The time period “cyberdeck” has no official definition — it isn’t like there’s some governing physique that publishes cyberdeck requirements. We all know that the time period originates with William Gibson’s Neuromancer novel from 1984 and that’s the place the fashionable cyberdeck neighborhood discovered its inspiration. We don’t have the know-how to create the cyberdecks that Gibson described, so the favored definition advanced to embody most cyberpunk-themed customized transportable computer systems. Possibly this can be a “you realize it whenever you see it” kind of state of affairs, however we are able to’t determine whether or not or to not name MostlyAwol’s TekMate KH-80 a cyberdeck.
For one level within the cyberdeck column, MostlyAwol calls the TekMate KH-80 a cyberdeck. It additionally has clear cyberpunk aesthetics, so it will get one other level in that column. It’s definitely customized, so now the cyberdeck column is getting huge. However then we come to the “transportable” a part of the favored definition. The TekMate KH-80 is just transportable in the identical sense that early luggable computer systems had been, as a result of it has a deal with and a consumer may carry it someplace to make use of it. However by that normal, any laptop that an individual can raise could be transportable and we’d argue that could be a poor classification. It doesn’t run on battery, which we expect is likely to be the defining issue — it’s laborious to name one thing transportable when it’s tethered to an outlet.
Semantic debate apart, the TekMate KH-80 may be very cool. MostlyAwol constructed it into the case of an previous Hitachi Okay-1100 5” black and white transportable TV from 1980 that screams “cyberpunk” at us. The unique CRT was failing, so MostlyAwol changed it with a contemporary Waveshare 5.5” AMOLED display screen. A second 10” LCD monitor attaches to a ball mount on the enclosure, so it might probably fold down for transportation. There’s additionally a foldable Bluetooth keyboard that tucks up towards the entrance of the enclosure when not in use.
MostlyAwol had loads of house inside Hitachi enclosure, so he determined to do a full ITX PC construct as a substitute of utilizing a Raspberry Pi single-board laptop like we see in most different cyberdecks. The specs are respectable, with an Intel i7-6700K, 32GB of Corsair DD4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. MostlyAwol desires to attempt to slot in a graphics card to finish the construct. One of many unique management knobs was changed with a USB 3.0 port and the amount/energy knob was transformed right into a momentary energy swap for the PC. MostlyAwol used an Arduino for that conversion.
Whereas we are able to’t resolve if the KH-80 is technically a cyberdeck, it doesn’t actually matter. What issues is that it seems cool and is practical, so it matches the spirit of the cyberdeck neighborhood.