This $10 PCB lets you build a handheld PC with a Raspberry Pi Zero W (plus a display)

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a is a tiny, low-power single-board computer that sells for $5 (or $10 if you want a Pi Zero W with WiFi and Bluetooth). But the tiny computers aren’t much use without accessories — like most single-board computers, you’ll need to connect a keyboard, mouse, and power supply before you can do anything with it.

One option is to use the Raspberry Pi Zero W as a tiny desktop — but there are much better options with more powerful hardware if that’s what you plan to do.

Another is to use it as the foundation for a portable device — and one nifty new option for doing that is the SnapOnAir Raspberry Pi Zero PCB. It’s a printed circuit board designed to help you build your own handheld PC using a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a 2.8 inch LCD display (sold separately).

The PCB is available for purchase from Tindie for $10 and you can read more about the project in the developer’s Facebook group and on Twitter and github.

The board is designed to let you build a handheld communicator or pager-style device by attaching a Raspberry Pi Zero and a bunch of other componentsincluding a touchscreen display, an RF transceiver, a digital microphone, buzzer, USB connector, and silicon buttons for the keyboard.

Looking through recent updates, it looks like you can also connect a portable battery to make the device truly mobile… although you’ll still probably want to design a 3D printed case if you don’t want all the electronic components to be exposed to the elements (or lint in your pants pocket).

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