This Penkesu-Inspired Cyberdeck Features a PocketType Keyboard

Redditor Moartanks built this awesome pocket cyberdeck inspired by the Penkesu Computer.

The Penkesu (Japanese for “pencil case,” which is an example of an English-to-Japanese loan word) Computer is a small cyberdeck designed by Penk Chen. As the name suggests, it resembles a pencil case. But there is a complete computer inside of that clamshell case, which makes it similar to vintage ultra-compact handheld computers like the Casio Cassiopeia line. Redditor Moartanks was inspired by the Penkesu Computer and tweaked the concept to build this cyberdeck that features a PocketType keyboard.

PocketType is a nifty mini keyboard designed by Maartenwut and Mechboards. It really is tiny at just 135 x 60 x 17.5mm. Calling it a mechanical keyboard would be a little misleading, but it does utilize tactile buttons with little key caps and that puts it ahead of most of the PDA-style keyboards that we often see in small cyberdecks. PocketType works with either an Arduino Pro Micro board or the Elite C derivative. In either case, the key functions are user-configurable. In this case, Moartanks set it up with a conventional QWERTY layout.

This design may look like the Penkesu Computer, but Moartanks started from scratch with the CAD work. That was necessary to accommodate the PocketType keyboard and the screen. The Penkesu Computer uses a super wide aspect ratio 7.9” touchscreen from Waveshare, but Moartanks’s cyberdeck uses a more traditional Pimoroni Hyperpixel 4.0 LCD. Those components wouldn’t fit in the Penkesu enclosure, so Moartanks designed their own in Autodesk Fusion 360 and then 3D-printed it. Like the Penkesu, this cyberdeck uses a Raspberry Pi Zero W 2 single-board computer.

The result both looks great and is very functional. It’s especially good for working entirely on the command line, since there isn’t a built-in mouse or trackpad. But it is certainly possible to connect a USB or wireless mouse for full control in a GUI desktop environment.

Cameron Coward
Writer for Hackster News. Maker, retrocomputing and 3D printing enthusiast, author of books, dog dad, motorcyclist, and nature lover.
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