Linux PC built in a Nintendo DS-sized package

OEMs are building some impressively small computers these days, but not many of them pack an entire PC into a package the size of a Nintendo DS like this one does.

This is the latest amazing project to come from Chris Robinson over at NODE. It’s basically a miniaturized laptop — it has a full-color LCD display, QWERTY keyboard, and a battery — built around a Raspberry Pi 2 board.

While it does look quite a bit like a modified Nintendo DS, it was actually built entirely from off-the-shelf parts. The case is made from two plastic 2.5-inch external hard drive enclosures, which can be purchased for a few bucks on Amazon and a bunch of other websites.

They provide just enough room to cram in all the parts, though quite a few hardware modifications had to be made first. The Raspberry Pi had to be stripped down to its minimum thickness, which meant using a soldering iron to remove the USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports, the GPIO pins, camera headers, and the composite video output.

Replacement ports were then wired in and inserted into openings that were cut into the case with a small hacksaw blade. The keyboard had to be modified, too. It came with its own battery, but that was removed and a voltage convertor was added so that the keyboard and the Raspberry Pi could draw power from the same source.

This finished product cost about $120 to build and runs Raspbian and any ARM-friendly apps you can throw at it. Oh, yeah, and it also makes a pretty awesome portable emulation machine:

You can see the full gallery on Imgur here, along with very detailed instructions… just in case you get the urge to build one of these yourself.

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