If you enjoy computers and bare-bones hardware, odds are you’ve been keeping an eye on the tiny and cheap Raspberry Pi board.
This little mainboard boast an embedded processor and other ncessary hardware you need to make a full HTPC computer for approximately $35. And if you happen to have a Motorola Lapdock lying around, you can do something even more interesting with your Raspberry Pi.
The Motorola Lapdock was originally designed as a notebook style laptop docking station for certain Motorola smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.
The Lapdock has no processor but does feature a keyboard, touchpad, and a screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
You can pick these items up for around $77 right now, with Liliputing reporting that some of the components cost even less on eBay.
The process of connecting the Raspberry Pi to the lapdock involves various USB and HDMI cables and adapters. Full instructions on how to pull it off are available here. Obviously, if you build this concoction it’s not exactly the most portable thing on earth with an exposed board and wires. However, it could be just what you need for a cheap and easy to conjure up HTPC for your home or office.
You can also do the same trick with the MK802 Mini PC that sells for $74. This Mini PC may be a bit more powerful than the Raspberry Pi, packin in an ARM Cortex A8 processor, up to 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of storage, and a memory card slot for expansion.
The Lapdock apparently works pretty well for both Android and Ubuntu. This system will have the same downside though, with exposed hardware and lots of cables to fuss with. However, since the MK802 has hardware on the inside of what appears to be a large USB drive it would definitely be more portable.