BeepBerry handheld Linux computer drives 2.7-inch display with Raspberry Pi Zero W

Good news! The PocketCHIP handheld Linux computer is back! OK, not quite but that’s what the Raspberry Pi Zero-powered BeepBerry reminds me of with a Blackberry-like keyboard, a small 2.7-inch display, and a 2,000mAh LiPo battery for power.

The BeepBerry is another open-source hardware design from SQFMI, who previously did the Watchy ESP32 E-Ink smartwatch, that runs Raspberry Pi OS Lite on the Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W, and also includes a Raspberry Pi RP2040 to handle the keyboard and peripherals.


BeepBerry specifications:

  • SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero board with a Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor @ 700 MHz, VideoCore IV GPU, or Raspberry Pi Zero W with WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Storage – MicroSD card slot
  • Display – Ultra-low power high contrast 2.7-inch Sharp Memory LCD with 400 x 200 resolution
  • User input – QWERTY tactile keyboard w/ backlight and touchpad based on Solder Party BB Q20 Keyboard
  • USB – USB-C programming & charging
  • Expansion – 3x 10-pin GPIO headers (unpopulated)
  • Debugging – SWD header
  • Misc
    • Programmable RGB LED for notifications
    • Programmable side button
    • Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU (for keyboard and peripherals control) with 16MB flash
    • Power switch and PMIC
  • Battery – 2,000mAh LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 104 x 74 x 15 mm

Raspberry Pi Zero linux handheld computerEventually, everything will be open-source hardware with the KiCad hardware design files, and the Raspberry Pi RP2040 firmware being released on GitHub, but right now I can only find the mechanical files for the enclosure and the setup script for Raspberry Pi OS that install the display and keyboard drivers. The name of the device is derived from the Beeper messaging app for which the BeepBerry is an ideal platform. You’ll also find documentation, now work-in-progress, on the SQFMI website.

The BeepBerry ships with mounting screws and a 2,000 mAh LiPi battery, and the Raspberry Pi Zero W is an option. You can pre-order the handheld Linux computer on the company’s shop for $79 without SBC, or $99 with a Raspberry Pi Zero W. The former is expected to ship in August of this year, and the latter in September.

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5 Replies to “BeepBerry handheld Linux computer drives 2.7-inch display with Raspberry Pi Zero W”

  1. So naiive question: Are Raspberry Pi Zero W’s designed to be run off a battery?
    What kind of battery life would one expect with a setup like this?

    1. Without sleep modes enabled, I guess 16 hours. With them enabled, hundreds of hours. Real figures would depend on mA consumption in/out of sleep mode.

      1. Doh, I was mistaken. Zero has no sleep modes and Zero W might only run a maximum of 10 hours on a 2,000 mAh battery. That might be ok for some use cases but to get any extra life out of the battery will take creativity or may be an alternative Zero that supports sleep modes.

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