Could this upgradeable tablet concept ever make it to market

first_imgHardcore computing enthusiasts hate being hindered by underpowered, out of date hardware. For many, that’s the allure of the DIY desktop. You don’t have to scrap the entire system in six months when you want yet another performance boost. Just yank out the offending parts, snap in new ones, and you’re good to go.Unfortunately, that kind of modularity has never really made its way to more portable devices — like laptops and tablets. We’re able to swap a few components easily — hard drives and SSDs, RAM, NICs, and the like — but changing the all-important mainboard or processor is another matter entirely.Navarre Bartz thinks it’s an idea worth exploring, and he’s submitted his upgradeable tablet concept to Instructables as part of the Jack Daniel’s Independence Project (JDIP). The concept is simple enough: develop a tablet that utilizes a carrier board to which things like HDMI, USB ports, and a microSD slot (which aren’t as likely to need replacing) are attached. Upgradeable components — like the processor board — snap into a socket for easy upgrades down the road.The board Bartz is demonstrating in the video isn’t tablet-friendly, obviously. It’s a Colibri Tegra 2 SODIMM computer-on-module, and it’s designed for use in embedded systems. The pair wouldn’t be thin enough to cram into anything as thin as the tablets on retail shelves today, but it’s a starting point. With funding from the JDIP, Bartz hopes to develop a more practical board (probably one without an Ethernet port or vertical USB port).We’ve already gotten pretty close to the point where tablet display resolutions aren’t going to jump for some time (thank you, iPad), and some other core components (like Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11N) should be more than sufficient for the near future. Now seems like as good a time as any to give the DIY crowd a tinker-friendly tablet it can truly call its own, don’t you think?More at Liliputing and Instructableslast_img read more