassis which accepts commodity desktop PC components.
Part II: The implementation.
The key features of Mark II over commercially available all-in-one desktop PCs are the following:
- Accepts a full-sized PCI-Express GPU: This is the main motivation for the Luggable PC chassis. All-in-one PCs usually rely on integrated graphics instead of a discrete GPU. If a GPU is present, it tends to be quite under-powered. Even if it is powerful (quite rare) it is very difficult to upgrade. The Luggable PC accepts full-height, full-length, double-width PCI Express form factor of the latest powerful GPUs.
- Standard Mini-ITX motherboard: The compact (17cm x 17cm) Mini-ITX form factor has seen sufficient adoption that a wide range of component options are available. From small low power fan-less designs to boards that support the latest and most powerful processors. The system builder has a wide range of options.
- Standard SFX power supply: Part of the ATX standards specification, the SFX form factor for power supplies offer a significant reduction in volume of space required which usually also translates into weight savings. There is sufficient adoption of SFX in the market to offer the system builder a wide range of options.
In the interest of space savings, the Luggable PC Mark II will make the following trade-offs:
- No 5.25" drive bays: Floppy and optical drives have fallen out of favor.
- No 3.5" drive bays: Floppy and spinning platter hard disks are also out of favor.
- Few 2.5" drive bays: For laptop-sized hard disk and SSDs.