Sometimes a broken laptop is an opportunity for invention. This project was created and shared by a maker who goes by Ollie242. After a malfunctioning optical drive proved to be more of a burden than a feature, Ollie242 decided to remove it completely. With a gaping hole in the side of the laptop, the decision was made to install a Raspberry Pi Zero W in its place.
The Raspberry Pi is embedded in the laptop hardware and even draws power from it. Ollie242 included a breadboard that slides out with the Pi that can be used for projects whenever you want.
Ollie242 powers the Pi using a male to female slimline SATA cable connected directly to the laptop. To access the Pi, VNC is used to remote into the system, eliminating the need for any additional peripherals. The laptop screen, cursor and keyboard can be used to control the Pi.
The unit is housed in a custom 3D printed housing. There is room on the side for a 28 x 132 OLED I2C display which Ollie242 uses to output the current IP address, making it easy to find what you need when connecting. The 3D printed housing is designed for a specific Thinkpad model, but if you want to check it out, you can find it on Onshape.
If you want to explore this project in detail, you can find it on Instructables. Be sure to follow Ollie242 for more cool Pi projects!