Auspicious Machine modular handheld Linux PC with keyboard takes various Arm-based SoMs

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

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

Modular Arm Linux computer with GPIO

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.

Via Liliputing and Retrododo

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9 Replies to “Auspicious Machine modular handheld Linux PC with keyboard takes various Arm-based SoMs”

  1. Such a device can make a nice machine for many of us, sort of an upgraded Odroid-Go that’s likely easier to develop for and much more powerful. But I suspect it remains a niche marker, for DIYers, those interested in retro-gaming, maybe musicians who could appreciate to have a midi recorder/player (or just read a score), and that’s never a huge market which can explain its high price. It costs the same as a use thinkpad x260 I just bought, and while the characteristics are not exactly the same, many of the possible applications overlap.

  2. I like the device but I dont like the price.
    Besides this kind of device which hardware and software is not designed originally as to be used in portables devices, often has poor battery performance.

  3. I would love to have something like this but i cant justify $240.

    Also, it doesnt look like you can fit a Pi CM4 in that chassis. This would be much better if used the RK3566 or a equivalent option soldered to the board.
    Would probably draw less power and be a slimmer product.

  4. It seems to be a device that will be sold in China.I will continue to pay attention to it.
    I see that he seems to use Allwinner H616. In most of China’s open-source handheld computers, more people use Allwinner V3s or the newly launched D1s.

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