An enterprising Chinese man has come up with a solution for gadget nuts who desperately want Apple's popular iPad tablet computer but cannot afford it.

The answer? DIY.

In a 20-minute video posted on Youku — the Chinese equivalent of YouTube — Liu Xinying demonstrates how to assemble an iPad look-a-like using computer parts, a touch screen and a case with a keypad, to the sound of metal music.

At the end of the video dubbed "DIY IPAD 3", the IT whizz shows off the finished version — an apparently functional tablet computer that looks like a thick iPad but runs on Windows, an operating system made by rival Microsoft.

News of Liu's apparent feat spread on several foreign and Chinese technology websites, as well as on the nation's Twitter-like Weibo service.

When contacted by AFP, the 21-year-old from the eastern province of Shandong said that since he posted the video online a month ago, he has knocked back requests from a dozen people wanting him to make them a DIY iPad.

"I did this for fun," said Liu, who works at a computer store in Jinan city.

"It cost me 2000 yuan ($285) to make it, so I guess that's how much it's worth."

By comparison, the cheapest version of the iPad 2 sells for 3688 yuan in China, while the most expensive model costs 5288 yuan.

iPads and iPhones are hugely popular in China — the world's largest internet market with 457 million online users — and the launch of new models has been known to trigger fights and even crimes.

Last month, a court in the southern province of Guangdong sentenced three people to prison for stealing the design to the iPad 2 and using it to make fake tablet computers.

Apple was also forced to compensate a customer who sustained injuries in a fight at its Beijing flagship store in May when the iPad 2 was launched.