Hardware hacker NODE has created a slick handheld Linux PC based on the Raspberry Pi Zero W board. About the size of a thick smartphone, Zero Terminal V3 also includes a touchscreen display, a built-in battery, a USB Type-A port, and a microSD card slot.
The keyboard found in previous iterations of the Zero Terminal is gone, as the new version focuses on modularity thanks two 40-pin sockets that connect to the GPIO pins, video output, camera connector, USB ports, power indicators, etc… in order to allow people to create and add custom backpacks to change the functionality as needed.
Zero Terminal V3 specifications:
- SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W with Broadcom BCM2735 ARM11 processor, 512MB RAM, MicroSD card socket, WiFi 4, and Bluetooth 4.0
- Display – 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED touchscreen display bought on Waveshare and designed for Raspberry Pi 3/4, but NODE designed an adapter for RPi Zero.
- Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in speaker
- USB – USB 2.0 Type-A port, micro USB for charging
- Expansion – 2x 40-pin with GPIOs, HDMI output, camera input, 2x USB 2.0, etc…
- Misc – Power switch, 3x user buttons, display on/off button
- Battery – 1,200 mAh LiPo battery
- Dimensions – 13mm thin
NODE has already created one backpack with a slide-out keyboard as shown in the photo above, but in the future people could create their own to add radio transceivers, extra network interfaces, drone controllers, TV tuners, solar panels, simple stands, and so on…
Zero Terminal V3 is specially designed to work well with terminal applications, and i3 window manager, Micro text editor, Midnight Commander file manager, htop, Browsh modern text-based browser, and Newsbeuter RSS feed viewer are some of the recommended programs for the little device.
Interested and want to buy? Sorry, you can’t do that just yet although there are calls for a crowdfunding campaign in YouTube comments. In the meantime, you’ll find some more information on the work-in-progress project’s website that eventually will have more resources and a longer list of backpacks.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.