Arduino is a company that’s best known for making small, programmable microcontroller boards. But the new Arduino Pro Portenta X8 is a full-fledged, Linux-friendly computer with a compact design.

The board measures just 2.6″ x 1″ but features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, a USB-C port, WiFi and Bluetooth support, a Gigabit Ethernet interface, and a microcontroller.

The system-on-a-module comes with Yocto Linux software pre-installed and features an NXP i.MX 8M Mini 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with a 400 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 co-processor plus an STMicro STM32H747AII6 chip with dual 480 MHz ARM Cortex-A7 cores and a 240 MHz Cortex-M4 microcontroller.

While you could use the tiny board as a standalone computer, it’s designed to be used in conjunction with a carrier board which could add features like Ethernet, USB, HDMI, and audio ports.

And like most Arduino Pro devices, the Portenta X8 isn’t really designed to take on the Raspberry Pi line of devices in the low-cost, low-power computers-for-everyone space. It’s aimed at professionals looking to build business, industrial, or other applications such as smart kiosks or automation systems.

And that might help explain the price. The Arduino Portenta X8 will be available in mid-April for $239.

You can find more details about the hardware in the spec sheet below, or check out the Portenta X8 documentation for more about what the board can do.

Arduino Portenta X8 specs
PROCESSORNXP i.MX 8M Mini – 4x ARM Cortex-A53 core up to 1.8GHz, 1x ARM Cortex-M4 core up to 400 MHz
MICROCONTROLLERSTM32H747AII6 Dual ARM Cortex M7/M4 IC – 1x ARM Cortex-M7 core up to 480 MHz 1x ARM Cortex -M4 core up to 240 MHz
EXTERNAL MEMORY2 GB Low Power DDR4 DRAM; 16 GB eMMC
USB-CUSB-C High Speed; Host and Device operation; Power Delivery support
CONNECTIVITY1Gbit Ethernet interface (PHY); Wi-Fi; Bluetooth® Low Energy
SECURITYNXP SE050C2 Crypto on a separate secure bus
DIMENSIONS66.04 mm x 25.40 mm
CERTIFICATIONSPSA from ARM; Arm SystemReady IR (multiple distributions)
INTERFACESCAN; PCIe; SAI; MIPI; DSI; SPI; I2S; I2C; UART; PDM
OPERATING TEMPERATURE-40° C to +85° C (-22° F to 185°F)

via CNX Software

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    1. And what do you want this device with the screen and keyboard to do? Because that’s going to dramatically change how long it will last. If you want it to be a powerful general purpose computer with wireless communications, you’re going to need more power than if you want it to show the time and nothing else. Probably, you want something in the middle. You can definitely say more about what you want, but my guess is that it will turn out to be an overly optimistic expectation of power efficiency.

        1. or Newton, or first palm os device.
          no i no need big cpu, big memory.
          fuzix can run on esp8266 (not esp32)
          trouble is normal product. not for enthustiast or electronic.
          cheap , eficient device with usb and normal screen (monochromatic is ok, not e-ink) , meybe irda or wifi.
          usb and wifi can turn on/off for increase working time

          1. Yes, it’s possible to make something like this. However, most people don’t want one, which makes that harder. You want a screen type that most people don’t use, hardware that’s incapable of a lot of operations people might want, and you’ll need software that handles the power management quite well. Constructing that takes time and you’ll need to find someone who is interested in exactly the same set of specs you want. Maybe the minimal viable computer project might get closest, as long as you replace the software with something that has better power management than Linux.

          2. Of course you can do it yourself (DIY), if you have time, resources and knowledge.

            Take a look at Precursor (https://liliputing.com/2020/09/precursor-is-a-mobile-open-hardware-development-kit-crowfunding.html , while it won’t fit all your requisites, it is the “actual” product (a product you can buy or receive soon), of all I know, nearest to your desire. But its battery like is shorter (FPGA opens other possibilities but it uses more energy).

            PD: «I wrote You not read. I talk about upgrated version with NEW component»: I’m sorry my English is bad, but yours is much worse, because you said «do yo remember… or psion 5 with mechanical keyboard», and it seems you don’t understand what you write in English. No one can remember a Psion 5 with mechanical keyboard because that pocket computer doesn’t have a mechanical keyboard. You can imagine a future machine like that, but you can’t remember something never existed.

            «You talking about cpu»: Wrong, no way, I haven’t mentioned CPU, you can read my previous message again, but I don’t know if you will understand it. I mentioned uncomfortable keyboard position, fragile mechanism, and very bad LCD display, BUT you understand I talk about CPU while I never mentioned CPU in my comment :O

        2. I’m sorry but Psion 5 dosen’t have a mechanical keyboard. It is a keyboard similar to old cheap (no butterfly-mechanism keyboard) notebooks, and its keys tend to get stucked. For example Thinkpad keyboards mechanism previos to chiclet, while not being mechanic, were very superior to Psion 5 keyboard; they were from different worlds.

          I own a Psion 5mx and I thin it is overrated: LCD screen was really bad with low contrast, and resistive layer produced much more reflections: near unusable. And mechanism moving keyboard when opening machine was ingenious but it added a lot of fragility and positioned keyboard in a unconfortable position (it stand out in a slim tray) and display position was not adjustable. On display and hinge a design more like HP 95 would have been better.

          I collect a lot of old pocket computers, and Psion 5 was a disappointment (HP 200LX was another disappointment, because its LCD display was much lower quality than HP 95LX, much lower contrast).

          1. no problem make a SIMILAR device with mechanic keyboard for me. ok?

            I wrote You not read. I talk about upgrated version with NEW component.

            You talking about cpu , power eficeient and now You change theme. sorry but you dont have any idea. You are troll

  1. I thought that “Arduino” was just the Italian word for “overpriced MCU board”, but it looks like it also applies to SOC.

    1. Oh, I didn’t see the $239 until I read your comment and went back. Killed all of my excitement.

    2. I don’t know why anyone would still use an Arduino over an ESP32 or even an ESP8266. And combining with the Raspberry Pi Zero gives you the same functionality for about 1/10th the price.