Today, your gaming PC doesn’t have to be a huge tower dominating your desktop, as there are plenty of alternatives on the market. You can get small form factor PC cases, use Valve’s Steam Deck handheld, or modify a mechanical keyboard with a laptop motherboard, dedicated graphics, and Windows 11… just because.

Engineer Carter Hurd is known for his weird and wonderful inventions, from a robot made of mushrooms to the world’s first concrete gaming PC, but the latest creation is as practical as it is wacky. The chonky gaming keyboard doesn’t just look like a computer concept come to life, it’s something Hurd uses as his primary PC, even for gaming.

The project has its roots in CyberDeck, which is a general term for a small all-in-one device with a foldable screen and, in most cases, a mechanical keyboard. Unlike its predecessor, you can’t close the lid on this hybrid as it has a much more rigid, typewriter-like appearance, but it does come with the option to add a portable display on top of the ultrawide gaming monitor. Incorporated.

While the Framework’s modular components are now available for purchase and would potentially make the build process a little smoother, it’s not your everyday mod.

Hurd uses an Iqunix OG80 Wormhole wireless gaming keyboard with TTC Gold Pink mechanical switches as a base, which they describe as “awful to take apart.” They then attach it to a custom 3D-printed chassis that raises it just enough to fit the motherboard and Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti mobile graphics card salvaged from a $400 second-hand HP gaming laptop. Even after cutting the NVMe SSD in the middle, it still sticks out, which requires another 3D printed accessory to protect it. The rough-and-ready look with protruding external components gives it a Fallout 4 aesthetic that adds to the charm, but it’s not something you’d see on the shelves.

After so much tinkering, adding an RGB PC fan to the processor, and flipping the motherboard, Hurd tells us that thermals are consistent with the original laptop and you can expect console-comparable performance in certain games. “My main game is Deep Rock Galactic, and I get around 45 fps with that game on high graphics,” says Hurd. “I also play Cyberpunk, but as we all know, a 1650 ti is far from ideal for that game. The 13-inch portable monitor is Freesync compatible. I have to put the graphics on the lowest setting to keep things smooth.”

For most people, the Asus Zenbook Duo or Asus Zephyrus Duo will serve a similar purpose by letting you browse Spotify and follow game guides on the second screen without the hassle of building it yourself. That said, it’s a lot of fun to see these kinds of concepts come to life, even if they’re unique.

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