If someone is using a handheld PC these days, it’s almost certainly a smartphone. But a Raspberry Pi has a way of bringing out an enthusiast’s retro side. Add in some old console parts and a true mechanical keyboard, and you’ve got a DIY PC that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Called the Penkesu and shared via GitHub by a user known as Penk Chen, the project is described as “a homebrew retro-style handheld PC.” It uses a 7.9-inch touchscreen with a 400 x 1,280 resolution and a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. Other electronic parts include a 3.7 V Li-Po battery and Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C for power.
“Repurposed Game Boy Advance SP hinges and ribbon cable for HDMI are used to keep the hinge thin, yet [they hold] the weight of the display so it won’t tip over,” Penske wrote on Github.
Those who yearn for the days when on-the-go keyboards weren’t all touchscreens can appreciate the Penkesu’s compact mechanical keyboard. It’s ortholinear, meaning all the keys are in aligned rows and columns, like a grid. The keyboard employs Kailh’s Low Profile Choc V1 mechanical switches and an Arduino Pro Micro microcontroller board.
If you haven’t given up on handheld PCs, instructions for building a Penkesu of your own are on Github, as the maker doesn’t have plans to sell the PC.