The Raspberry Pi might be known as a pocket-sized computer but it does turn up in all manner of places. This maker, known as Littlespleen online, decided to use an old Apple laptop as housing for a Raspberry Pi 4.
The best Raspberry Pi projects breathe life into old hardware, and this one recycles a broken MacBook. This exact model, the A1181, was chosen due to the trackpad and keyboard which connect via USB—perfect for attaching to a Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi 4 outputs video to the original MacBook screen via an adaptor. According to Littlespleen, there are many third-party controller boards on the market that can take inputs from HDMI / DVI and VGA and output to LCD displays. Users need to research the exact model number when recreating this project to make sure a compatible board is chosen.
As space is at a premium, careful decisions had to be made and one was form factor. This required some capacitors to be placed on their side to make room for the LCD controller board installation. Most of the hardware was placed under the keyboard after gutting the original internals. The onboard batteries power both the Raspberry Pi and the display, with careful consideration made to include a voltage regulator / switching power supply to ensure the Raspberry Pi only sees 5V.
The end result is a fully functional laptop that looks like Apple but tastes like Raspberry. If you want to read more about how it goes together, visit the original Reddit thread for more details.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.