Pyra Open Source Debian Handheld Computer & Game Console is Now Available for Pre-order

The development of Pyra open source portable gaming console started in 2014, and after over two years of hard work, the developers are now ready to take pre-order of the Texas Instruments OMAP 5 powered device running Debian Linux.

Pyra-handheldPyra handheld specifications have changed a little bit since the announcement two years ago:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments OMAP 5432 SoC with 2x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 1.7Ghz with NEON SIMD, 2x ARM Cortex-M4, Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX544-MP2 GPU for 3D graphic, and Vivante GC320 GPU for 2D graphics
  • System Memory – 2GB or 4GB RAM
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash, 2x SDXC card slot, 1x internal micro SDXC card slot
  • Display – 720p 5″ LCD with resistive touchscreen
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio I/O – High-quality speakers, analog volume wheel, headset port, built-in Mic
  • Gaming controls – D-Pad, 4x shoulder buttons, 6x face buttons, 2x accurate analog controls with push-button
  • Keyboard – Backlit QWERTY keyboard
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1. Optional LTE and GPS module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port (one usable as eSATA with adapter), 1x micro USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB 2.0 for debugging and charging.
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
  • Misc – Fully configurable RGB-LEDs for notifications, vibration motor
  • Battery – 6,000mAh, same as for Pandora. Battery life is expected to be the same or better as Pandora (10 hours), except for CPU intensive tasks
  • Dimensions – 139 x 87 x 32 mm

So they’ve increased the battery capacity, added internal eMMC flash, reduced the display resolution to 720p, now offer two RAM options with either 2 or 4 GB memory, and a few other changes.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The internal design is comprised of the mainboard, a CPU module, and (not shown above) a display board. That means that if a more powerful CPU module is available later, you may be able to only replace the CPU module, while keeping the rest of the design. You’ll also be able to design your own better CPU module, since the Pyra will be open source hardware. As mentioned in the title and description the device runs the full desktop version of Debian Linux, and thanks to the micro HDMI port you could easily use it as a mini PC by connecting to a larger monitor, as well as a keyboard and mouse. More details about the hardware and software can be found in the Wiki.


So how much does this unique device sell for? You’ll have four options:

  • Pyra Standard Edition, 2GB RAM: 500 Euros without VAT (=595 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Standard Edition, 4GB RAM: 529,41 Euros without VAT (=630 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Mobile Edition, 2GB RAM: 600 Euros without VAT (=714 Euros incl. VAT)
  • Pyra Mobile Edition, 4GB RAM: 626,05 Euros without VAT (=745 Euros incl. VAT)

The Mobile Edition adds mobile Internet (3G/4G), GPS, and some extra sensors namely an altimeter, hygrometer, barometer, and compass. They do mention they are not sure yet the 4GB RAM with be produced, in which case you may have to settle for the 2GB version. You won’t need to pay the full price for pre-order, as they ask for a downpayment of 330 or 400 Euros for the pre-order, but they don’t have estimated delivery time for now.

More details about the Linux game console can be found on Pyra Handheld website.

Thanks to buZz for the tip.

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26 Replies to “Pyra Open Source Debian Handheld Computer & Game Console is Now Available for Pre-order”

  1. except the ugly linux interface on the screen, this toy looks funny. this nice&useless retro looking brick is for rich and very dedicated enthusiasts of such bricks.

  2. As one of the few customers who never got to see their paid-in-full Pandora, I’ll be sitting this round out.

    1. I’m in the same boat. Once bitten twice shy. A resistive 720p touch screen? What year is it? Definitely not interested in that.

  3. They should have give up years ago!
    This device wont sell end of story even for $100. O.o
    OMAP SOC is obsolete and you can do much more with a pi zero($5) with mainline support vs this over-expensive POS.
    Hell you can even buy the best android phone(8core?) and connect it with your tv for that much!

  4. The fact that it’s running a lightweight desktop doesn’t instill much. The 80s called, they want their design back. Last time I checked STEAM has no ARM port. I’ve seen someone do something similar at DEFCON 22 using an off the shelf android TV stick, a cigar box, and more off the shelf parts for under €204.06, so €714, yeah….. No.

  5. For reference, Beagleboard X15 board, based on OMAP5 too, costs $239. So while the price is clearly high, you can’t really expect it to sell for $200 or less.

  6. Like Pandora, the price is very high and it’s the main pitfall.

    The device came from a community-based effort to create a successor to the Pandora.
    It can’t be created with a short lifespan SoC.
    The goal is to have an open-source platform too.

  7. They probably be able to cut the price by switching from obsoletz texas instruent SoC to state of the art and cheaper Rockchip or Allwinner SoC. Nice to have a true debian distro.

    PowerVR me ans xlosed source /crashing driver

  8. @Popolon
    The OMAP5 was literally the best he could get. EvilDragon contacted Allwinner, plus a bunch of other companies, and none of them were willing to sell in the quantities he wanted.
    Fortunately, one of the selling points is the CPU and RAM is on a separate module, the specs of which are going to be released open source style shortly after release, so any one will be able to commission a board with whatever SoC they want and use the rest of the device as is, and if it’s a successful SoC that many people want you could probably go mass production and EvilDragon would sell them in his shop.

  9. @blu
    Craig and Michael are two different entities. They both sold Pandoras but it was Craig that screwed up. Michael (EvilDragon) never had any problems maintaining stock and shipping his orders. When the UK shop went tits up, EvilDragon took on Craig’s list and tried to ship as many as he could without going into debt. He wasn’t able to get to everybody due to supply running out, and Craig’s list was apparently so messed up that he isn’t even sure it’s complete, but for those that he missed he offered a voucher towards a Pyra: if you still have your original order email and contact EvilDragon he will likely honour the voucher for you as well. He has no legal requirement to, like I said they are two different entities, Craig screwed up and failed his customers while Michael succeeded and did quite right by his customers, but he has done his best to do right by the entire community by helping out everyone, and that’s why I have faith in him. Just send him a message through his shop, he might be able to help.

  10. @David Thank you, David. I’m generally aware how things went with Craig’s and Michael’s waiting lists, but I did not know about the voucher. I’m still hesitant to “upgrade”, though, but I will surely follow the development of Michael’s new project.

  11. It’s not that i dont have faith in evildragon, its the fact that they cant deliver quality products yet they ask premium prices.

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