Turn Laptop Into Desktop Tower

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Keep your laptop awake with the lid closed

Note that it’s possible to close the lid on your laptop, keep it running, and have it connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You’ll want to adjust your power settings so that the laptop “does nothing” when the lid closes in order to enable this. In Windows 10, this is in the Power Options of the Settings menu, under the “Choose what closing the lid does” link on the side. (Start button > Settings > System > Power & Sleep.)

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Step 3: Front Face

       Measure the screen and cut an acrylic pane larger than the screen’s border. The exact amount you must leave to each side depends solely on your craftsmanship. The better you are, the less margin you will need. (Bear in mind that there must be a margin in both sides, so the final size would be the screen size plus two times the margin)        If you are like me (aka bad), leave a wide margin, around an inch to each side of the screen. This gives you a large margin in case you need to drill something again. This large sheet will be the front cover.        Then, cut some strips such that they overlap the bigger cover on the margin. This means that if you left a 1 inch border, you must cut four 1-inch thick strips and place them along the corner. The void in the center is the place where the screen will be, the strips will maintain the screen centered.        Drill four holes, one in each corner of the cover and their corresponding strip,  and insert the 4 main screws. Do not insert any nut in these screws yet.

USB-C is the future

Most newer laptops come with at least one USB-C port. That’s the one that’s shaped like an oval, and doesn’t need trial and error to see if you’re plugging it in upside down or not. On most of these newer designs, the USB-C port also doubles as the power jack.

Gordon Mah Ung Gordon Mah Ung

A USB-C cable.

See, USB-C is designed to be truly universal: on that one cable, it’s possible to transfer not just data, but power for your laptop (and anything it’s connected to), video to an external monitor (or monitors), sound to speakers, and even hardwired network data. In short: a USB-C port can, in the right circumstances, be your power input and your USB ports and your HDMI port and your Ethernet port, all in one.

This makes it possible, with the right laptop and equipment, to connect up to a dozen or so desktop components by plugging in a single cable. It’s the Holy Grail of combining laptop portability with desktop comfort.

Mark Hachman / IDG Mark Hachman / IDG

To get the basic benefits of a USB-C port, you can use an inexpensive dongle to add a bunch of ports in one, with power pass-through for your laptop charger. But if you’re ready to step it up, it’s time to look at USB-C docks.

Step 7: Power Button

       Most likely, you will have to relocate the power button.  To do this, first determine where the power button was originally located. Then, solder a pair of wires to this button.        After this, solder the other ends of the same wire into the pushbutton that will act as a replacement, and then stick it through a hole drilled in the acrylic. The exact dimensions of the hole will varie on the button you choose to employ in your laptop (or desktop, as you want to look at it.

Choose an appropriate keyboard and mouse

The monitor is far from the only important aspect of a great desktop setup. At the very least, it’s worth getting a great keyboard and mouse to complement it. These can connect physically to the laptop, usually via a USB-A or USB-C port, or wirelessly using Bluetooth or a USB adapter. 

Check out our round-ups of the best keyboards and best mice for some great options. 

Adjust settings in Windows 10

Once you’ve managed to figure everything out, it’s worth adjusting the settings to suit your workflow. From the same Display menu as above, scroll down to where it says ‘Multiple Displays’. You’ll see options to ‘Duplicate these displays’ (show the same on both), ‘Extend these displays’ (use external display as an extension of the main one), ‘Show only on 1’ or ‘Show only on 2’

In this situation, 1 refers to your laptop and 2 t

In this situation, 1 refers to your laptop and 2 to the external display. Pick the option that best suits how you’re planning to work – it’ll likely be either ‘Extend these displays’ or ‘Show only on 2’.

For more information, see our separate tutorial on how to use a laptop as a second monitor. You may also be interested in how to set up a home office

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