Pseudonymous maker "crookdmouth" has shown off a portable computer designed to offer distraction-free gaming in a robust housing — complete with arcade controls, a compact full-color screen, and a mechanical keyboard.
"About 9 years ago I made a handheld computer that was pretty usable but I found the keyboard unfriendly," crookdmouth explains of the origins of the project. "Since then I wanted to make a very usable version. My first computer was a TRS-80 MC-10 so I decided to gain my inspiration from the Coco family of computers."
Designed primarily for gaming, the system is built around a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B single-board computer connected to Pimoroni's 1:1 aspect ratio HyperPixel 4.0 square display — chosen for its suitability for classic arcade and vintage video games run through emulators.
To the left of the display are four arcade buttons, a single smaller button, and a rotary encoder; to the right are another six arcade buttons, a small button, two square buttons, and another rotary encoder, alongside a second joystick — an analog one, this time, rather than digital.
"The analog stick is the mouse," crookdmouth explains. "The two knobs are horizontal and vertical scroll wheels. I don't mean to brag but it is literally my dream machine. It works so flawlessly and just how I want."
The bottom half of the build houses an SK-64 mechanical keyboard for text input, while hidden inside the housing — which includes robust grab handles to either side — is a USB power bank which can run the whole system for 12 hours of active use, charging from empty in around six.