A Fantastic Raspberry Pi Handheld Just Got Better

Last year, we brought you word of the MutantC by [rahmanshaber]. The Raspberry Pi handheld was more than a little inspired by the classic T-Mobile Sidekick, with a sliding display and physical QWERTY keyboard. The design was a little rough around the edges and missing a few key features, but it was clear the project had a lot of potential.

Today, we’re happy to report that [rahmanshaber] has officially released MutantC_v2. It looks like the new version of this handheld, perhaps more properly categorized as a ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), successfully addresses a number of the shortcomings found in the original; so if you held off on building one last year, you might want to start warming up the 3D printer now.

The major improvement over the original is the inclusion of a battery, which makes the device truly mobile. This was something that we mentioned [rahmanshaber] was working on back when he released the first version, as it was easily the most requested feature from the community. We certainly wouldn’t say a miniature handheld computer is completely useless if it has to stay tethered, but there’s no arguing that being able to take it on the go is ideal.

This upgraded version of the design now officially supports the Raspberry Pi 4 as well, which previously [rahmanshaber] was advising against due to overheating concerns. Slotting in the latest-and-greatest edition of every hacker’s favorite Linux single board computer will definitely kick things up a notch, though we imagine the older and less power hungry iterations of the Pi will be plenty for the sort of tasks you’re likely to be doing on a gadget like this.

If you like the idea of having a diminutive Linux computer within arm’s reach of your bench but aren’t necessarily committed enough to build something like the MutantC, there are certainly simpler designs you can get started with.

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Changing The EEEPC 701 Form Factor

Over at the EeeUser forums, [PvP_lostnight] is designing a kit to convert your EEEPC to a different form factor. He is modeling the design after the Samsung Q1 UMPC. The kits will eventually be for sale, but as you can see from the pictures, there’s a long way to go.  He seems to be taking lots of input from the forum members, so go there and help him make it perfect.

[thanks Tony]

Eee PC 900 Touchscreen

Jkkmobile has just posted their touchscreen hack for an Eee PC 900, and it looks great. Installation of this kit is pretty easy, just fit the panel to the screen, connect the controller to the USB lines, close it up, calibrate it, and you’re done. The controller board is placed on top of the WiFi card. Jkkmobile has informed us of touchscreens for older Eee PCs before, but this is one of the first we’ve seen for a 900+ model. The post lists a few sources for touchscreen kits, but no word on which one they used.

MSI Wind Under FCC Review

Those of us who have been eagerly waiting to get their mitts on an MSI Wind can see some light at the end of the tunnel, as it is currently under review for domestic sale by the FCC. The Wind is MSI’s answer to Asus’s game-changing ultraportable, the Eee PC, and has slightly better specs. It features an Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM. It also has built in bluetooth and webcam. Check out a few shots of the Wind’s internal parts at jkkmobile or grab them all from the FCC’s site.

Ubuntu Released For MIDs

Ubuntu MID edition has been released for handheld Mobile Internet Devices. It’s targeting devices based on Intel’s A100/110 and the new Centrino Atom platforms. Successors to the UMPC, MIDs are usually small formfactor and have a touchscreen, plus a physical keyboard. UMPC portal has a examples of devices that are currently supported by this release, inluding plamtops like the Kohjinsha SH6. This release is only for x86 devices, so don’t expect it to be ported to the ARM based Nokia N800/810. The user interface is based on the Hildon framework and we’re glad people are attempting to think beyond a standard UI. We hope they plan on punching up the use of the color brown in the final though; it just wouldn’t be an Ubuntu release without it.

[via Linux Devices]

Add USB Ports And A Flash Drive To You UMPC

[ThoughtFix] sent in our first ever UMPC hack. It’s along the lines of laptop mods we’ve seen before, but he deserves credit for opening up the already tightly packed inside of his UMPC, tapping the USB interface on his bluetooth card, adding a hub and an internal usb flash drive to provide readyboost to speed up Vista.