You could buy a Steam Deck, Lenovo Legion Go or an ROG Ally, but why not just build your own handheld?

 A DIY gaming handheld based on Framework laptop parts
A DIY gaming handheld based on Framework laptop parts

What you need to know

  • This DIY take on a portable gaming PC might not be the best looking, but it sure is interesting.

  • The project is based on laptop parts from Framework, best known for modular laptops, and as such, is an entirely modular handheld.

  • It packs a pretty big battery and a 1080p 7-inch touch display, and the initial version is based on Framework's Intel-powered mainboard.

Buying pre-built systems is great, but there's definitely a sense of satisfaction that comes with building your own PC. But that's not so possible if you want a handheld PC for gaming.

Or is it?

This project from Pitstoptech on YouTube won't win any awards for its looks, at least not right now, but it's all kinds of awesome. It's a very functional, entirely modular, entirely hand built handheld gaming PC in the vein of the Steam Deck or the ROG Ally.

I can already hear the bezel brigade out in force, but don't forget this is a homemade device. And at least those side bezels have a pair of front firing speakers in them.

The guts of this DIY handheld come from Framework, a company known for its modular, entirely repairable laptops. All the parts inside Framework laptops are available to purchase separately. So, while this definitely is not an official Framework device, it is responsible for powering it. And the company definitely noticed, jumping into the comments and commending the creator.

This effort is currently based on an Intel mainboard with the Core i7-1260p at its heart. This is backed by a 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and paired to a 7-inch, 1080p touch display. There's also a pretty sizeable battery inside, it runs on Windows 11 and Pitstoptech has even created a detachable controller solution akin to the Nintendo Switch or the upcoming Lenovo Legion Go.

Apparently, there are plans to offer a DIY kit eventually for folks to use with their own old or new Framework parts. I love the idea behind Framework, and I love the ingenuity on display here. It's probably not the most cost-effective way to get a handheld gaming PC, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Building stuff is fun!