Datamancer accepting steampunk laptop pre-orders

Crummet sez, "Datamancer, aka Richard Nagy, is offering his most primo steampunk laptops for sale, finally! A little pricey ($5500) but hey! Steampunk laptop!"

Datamancer is one of the most skilled, detail-focused steampunk makers out there; I have one of his famous keyboards, which I love to pieces. This looks like a smashing laptop indeed.

These new versions will be better and faster than my original prototype, featuring cutting-edge internal components capable of running any of today's games and other software. They will also be much lighter and slimmer, so as to actually still be "portable" and as convenient as a standard laptop, and have a much more refined and professional design while retaining the elegant Victorian styling of my other work. Several customizations will be available including a few different options for the design on the LCD lid including clockworks as seen on the original (except these will be semi-functional and spin), recessed gold foil maps, brass plates with a variety of designs engraved or photo-etched into them, and any other ideas I can think up along the way. I also plan to include a key-shaped USB flash drive with every laptop that will also open a brass lock on each machine. Why not add a little analog security to your digital device? You will also have several options as to the color of the wood stain from light oak to a dark red mahagony and anywhere in-between as well as key fonts, metals, LED colors and styles, etc, etc.
Victorian / Steampunk Laptop Pre-orders (Thanks, Crummet!)


  1. “you will also have several options as to the color of the wood stain from light oak to a dark red mahagony and anywhere in-between”

    So wait, let me get this straight, for 5500.00 I get to have stained plywood or pine? seriously? I thought the whole steampunk thing was about craftsmanship, but this reeks of cutting corners.. I dont mean to be too hard on the guy making these things, but that coupled with the price sends up all kinds of red flags.

    1. “this reeks of cutting corners”

      Not sure how you’re detecting that reek from the brief description and few pics on the site. Looks quite beautiful and well crafted to me. And I’ve seen plenty of sculptures that probably took way less time to build for way more than $5k…

      On another note, there’s an interesting bit on the site about the OS:

      “For the sake of standardization and in consideration for the extremely proprietary nature of Mac’s hardware and software, I will probably only make a PC hardware version at first, but if you have your heart set on Mac, there are many simple ways to install the Mac OS on a PC laptop with almost no noticeable differences in function.”

      A Hackintosh does seem oddly steampunky.

      I wonder what the underlying laptop is. Hopefully its not one of those god awful Toshibas that everyone’s buying because they’re like $350. The touchpads on those things should be illegal. In an ideal world he’s taking a few parts from here and a few parts from there, but there’s suspiciously little comment on the site about it so I have a feeling that’s not the case.

      1. If I had the spare cash I would ask that it be built on the latest Lenovo and then load Ubuntu on to it with a custom GUI. That would be after I paid off my house, my two partners cars and built my steampunk motorcycle. Not any time soon but I can dream.

  2. Hardware looks amazing, but what about the OS? Some sort of steampunk-theme for whatever it’s running? It would be a shame to fire this up and just see a bland windoze desktop.

  3. The clockworks should be servo-driven, and software addressable… perhaps with an embedded arduino?

  4. Aren’t laptops supposed to be portable? People who want REALLY conspicuously non-portable portable cases know that nothing beats the Osborne 1.

  5. Back when I had extra money, I would definitely have bought one of these. I love it.

  6. The whole Steampunk thing???… Absolutely NOTHING ‘Punk’ about it.
    God save the Queen.

  7. I like to living a minimalistic lifestyle. I avoiding worthless shit like the plague. Last time I moved (a little over a year ago), I moved all my shit in less than 15 minutes. I go out of my way to avoid upgrading things that won’t give me a permanent bump in happiness because I recognize that shinny now shit is exciting for about 20 minutes, and then it becomes standard and you go back to your normal happiness level… you are just now poorer and will get pissy if you ever loose your shinny new crap. I save nearly 1/2 of what I make after taxes. I go for the aesthetic lifestyle with gusto and have a good time of it, saving my money for drinks with friends and retiring when I am 45…

    …holy crap am I tempted to drop $5500 on that awesome case.

    1. Hope you are saving in something other than currency wehn the big inflation hits in a few years or less.

      It surprises me that custom artistic cases are not more prevalent especially amongst the wealthy. It actually bothers me to see a plastic laptop in an otherwise beautiful paneled mahogany and leather office. For years there has been an occasional plastic laptop with wood inserts but these look trashy too.
      I prefer black square technoblobs with no logos until the day that I have so much money I have nothing better to spend on than a beautiful mahogany and leather office with a brass and wood panel laptop.

  8. Hmmm. Depending on what the actual performance specs are (yeah, I’m being picky), that might well be the ideal machine for my library.

    It’s expensive … but as original bit of sculpture goes, not wholly unreasonable.

  9. Of course I’m wondering about maybe a mid-century aestetic. with a streemlined green metal case and an enter key that that was a handle, like old mechanical calculators. Or, I could just buy an old typewriter.

  10. Hello folks, Datamancer here. I’ll address some of your questions below…
    #1) As stated in the text on the page, the customizations will not be simply limited to the wood type. You will also be able to choose the wood color, LED color and style, the design on the lid, the font engraved on the keys, and the metals used on the keys and other places.
    #2) A modified OS theme is definitely a good idea and something I will probably add.
    #4) I actually hope to be able to make the gears somewhat functional. I have some cool ideas, but I’ll keep those under wraps for now.
    #8) This version of the laptop will be sleeker and more compact so as to be actually portable, unlike my original prototype, which was more like a very small desktop PC. One idea I had was to keep the claw feet off of the design and add them to a docking station cradle instead. In general all of the woodwork will be more tight and compact, and the machine will be more rugged for daily use. It won’t compete with a featherweight slim laptop, but would probably wind up being about the same size and weight as a laptop from a few years ago, like a Dell Latitude D600.
    #15) The basic idea is to design everything around a more-or-less standardized modern laptop form factor, then at the last minute, once I’m ready to install the hardware, I’ll go out and buy the absolute best laptop on the market and build the rest of the project around that. The lack of hard specs on the site is due to the fact that I just don’t know what will be the hottest tech in a few month’s time.

    Thanks for the support everyone. I’ve been looking forward to this project for a long time and have some great ideas that I’m excited to see come to fruition.


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