ClockworkPi’s uConsole is a handheld computer with a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel IPS LCD display, a 74-key backlit keyboard, and game control keys. It also ships as a kit (with some assembly required) and features a modular design that allows you to choose one of four different “cores” which are modules with a processor, memory, and storage.
The handheld console has a custom printed circuit board that features USB Type-C and Type-A ports, a micro HDMI port for video output, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card reader, 40-pin GPIO header, and connectors for power, display, antenna, and other gear.
But probably the most unusual thing about the board is its “Core board port” which lets you connect a system-on-a-module that will be the actual brains of the system. ClockworkPi sells the uConsole with four different Core module options, but you can also buy one without a module if you already have something compatible:
- Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Lite: 4 x ARM Cortex-A72 cores @ 1.5 GHz / VideoCore 4 GPU / 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
- ClockworkPi A-04: 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.8 GHz / Mali-T720 GPU / 4GB DDR3 RAM
- ClockworkPi A-06: 2 x ARM Cortex-A72 cores @ 1.8 GHz / 4 x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.4 GHz / Mali-T864 GPU / 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
- R-01: 1 x RV64IMAFDCVU RISC-V core @ 1 GHz / no GPU / 1GB DDR3 RAM
If you didn’t get a chance to pre-order a uConsole, you can still buy one, but the A-04 and A-06 models are out of stock, and the R-01 version with a RISC-V processor is described as “highly experimental,” and the company recommends folks who are new to Linux and free and open source software development opt for one of the models with an ARM-based chip, which should have better software support.
So the best option for most folks is probably the uConsole RPI-CM4 Lite kit, which sells for $189. Just keep in mind that the company is currently working its way through pre-orders in a series of batches, and says that new orders could take about 90 days to ship.
Also worth keeping in mind is that the uConsole is a batteries-not-included device. You’ll need to supply your own pair of 18650 batteries.