Raspberry Pi Powered Tiny Linux Handheld ShaRPiKeebo Crowdfund Launched

The SharPiKeebo board and a Raspberry Pi Zero W
(Image credit: Sulfroid)

Earlier this year (opens in new tab) we brought you news of the ShaRPiKeebo, a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W (opens in new tab)-powered handheld Linux computer with full QWERTY keyboard and a remarkable purple PCB. Well now the pocket-calculator-sized device is one step closer to reality, with the launch of its crowdfunding effort.

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Currently taking pledges on Crowd Supply (opens in new tab), you’ll need to offer $150 to stand a chance of getting a single ShaRPiKeebo, and that’s without the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W or battery. While you’ll need to source the Pi board yourself, batteries are available in the US, with a 3,000 mAH LiPo power source requiring $15, and a similar 6,000 mAH unit costing $22. These will give your device three and six hours of life respectively, but note that you’ll have to pay shipping on top of all of these prices.

The ShaRPiKeebo will accept either the Raspberry Pi Zero W or 2 W (we’d recommend the latter as it’s significantly more powerful) and turns it into a full-fledged handheld computer by adding a 2.7", 400x240-pixel, low-latency, energy-efficient LS027B7DH01 Sharp Memory Display and QMK-compatible USB QWERTY keyboard with 56 keys. 

There are some additional toys too, including two four-button D-pads for gaming, five buttons controllable via (up/down) GPIO voltage detection, four independently controlled LEDs, programmable using classic GPIO commands in C++ or Python, a long-range, 433-MHz radio transceiver (currently RFM95; but working on an upgrade to CE-marked RakWireless chip) to complement the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth provided by the Pi Zero W. UART and I2C are available through GPIO for external 3.3 V modules such as GPS or cell modems, and an ISP programming port is available for QMK-keyboard flashing or upgrades. This all on a board  that measures 66 x 115 x 20 mm and weighs less than 100g.

The ShaRPiKeebo is a completely open-source project, but doesn’t come with an enclosure. Those who don’t fancy carrying a bare PCB around in their pockets can find instructions for laser-cutting or 3D printing a case on GitHub (opens in new tab), where you’ll also find all sorts of other schematics relating to the device.

At the time of writing, ShaRPiKeebo had reached about 10% of its $45,000 goal after one day. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment, you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.