Forum Spotlight: DIY Notebook Mods Edition

by Reads (718)

Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.

This forum spotlight looks at some of the notebook-related DIY projects going on around the forum, from installing LCD panels to new cooling systems.

Bigger is Better: Dell E7270 Screen Modification

Member @zogthegreat did something that would normally never cross the mind of a notebook owner by installing a larger display into an existing notebook. Thanks to Dremel skills and elbow grease, their Dell Latitude E7270 notebook, which came from the factory with a 12.5-inch display, now rocks a 13.3-inch display. Here’s the original display versus the slightly larger new one …

Dell E7270 Screen Replacement

Some new parts were required to make the fitment possible, including a lid backing from the touch screen E7270 to get more space. Once the lid backing was measured and cut to fit the new display, it was a matter of remounting the video cable and the wireless antennas. Here’s the result of the effort …

Dell E7270 with 13.3-inch screen

An increasing number of notebooks sold today, especially the premium-priced ones, have adopted a “thin bezel” look to appear as sleek as possible. Older notebooks with thicker bezels (say, more than a centimeter) have started to look quite dated by comparison. But not this Dell – thanks to this project, it should look the part for some time yet.

Another phase to the project is planned to give it a cleaner look. I already think it looks great.

(It really does beg the question why it took notebook makers so long to adopt thin bezel designs. A bigger screen in the same footprint is the definition of a win-win scenario.)

See the project here.

Notebook Art: Painting an Alienware Gaming Notebook

Painting your own notebook requires courage, but it’s a great way to give your notebook a unique look. Australia-based member @Maxware79 did that with an Alienware 17 gaming notebook in a three-step process: primer, paint, and clear coat. The initial step in the project required disassembling the notebook to remove the panels that needed painting …

Alienware 17 Painting

And here’s the result …

Painted Alienware 17

I think it looks fantastic, especially with the AlienFX lighting in the lid backing! Alienware never offered this color from the factory, so it’s truly unique. See the project here, and be sure to check their other thread for more custom-painted Alienwares.

Another member, @jack53, did a custom sports-themed Dell XPS 13 paint job here.

Adding Water Cooling to a Gaming Notebook

I’ve written about this project before, but it deserves another spotlight. Member @bennyg added a complete water cooling system to a Clevo P370EM gaming notebook. The setup is powered by an external fan and radiator setup, so the notebook isn’t exactly mobile when it’s attached. The cooling system can be detached at will, though. This is the most current photo of the project showing the internal cooling tubes …

Clevo P370EM Liquid Cooling

The member reports much lower GPU temperatures with the liquid cooling setup. There are plans to make the notebook look as “stock” as possible. Read about this fascinating project here.

Making a Notebook Cooling Pad Work Better

An accessory that can help a hot-running notebook is an external cooling pad, but even those need some help sometimes. Member @XiCynx and several other members in this thread have posted their experiences modifying the Cooler Master Notepal U3 Plus. The main post has the most extensive modifications, which add a four-knob fan controller, aftermarket fans, fan filters, and a USB port hub, which you can see here …

Modified Cooler Master Notepal U3 Plus

And here’s another version of the cooler by member @aaronne.

Cooler Master Notepal U3 Plus with modifications

Several other members reported they’re pursuing similar modifications in the later pages of the thread.

That’s All, Folks

Visit our Notebook Cosmetic Modifications and Custom Builds forum and our Accessories forum for common places to discuss laptop projects, or be sure to visit any of our Notebook Manufacturer forums for model-specific projects.

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