Since the launch of the Raspberry Pi in 2012, the hobbyist community centered on low-cost, open-source, ARM-based computers has exploded dramatically. Every year, these small, hackable devices get cheaper and more powerful. In 2015, Oakland-based Next Thing Co. upped the ante by successfully Kickstarting a $9 computer it called “CHIP” to the tune of $2 million in funding. As part of its pitch, Next Thing Co. also showcased the PocketCHIP, a handheld version of the CHIP with a built-in keyboard and touchscreen display.
The PocketCHIP includes a 1GHz ARM CPU (with a Mali 400 GPU), 4GB of flash storage, 512MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a primitive keyboard, and a five-hour LiPo battery. With this device now shipping to Kickstarter backers, I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at the gadget on my trusty workbench, and document my findings in this slideshow.