Beautiful Raspberry Pi Laptop Inspired By Psion

In the four years since the first Raspberry Pi appeared, there have been many takes on a portable computer based on it. The choice of components is fairly straightforward, there is now a wide selection of suitable keyboards, displays, and battery packs to choose from. You might therefore think that there could be nothing new in the world of the portable Pi, indeed another one might be as mundane as just another PC build.

News reaches us from Japan this morning of [nokton35mm]’s “RasPSION” Pi laptop build (machine translation) inspired by the Psion portable computers of the late 1990s.

That hinge, in close-up
That hinge, in close-up

The RasPSION features the Raspberry Pi 7″ display as well as a Bluetooth keyboard, 5V battery pack and the Pi camera. What makes it special is its laser cut case, and in particular its pivoting hinge mechanism. This is the part that takes its inspiration from the Psion machines, and its operation can be seen in the video below the break.

He claims the finished laptop gives him about two hours of battery life, which is no mean feat given that it lacks the sophisticated power management you’ll find in a commercial laptop. We hope that in time we’ll see him posting the details of the build somewhere other than Twitter, as this is a laptop we’d love to know more about.

We’ve featured a few Pi laptops in the past, including a rather chunky small screen build, and one based on a Motorola LapDock. This one raises the bar though, and we look forward to any future builds inspired by it.

34 thoughts on “Beautiful Raspberry Pi Laptop Inspired By Psion

  1. Toshiba T1100 – anyone? Mine still has the integrated “sandwich compartment” unoccupied…
    (which brings me to the idea to verify if a RasPi2/3 would fit in instead of the sandwich >:-)

  2. I imagined it would do the keyboard slide out mechanism too. Still this is a gorgeous little computer and if it were available at a reasonable price, I’d want to get one.

  3. This is entirely not news worthy. The whole point of the Pi is to give computer access to people in developing nations access to computing power, via second hand components, like a mouse, a monitor (or TV) and keyboard. Trying to turn a Pi into a working laptop is like taking the motor out of a lawnmower and making it move a sailboat.

    1. You’ve entirely missed the point of the Pi. It was intended as an educational device both here and abroad by providing tools cheap and flexible enough to teach people how to code and put together various devices incorporating the Pi. A large part of the initiative was to put multiple units of them in classrooms right here in order to encourage the next generation to learn how code and explore computing and electronics.

      As such, this project is a perfect extension; to inspire someone to learn and dabble by ‘taking the motor out of a lawnmower and making it move a sailboat’ is at the core of what its creators intended. I’d suggest you go and look back at the wealth of information available regarding who developed the Pi and why.

      1. Spot on. He actually described the main feature of the Pi by using the lawnmower analogy. The Pi is not a closed system such as a laptop bought at a store, but more like an erector set, used to mold into whatever project you need.

      1. It seems that every generation of this new skill of using computers has driven the original term hack and hacking into the background.
        I have used the term hacking before computers were readily available to the general public, let alone to those new children that know it all.
        This web site seems to articulate the term hacking the best.
        All the others I have found like to use the modern term of hacking as “breaking into a computer”.
        As we currently live in a sound bite world, this is all people hear any more. So narrow minded.

    2. You’re thinking of the OLPC project. The Raspberry Pi was originally intended to be used in the UK, which hasn’t quite fallen to the point of being a “developing nation” yet.

    1. The twitter frame. It looks like a screenshot of a tweet, but it’s actually a full tweet embedded in the webpage. Twitter has allowed you to attach GIFs to your tweets for a while, and this tweet has one. Just click on the picture (you’ll notice a “play” icon in the middle) and the looping video will load and play.

  4. Earlier this week, I noticed Ben Heck had returned to the raspberry pi based calculator, and produced a clamshell style portable computer.
    While the battery life is lousy, it seems imitation Psions are becoming a common goal for hackers. And, until a commercial version is marketed, each one WILL be a “hack” where the issues of screen size, weight, battery life etc. are tackled with a priority unique to each design case.
    Interesting times !

  5. The person working on the RasPsion has a really nice dark red translucent case for it now. He also seems to be iterating it to reduce weight. At least that’s my guess even though I don’t know Japanese.

  6. We would have been had laptops if it wasn’t that the price of the Raspberry PI touch screen wasn’t so damn expensive. There is no way a touch screen with that high of a resolution should be that much. I went and looked at OLED providers in China and their screens aren’t that expensive.

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