This kit transforms a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W into a pocket computer with keyboard and screen (crowdfunding)

The Raspberry Pi Zero 2W is a tiny, versatile little computer board capable of running much of the same software as its slightly larger siblings thanks to its quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. But the $15 computer card isn’t very useful without extra hardware like a keyboard and monitor.

ShaRPiKeebo is an add-on that gives you both of these in a compact package small enough to fit in your pocket, effectively turning the Raspberry Pi Zero 2W into a handheld or game console you can use anywhere. First announced in Januarythe ShaRPiKeebo is now up for pre-order for $150 via a Crowd Supply crowdfunding campaign.

Developer sulfuroid created a custom circuit board with built-in switches that can be used as a 56-key keyboard for thumb input, plus a set of additional keys configured in a D-Pad arrangement, allowing you to use them as game controllers.

At the top of the board, there’s a 2.7-inch, 400 x 240-pixel, daylight-readable black-and-white Sharp memory LCD display. A long-range wireless transceiver also lets you use the device for messaging whether you’re connected to WiFi or not.

The whole thing measures just 115 x 66 x 20mm (4.5″ x 2.6″ x 0.8″), which makes the device smaller than most smartphones (if a bit thicker and more… naked).

Designed for battery operation, the ShaRPiKeebo features built-in battery management, a LiPo battery connector, and a charging module that lets you recharge a battery with a USB-C charger. Count up to 6 hours of battery life if you opt for a 6000 mAh battery or about 3 hours of active use with a 3000 mAh battery.

Developer Sulfuroid has shared photos and short videos from the project on Twitter for months, detailing the hardware and showing the device in action. At this point, Sulfuroid says the availability of all components has been confirmed and manufacturing and assembly partners have been aligned.

So the next steps would be to manufacture a small batch of devices for testing and validation with the hope of shipping units to backers within three months of the end of the crowdfunding campaign… although there is obviously no guarantee that this will happen, as there are always certain risks associated with crowdfunding.

This isn’t the first project we’ve seen that attempts to turn a Raspberry Pi Zero into a handheld. The PCB and keyboard remind me of the SnapOnAir Raspberry PI Zero PCB which has been available since early 2019. But ShaRPiKeebo offers a different keyboard layout, a different screen and that long range wireless radio, which makes it stand out.

via Tom’s Hardware

This article was first published on January 18, 2022 and most recently updated on June 9, 2022.

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