Next Thing Co.’s PocketC.H.I.P. handheld computer caught all of our attention a couple years ago. It was a fashionable, well-designed pocket computer with a full keyboard and Linux support. It used the proprietary C.H.I.P. SBC (Single-Board Company), and many of us wished for a similar device built around a Raspberry Pi. Then Next Thing Co. went out of business, and the PocketC.H.I.P. died with it. But now there is a new experimental kit that turns a Raspberry Pi into a pocket computer with a similar style and level of polish.
The Hyper Keyboard Pi was designed by Japanese developer @chinjinson, and all of the details about the project are in Japanese. For that reason, we don’t have complete information about the kit. But thanks to Liliputing’s translation efforts, we have some idea of what this kit is all about. It’s designed to be used with the full-size Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (or B+), so you’re getting plenty of power. The kit’s most important feature is that it adds a complete QWERTY keyboard with tactile buttons, as well as video game controls. In addition, it facilitates the connections to the other components.
Specifically, it’s designed to work with the HyperPixel 4″ touchscreen LCD. In addition to that, you’ll also need to provide a battery. The kit itself sells for $65, but doesn’t include any of the components — just the PCBs and keyboard buttons. So your total build cost will likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of $200. But that may be worth it if you’ve been looking for a PocketC.H.I.P.-esque pocket computer based on the Raspberry Pi. With a 3D-printed case, the Hyper Keyboard Pi looks nice and sleek, and is completely capable of running the desktop version of Raspbian and gaming setups like RetroPie.