The Penkesu computer is a DIY laptop powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero 2W SBC, and mostly made out of ready-made parts, including a 7.9 inch screen from Waveshare, replacement hinges for the Gameboy Advance SP, a 48-key mechanical keyboard. keyboard equipped with Kailh Choc V1 low profile switches, etc.
It also happens that Penk designed the CutiePi tablet with Raspberry Pi CM4 and designed the Penkesu computer (ペンケース in Japanese) as a side project without having to “worry too much about commercial viability” and as a way to remember why he started tinkering.
Penkesu Computer Pocket PC Specifications:
- SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero 2W with Broadcom RP3A0 SiP with Broadcom BCM2710A1 Quad-Core Cortex-A53 1.0GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, MicroSD Card Slot
- Display – 7.9 inch IPS display with capacitive touchscreen, 1280x 400 resolution, connected via HDMI via ribbon cable via Adafruit adapter
- Keyboard – 48-key “Koda” mechanical keyboard with replaceable keycaps, Arduino Pro Micro board.
- Battery – 3.7V LiPo battery charged via the Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C micro USB charger board.
The only things that are custom made for the project are the 3D printed case and QMK firmware for the Koda open-source hardware keyboard that takes an Arduino Pro Micro board. You’ll find everything you need to build your own on the project’s Github repository.
The Penkesu computer can run any operating system supported by the Raspberry Pi Zero 2W. The second micro USB port is not used and there seems to be enough space to add a slim USB stick for example. Since the Pocket PC relies on off-the-shelf parts, this is probably one of the simplest projects. You will also need to 3D print the parts by yourself or through a 3D printing service, have the keyboard PCB made, and solder some components.
Penk says there are “no immediate plans to sell kits or make Penkesu Computer mass-producible”, so it will likely remain a DIY project unless there is somehow a problem. Another huge demand for this type of hardware with such a large screen that won’t be practical for most use cases.
Via Liliputing and Tom’s Hardware.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 on a part-time basis, before stepping down as Director of Software Engineering and starting writing daily news and reviews full-time later in 2011.