Building Your Dream Notebook

And Where Do You Buy All This Stuff?

On the Internet there are several vendors that offer barebooks and all the components that go with them. But Coboc's online shop has the best assortment.

Coboc offers everything you need for a DIY notebook.

Coboc has specialized in the DIY barebook business and offers a number of different barebooks from various manufacturers and all necessary system components in one shop. However, Coboc only delivers product to the U.S.

Step 3: Let's Do It! Assembling The Barebook

With the device and the components, Coboc delivers a CD with installation videos and a generously illustrated installation manual. Assembling the machine turns out to be easy. However, the vendor does not say in either the video or the documentation that the components can be irreparably destroyed by electrostatic discharge if improperly handled.

The only tools needed are two Phillips-head screwdrivers in different sizes and a flat-head screwdriver.

To assemble the device completely you will need about 30 minutes. Anyone who is reasonably secure with a screwdriver should be able to tackle it. We have recorded all major steps for you in a video, THG Video Number 15 DIY Notebook .

The only problem we noticed when installing the components: Thermal paste was already applied to the CPU cooler. Not a bad idea in principle, but if assembling the cooler does not go as planned on the first try, you should remove the excess paste from the heat sink and processor die. However, because no tube of extra paste is included, you first need to buy the right thermal paste in a specialty shop. A reusable elastic thermal pad as found in off-the-shelf notebooks would be a better solution here.

Since Coboc does not also supply the operating system, it must be ordered and paid for separately. This means that an additional $270 needs to be budgeted for a Windows XP Pro license. Just as a reminder, our system, including all components, costs about $1,166. Overall, building it yourself therefore costs roughly $1,500 and is therefore not necessarily a bargain. But that's not the deciding factor in a DIY machine, of course.