One of the most frustrating things about the Raspberry Pi is its lack of portability. Unless you have a display for the device, and a battery, you’re usually going to have to leave it at home.
A Raspberry Pi can also be a pain to set up. No spare keyboard or mouse? You’re going to have to buy new ones. No HDMI cable? Tough, you’re accessing it via remote only.
Aiming to solve all of these problems (and a few more) the RasPad is a new tablet-based project currently on Kickstarter that has overcome its initial project target of $10,000 by a massive 3700%!
Providing a housing and touchscreen display for Raspberry Pis, Raspad is targeted at anyone who wants an all-in-one hobbyist device for creative projects. As it houses a Raspberry Pi, you can run any suitable operating system on it. Thanks to some flexible design, however, the case and display are also compatible with other SBCs, such as the Tinker Board.
The RasPad features a 10.1” IPS touchscreen, three hours of battery life, and a 2W speaker. While wedge-shaped (to suit the Raspberry Pi’s dimensions – perhaps a narrow Pi Zero variant will come along soon?), the RasPad has been designed to provide extended ports for the Pi’s HDMI, audio, and power connectors, while the USB and Ethernet ports are accessible. So too is the GPIO.
RasPad offers a great new way to develop applications, learn programming from scratch, play retro video games, and even build your own Android or Chrome OS tablet. As you’ll spot in the (slightly cheeky) accompanying video, RasPad’s portability makes it particularly powerful, not just as a work-anywhere Raspberry Pi, but as a remote control device for robotics projects.
Additionally, the tablet has volume controls and a power button. Starting at $129 for the basic (Pi-free) version, you could spend as much as $735 on this kit, assuming you wanted a robot arm like the one in the video. Prices stated on the Kickstarter page are pre-order only; once the device is formally launched, these will rise by 40-50%.
Our verdict is that if the Raspberry Pi proves difficult for you when compared to a standard tablet, then the RasPad might be the perfect solution. It’s certainly ideal for children with interests in computing and electronics!
Head to the RasPad Kickstarter page to learn more.