In short: there seems to be an infinite number of uses for the Raspberry Pi, as engineers and casual tech enthusiasts have created comprehensive network ad blockers, legacy game consoles, and personal media centers. We’ve also seen a lot of integrated Pi-based PCs – but this project, in particular, caught our eye. Aptly dubbed the “Chonky Palmtop,” it’s a foldable laptop-like machine with a comfortable keyboard and large footprint.
Feel free to take a look at the Palmtop – created by Daniel Norris – in the video above. The idea for the Palmtop arose when Norris was looking at the items he had on his desk (a 7-inch touch screen, battery cells, and Horn Keyboard) and realized that they were actually pretty close in size. He envisioned he could combine these components into one compact machine and he did just that.
The Palmtop has a 7-inch screen, a Raspberry Pi 4 keyboard, and a Horn Classic keyboard. It comes with an Ethernet port, charges via USB-C (with fast charging support), and has four USB ports: two of them are USB 3.0 and two are USB 2.0. It’s unclear how long the Palmtop will work on a single charge, but although it should stay connected most of the time, it does seem like a useful machine.
Thanks to the open source nature of Palmtop, you can experience how useful it is for yourself. Norris has posted general instructions, a list of materials and components required, and STL files that you can use to 3D print different parts on Gitlab. This is not a beginner project, but more experienced Pi users might find it doable if they can fill in some blanks in the Palmtop design instructions.
Of course, the device is not perfect. Norris has some other bugs to iron out and features to improve or add, but it’s more than functional enough for general use so far. However, Norris is fixing the mysteriously annoying Firefox graphics acceleration in the Palmtop and redesigning the “bottom left hinge bracket” to match the lid.
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