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 uConsole went up for pre-order last fall for $139 and up, and after a series of delays, it began shipping to customers this month. We’re starting to see build videos and reviews pop up.

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.

 

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  1. I purchased mine (non-wifi version, A-06 core) on November 6th 2022, which was within the first week pre-sakes went live. Today is July 29th, 2023 and there are a few people in the first batch who ordered non-core version (bring your own CM4 module) and RISC versions that have gotten their units in the last week. There is little to no news, we all were told shipping was 90 BUSINESS days after purchase (mid March ’23 for me), but it’s July ’23 and their support team says I’m in the 2nd or 3rd batch, but we don’t know when the A-04/A-06 models will ship. It’s been a rough wait. Also, there’s a rough version of an IS that works for the CM4 version. Everything else, you’re on your own for now.

  2. The preorder has been a nightmare. They have only shipped a small batch. Information has been extremely hard to come by.

  3. I really like a lot of the work they are doing, but the devices just seem too small for my hands. If they released a full sized DevTerm, I’d buy it tomorrow.