Owning an Apple iPad is not such a big deal these days, but building one for scratch is definitely an impressive feat. That’s exactly what Chinese art student Wei Xinlong did, in the name of love.
Like many other college sweethearts in China, Wei Xinlong and Sun Shasha decided to settle for a long distance relationship in order to continue their studies or find better employment opportunities, after graduation. While some choose to end the relationship before parting ways, or reach that point after a certain period, Wei was determined to show his girlfriend how committed he is to their relationship and decided to prove it in a very special way. Although he attended art school, the young student had always been passionate about gadgets and loved building things with his own hands, so he set out to build Sun a touchscreen tablet PC for a daily video chat session. This way, when he leaves to Shenzen, they’ll be able to keep in touch easier.
A student of China’s Northeas Normal University, in Changchun, Jilin, Wei had some knowledge of electronics and engineering, and whenever he had some questions about design and installation, he looked for the answers online. Most of the components were bought from a second-hand market, and come from dismantled laptops, but the resourceful young geek built some of the components himself, like a heat conductor he made from an aluminum soda can and a chopstick. It took him 10 days to complete his handheld masterpiece, and even had time to decorate it with the Apple logo and rhinestones. The home-made iPad features a touchscreen, built-in camera, microphone, four USB slots, LAN socket and is powered by a lithium battery. It’s not as powerful and feature-rich as a genuine iPad, but it can be used to read e-books, watch movies, listen to music and play video games. It cost Wei 800 yuan ($126).
Wei Xinlong became somewhat of an online star in China, after photos of his labor of love went viral on a social website. The page he set up for the project got over 120,000 visitors in just a few days, and even computer experts applauded his skills. The romantic geek even set up a QQ group where he answers people’s questions and posts tips.