The “Auspicious Machine” may look like a Blackberry phone, but it’s actually a handheld Linux PC with a built-in QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5-inch display that can be powered by a range of system-on-modules (SoM).
The computer, whose name can also be translated as the “Auspicious Phone”, can be used as a Linux terminal with GPIO control, and for gaming with Linux distributions such as Batotera or RetroBat with the D-Pad and ABXY buttons found on the device.
Auspicious Machine specifications:
- Supported SoMs
- Bigtreetech CB1 with Allwinner H616 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and 1GB DDR4
- Raspberry Pi CM4 with Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, up to 8GB LPDDR4, up to 32GB eMMC flash
- Radxa CM3 with Rockchip RK3566 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor, up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC flash
- Banana Pi BPI-CM4 with Amlogic A311D octa-core Cortex-A73/A55 processor with 4GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC flash
- Storage – MicroSD card socket
- Display – 3.5-inch touchscreen display with 640×480 resolution
- Audio – A speaker appears to be built-in
- User inputs (besides touchscreen)
- Backlit QWERTY keyboard (12×4 array)
- Mini trackball
- Game buttons: D-Pad, and A, X, B, and Y buttons
- Physical buttons on the side
- Wireless connectivity – TDB
- USB – USB port
- Expansion – 20-pin header for expansion
- Battery – No information about the battery…
- Dimensions – 137 x 84 x 12.6mm
- Weight – About 300 grams
The developer – “Fugui” – says the portable handheld is open-source and can run various Linux-based operating systems such as CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, etc.. depending on the system-on-module used, as the Batocera and RetroBat operating system for users more interested in retro games emulation. But I could not find any technical details or a repository for the board and the software.
An article on Bilibili also states the pre-sale of “Auspicious Machine” has started (in China) for 1,656 RMB, or about $240, with deliveries expected in June 2023. But again, it’s not clear where this pre-sale is taking place. I assume we may find out more this summer once it becomes available and may start showing up on sites like Aliexpress or other resellers.
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.