After the Game Boy-like GameShell, Clockwork Pi’s next trick is a computer you build yourself

Screenshot 2022 05 09 At 10:38:51 am
Image: Clockwork Pi

Do you remember the Clockwork Pi GameShell? We covered this open-source DIY handheld in 2018 mainly because it resembled a Game Boy and could run MAME, Game Boy Advance, and NES titles. It raised $290,429 on Kickstarter and we’ve really enjoyed tinkering with it – hence the news that Clockwork Pi is releasing another similar product, it’s music to our ears.

Still, we might not have been prepared for what actually turned up in the post; The DevTerm is clearly not attempting to replicate a portable or other handheld gaming console made by Nintendo. This “retro-futuristic” design is inspired by the 1983 TRS-80 Model 100 and measures approximately 209 × 159 mm (the Game Boy Printer-like 58 mm 200 DPI thermal printer module on the back is not included – yes, it has one). of these). It features a full QWERTY keyboard, D-Pad, trackball, and an ultra-wide 6.8-inch IPS display with 1280×480 pixels and a 16:6 aspect ratio.

As with the GameShell, the DevTerm comes in pieces and you actually have to assemble the thing yourself, laboratory-Style. It takes about an hour, but no soldering is required – everything fits together beautifully and it’s a pretty pleasant experience, if we’re being honest. The only catch is that batteries aren’t included, so you’ll have to get a pair of 18650 lithium-ion cells yourself.

The DevTerm comes in a variety of different bundles, each with a different chipset that provides the performance. The base model costs $249, while the top-level spec (which we were sent to play around with) costs $339. Storage is via a MicroSD card slot, and a 16GB card is included which houses the Linux-based operating system. There’s 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and both dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 are included.

So what can you do with the DevTerm? Well, unless you’re a fan of programming, then its appeal might be limited. Game controls work well, so there’s always an option to go the emulation route (or install one of the many supported Pico 8 games), but we’d argue that’s the case real The appeal of this system is nostalgia – just like the GameShell, to be honest.

If you’re of a certain age and remember a time when portable computers were tablet-like slabs of plastic and not aluminum clam shells, then this is sure to give you an itch. To everyone else, it’s probably a bizarre technological oddity – but then again, Clockwork Pi’s products carry that perception as a badge of honour.

Many thanks to Clockwork Pi for submitting the DevTerm used in this function. After the Game Boy-like GameShell, Clockwork Pi’s next trick is a computer you build yourself

Fry Electronics Team

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