We already walk around with supercomputers in our pockets, so why back this Kickstarter for a portable Linux-based handheld? Well, it’s actually pretty neat!
The CHIP in question is the “$9 computer” that was all hyped up at the time but actually got delivered. Strange, but true! The Pocket version is a handheld unit based around that little single board computer.
Think of it like a Raspberry Pi Zero, but with built-in Wifi and storage. Then add a keyboard, screen, battery, and a case etc. That’s Pocket Chip.
It runs Linux, but instead of off an SD card like in the case with Pi, it uses on board storage. It’s got its own basic UI for use with the touch screen, with some bundled apps, but you are going to want to add your own software very quickly.
So far I am impressed. The battery lasts for a decent amount of time, even though it’s powering that colour touch screen, and the built in software and shell is enough to get on Wifi with no trouble at all, which means you can start adding your own choices.
Now the Scratch and Pico-8 gaming might make you think of this as a retro gaming device, but really I see it as a contender for Raspberry Pi market share with makers and education. To do that will require great community support. So far that is promising but not up to Pi levels.
One to watch?