There’s nothing like tinkering with a Raspberry Pi but why wouldn’t you take it with you if you could? That’s where maker, developer and 3D-artist Thor Brigsted’s latest project comes into play. He’s created an ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) with our favorite SBC that spans just 5-inches across.
According to Brigsted, the need for the project was devised from a need to fill some spare time spent on public transport. This UMPC makes it possible for Brigsted to program on the go while also familiarizing with the intricacies of Linux. Not only is he experimenting with programming on the Pi, he’s using this system to develop a new game from scratch.
The case was 3D printed and designed by Brigsted just for the project. It allows access to a few ports. Users can access the HDMI port, minijack, two USB 2.0 ports as well as a USB-C charging port. Brigsted explains that this design is still a work in progress so future updates are on the table for new features.
Possible case modifications include things like a removable plate for the bottom that would allow full access to the GPIO—an excellent idea for experimenting with hardware. There are also plans in the works to rework the shell with rounded corners so it would be easier to slip in and out of pockets. The current case design is open source and available for anyone to check out over at Thingiverse.
Brigsted was kind enough to share a full parts list for anyone interested in recreating the UMPC or just looking to understand how it goes together. Inside is a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ along with a 5-inch DSI touchscreen display with a resolution of 800 x 480. It’s powered by a Heldertech LP675776 battery and also sports a Rii Joy-It keyboard for input which has the option of being backlit.
Software-wise, Brigsted has loaded the machine up with Raspberry Pi OS. That said, there’s no reason you couldn’t use any other operating system like DietPi or even RetroPie but you would need a controller set aside for any emulation. Brigsted has tested the system and confirmed it works well for streaming media and games from his PC.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, check out the original thread shared to Reddit and take a closer look at the case over at Thingiverse. Be sure to follow Brigsted for any updates as well as future projects and games.
There are a number of vendors releasing boards based on the RK3588 8 core SOC with up to 33gb memory, m.2 SSD support, etc. they are likely not identical to say a RPI 4. There is support for Compute Module 4 compatibility.