I always buy laptops, because I (very rarely) need to work in different locations.

Mainly because I prefer computing from my lap, rather than a desk.

However, I want to be able to add multiple 3.5" harddrives and lots of RAM. I currently have 1tB + 2tB and 16gB. I want much more & since desktop drives & RAM are cheaper, I think that I am looking for a slimline desktop, which I can sit in my lap(!) - but what about a screen?

There are some very expensive laptops which do that, but they are far out of my budget.

Maybe a small, thin desktop? So long as I can squeeze in a few 3.5" drives & lots of RAM, and it doesn't cost too much. I do not need battery power and am happy to be constantly attached to the mains.

But, what about a display? I like the laptop way, attached by hinges. I don't think that a standalone monitor would be conformable, and am looking for something that could be used comfortably in my lap, in an armchair.

Is there such a thing commercially available, at a reasonable price?

[Update] let's totally forget about price and just discuss what it possible. In any case, I already have the RAM & drives, so I just need a case, capable of 3.5" drive & greater than 16gB RAM. I will buy the lowest specced of that and add my own RAM & drives.

Irrespective of price, the important question is whether there is any such device at all.

Highly priced laptops don't seem to be the way to go. It is looking like a small desktop. One which can sit atop my lap. I *suppose* that I could sit it on the floor beside me ... actually, the biggest challenge seems to be getting a screen and keyboard onto my lap (drive a latop from a desktop?).

[Update] I need one again, unless I can find a decent, affordable, laptop

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    What would you define as a reasonable price? Maybe $1000 USD - $2000 USD?
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 18:09
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    Uhm...The only thing I can think of you doing for around $500USD, is to get a laptop, and for an extra hard drive IN the unit, use an caddy that replaces the optical drive with a 2.5" ssd/hdd. You could also setup NAS in your house/apartment. But to laugh at the 1k to 2k question about laptop prices? That range is quite reasonable for laptops with the features you are looking for. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 20:00
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    Yeah, I usually go by locations stated in profiles lol, but when there isn't one, its hard to know lol. But 3.5" drives in an ultra-portable destop/laptop form factor.....gonna take a little digging before I call it impossible.......All else fails, you could find a friend with a 3D printer, and design/print a custom chassis :P Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:06
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    Yeah...........as far as 4x SODIMM slots, and multiple drive options......MSI GT83VR TITAN It's a video from MSI's German office, in english. But yeah...pricier than last system I submitted. I've been sticking with desktops, upgrading the same one over and over again, just bought a laptop last september for college....cost me 1100USD for a low end MSI. GL62-6QF-628. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 22:06
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    Does the whole thing have to rest on your lap? Would it be possible to have it beside your chair, and just have the keyboard and mouse on your lap? Would using a TV as a monitor work for you? Also, where do you live, and is there a site where you'd normally buy stuff from?
    – timuzhti
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 8:07

3 Answers 3


Here is a sample of a system that does not meet your price requirements, which are a bit unrealistic, but meets the high RAM and multiple drive requirements.

[Origin PC: EON 15 X PRO(https://www.originpc.com/workstation/laptops/eon15-x-pro/)

Max of 64GB ram

Max of 2x m.2 drives and 2x 2.5" drives

Note: This is in the USD$3000 to USD$4000 range.

If you are not against using external SSDs, you can always use multiple SSDs, in USB 3.0 or eSATA enclosures, and just use double sided tape or velcro, and attach them to the lid of the laptop.

  • Woiw! That is a beast and a half (+1), but even though I could write it off against tax, I would never spend that kind of money on something which I will replace in a few years (I paid less for my MX5 car & will get at last another 10 years from it). And I need the drives to be internal. I think I am looking for a small desktop case - what what about the screen?
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 20:50
  • 1
    That one is a 15". they have a 17" variant. There is also Sager Notebooks and they make custom systems, with multiple internal drives, and a lot with the option of not having a preinstalled OS (which can be a cost saver, as buying an OEM copy of windows yourself can save a bundle, of course you would be providing your own support, not that M.S. support is of any actual value lol) Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:07

The next best option I could come up with was the Dell Inspiron 17 i5759-7660SLV Signature Edition Laptop, which is currently on sale in the Microsoft store. It is selling for about $580, not including shipping or taxes.

It almost satisfies all your requirements, the exception being the price, which is 80 USD over your budget.



i7 6500U -- Quad Core, supports up to 32GB RAM (Comes with 16GB of RAM) -- This CPU supports the following types of RAM: DDR4-2133, LPDDR3-1866 and DDR3L-1600

16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM

17.3" 1080p display

1TB HDD -- This should be fairly easy to replace with either a SSD or something of greater capacity.


In terms of "upgradability", you don't have too many options.

You upgrade the RAM however, you will need two 16GB sticks since most laptops only provide two RAM slots. I am not sure whether the laptop's chipset will allow for 32GB, or for any other RAM type besides DDR3L-1600.

As for storage, you could upgrade the 1TB HDD, and replace the Optical Drive with a HDD caddy. Furthermore, you could add a high capacity SD card for more space.

  • I saw that 16gB stick, which is what got me thinking about this (that and the fact that my current 1tB + 2tB is not enough drive space) - but it is crazy expensive, so a 4 DIMM solution would be preferable, plus 3.5" drives
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:06
  • I'm not sure if any "modern" laptops have internal 3.5" drive slots.
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:12
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    I cannot find any laptops on the market with desktop form factor HDD/SDDs. Also, a laptop with 4x SODIMM slots will be far from the $500USD range. At that point you are getting into the portable workstation/desktop replacement category, Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:53
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    You could get a portable workstation with those specs in used condition on a website such as ebay... But I personally shy away from used computer components for a number of reasons, one of which is that the true condition of the product is hard to determine prior to your purchase.
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:58
  • 1
    @Mawg whatis.techtarget.com/definition/mobile-workstation
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 22:12

Have you considered an All-In-One where everything is contained behind the screen (as opposed to the way some of them have some of the guts in the foot)?

There's very few i7 examples for a lot less than £1K but here's a couple:

Aspire Z 24 All-In-One Desktop - Z24-880-UR12 £437.57

I couldn't find it in the UK Acer store yet, as it's very new.

Aspire Z 24 All-In-One Desktop

While it's only an i5 the MSI Pro 24X 7M-005EU has a big bottom, that means it's user upgradable. The manufacturer's website explains the features more in-depth than PriceSpy. An i7 version is likely going to be available too. This demonstrates that an AIO can be upgraded:

MSI Pro 24X 7M-005EU

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