The Raspberry Pi Pico which launched earlier this year, is a $4 computer board with an RP2040 microcontroller. But for the most part you need to connect it to additional hardware to use it for anything.

We’ve seen folks build game systems, eReaders, and other hardware around the platform. Now one developer has designed a kit that lets you use the tiny board as the brains of a pocket-sized computer, complete with a tiny display and a QWERTY keyboard.

The PICOmputer is available for purchase from Tindie as a developer kit, with some assembly required.

The project consists of a mainboard and front panel (which can be purchased together or separately) that feature a keyboard, display connector, speaker, and support for an optional LoRa radio module or microSD card reader. There’s also a reset button and a power switch plus a set of arrow keys.

It’s designed to support a 240 x 240 pixel IPS LCD display with three compatible models ranging in size from 1.3 inches to 1.54 inches.

Measuring 100 x 65mm, the kit can easily fit into a pocket. But since it doesn’t have a built-in battery, so you’ll need to plug in an AC adapter or USB power bank to actually use it, which could cut down on the portability.

But that might be a temporary limitation – after all, the PICOmputer is designed to be a developer kit, and the schematics are available at GitHub for anyone who wants to modify the design and build their own. So maybe someone ambitious enough could design their own battery powered version.

via CNX Software

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  1. Mi Pico gathers dust as it is too large on my breadboard. I get a lot of usage of my QT PY and Xiao (mostly the QT PY because of the button). I wish that the Pico PIO function was also on the RPi4 boards. I wanted a quad spi interface on the RPi4 and the PIO function could do that. I haven’t had a need for a dual core micro.