Cyberdecks are, almost by their very definition, mostly about aesthetics. There are very few of them that are designed to serve a real, practical purpose that can’t be done better by a modern laptop or tablet. But they do have character in spades, which is something that cannot be said for most consumer devices today. Because cyberdecks are inspired directly by William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels of the ‘80s, they tend to have chunky styling that is reminiscent of that era. Redditor Fancymenofcornwood has taken that aesthetic to dizzying new heights with their absolutely beautiful GRIZ Sextant Raspberry Pi cyberdeck.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, as the saying goes. That is certainly true here, because many people would consider the GRIZ Sextant to be very ugly. But I completely adore its blocky design that perfectly mimics early personal computers. It was heavily inspired by the Grid Compass, which was released in 1982 and was the first computer to come in the clamshell laptop form factor that we know today. While the GRIZ Sextant was built using modern parts, it wouldn’t have looked out of place next to the Grid Compass on a Circuit City store shelf in the mid-‘80s. Fancymenofcornwood obviously put a huge amount of work into the design of this computer and it really shows.
Like many other cyberdecks, the GRIZ Sextant is built around a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ single-board computer. The display is a 7” 1024x600 LCD screen connected to the Pi via HDMI. It is equipped with a JJ50 50% mechanical keyboard with a 5x12 ortholinear layout, which is about as compact as keyboards can get while still using full-size keys. That lovely case was designed in CAD and then 3D-printed in PLA. Each part is designed to fit on an 8x8” print bed. The color scheme of the case and the key caps was inspired by the legendary Commodore 64. It’s powered by a 4400mAh LiPo battery pack through an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000c, which provides around 3 hours of running time — though Fancymenofcornwood plans to replace that with a powerbank with a larger capacity. Little details like retro-style logo stickers complete the look that should leave you drooling.