One of the big issues with the Raspberry Pi are the wires. USB keyboard, mouse, HDMI, Ethernet and power, strewn across the kitchen table and getting in the way of our work. What we need is a Pi in a laptop, and Elecrow have done just that with CrowPi2 an educational platform based upon the Raspberry Pi 3B+ or 4. (opens in new tab)
Inside a diminutive laptop chassis measuring just 291 x 190 x 46mm (11.46 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches) we see an 11.6 inch 1080P IPS screen and a detachable wireless keyboard with trackpad. Above the screen are a microphone and 2MP webcam which can be used for video calls and as part of your projects. CrowPi2 is powered from a 12V DC power source, but there is no internal battery, instead there is a tray which can be used to store a 5v 3A USB battery for portable use.
The intriguing part of this laptop is found under the keyboard, which lifts off to reveal a plethora of electronic components all readily connected to the internal Raspberry Pi. There are over 22 sensors and modules present including inputs such as a joystick, tilt sensor, touch sensor, temperature and humidity sensors, RFID reader and ultrasonic distance sensor. Outputs are a two line LCD screen, stepper motor and servo motor interfaces and an RGB LED matrix. This is a serious amount of kit in a tiny package!
All of this hardware is nothing without software and CrowPi2 comes with a customised version of Raspberry Pi OS which includes coding lessons in Scratch and Python. Also included are video guides to using the included electronics in your projects. It is great to see this level of support and shows an investment in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) which is currently gaining global mass market attention.
Elecrow are crowdfunding CrowPi2 via Kickstarter with a base model starting at $169, Raspberry Pi not included. Higher pledges provide more rewards, with the next higher reward coming with a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB.
This looks like the ideal product for Raspberry Pi fans everywhere.