Modder Ben Heck became widely known for turning an Xbox 360 console into a portable gaming laptop. He’s done the same with the PlayStation 3 as well. Can he do the same with the even larger Xbox One? No, he elected to go for something unique instead: an Xbox One tablet.
Heck detailed the Xbox One tablet modification in a series of three The Ben Heck Show videos on YouTube. He faced a number of challenges during the build, but took a break in between to get one of the Atari 2600 cartridges recovered from the infamous Atari landfill to work again.
The first issue that Heck ran into was finding a small enough LCD screen that he could easily modify to work with the Xbox One. He limited himself to a commercial LCD monitor that had an HDMI port and an external power supply. The smallest he could find to meet those specifications was a Samsung screen that was still the large side. That was possibly for the best though, as the Xbox One internals are not exactly on the slim side either.
Another issue he ran into was with the Xbox One Blu-ray drive. Microsoft designed the console to work while laying down flat. It does not work standing vertically on its side like the PlayStation 4 or even the Xbox 360. Heck discovered that the slot-loading Blu-ray drive will not spin and read the disk when it is on its side.
This required some extra work to force the disk into a position that it could be read by the Blu-ray drive. I’m not entirely sure it worked in the final product, however. The third video in the series shows Heck putting the Assassin’s Creed Unity disk in the finished Xbox One tablet at the 20 minute mark, but the game did not appear to boot up like it did in an earlier test, and looked like the disk self-ejected at the 20:30 mark of the video.
The entire project was built in layers, starting with the flap that covers the tablet and supports it when it is standing, followed by the LCD screen, Xbox One motherboard, hard drive, Blu-ray drive, and other parts. The tablet case is completely custom built and assembled in layers as well.
Heck said, “I guess I’m pleased with the outcome, but I think it’s too big.”
While he wishes he could have found a smaller screen, the tablet is extremely thick as well thanks to all the parts that had to be squeezed in.
What do you think of Ben Heck’s attempt at building an Xbox One portable tablet? Would you have done something differently or gone with another idea instead? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via The Ben Heck Show]