Novena, The Crowdsourced, Fully-Open Laptop, Is Shipping This Winter

Hardware magician Bunnie Huang’s Novena laptop, a completely open-source computing machine, is fully funded and will ship in January. There are 13 hours left in the crowdfunding effort, but so far the system has surpassed its goal of $100,000 and is on course to raise over $500,000.

The laptop itself is designed for simple, tool-free upgrades and features a completely open architecture. It has a 2GHz Freescale quad-core ARM processor on a fully open PCB board. The OS is also available for download.
The standard laptop costs a hefty $1,995 or you can buy only the motherboard for $500.

The case is also unique. An internal gas spring brings the screen up and off the motherboard, and you can even replace the bezel and all of the case parts with your own designs. Inside is something Huang calls a “Peek Array,” a series of small mounting holes at the bottom of the case that you can use to mount almost anything inside the computer.

The basic version includes a battery controller and screen but no keyboard – you bring your own – or you can pay $5,000 for an “heirloom” model that is handmade out of wood and aluminum.

Huang knows hardware, and this is one of the coolest projects he’s done in a while. There are only 13 hours left in the campaign and, given the fear of potential hardware hacking by anyone and everyone, this could be an interesting solution. It’s obviously a bit pricey but I’m sure they can get it down once it goes into full production.