TinyPi Pro preview - Kickstarter campaign - Less than 44 hours to go!


For the last couple of weeks I've been playing with an early version of TinyPi Pro. A fully fledged Raspberry Pi zero based gaming handheld not much bigger than a couple of boxes of matches. It's the smallest raspberry pi gaming device possible with the casing barely bigger than the Pi Zero footprint itself. It's listed by its creator over on kickstarter, but can such a tiny device be a capable retro gaming device?

 

Peter Barker started off building the original Tiny Pi handheld, a simple PCB overlay to a Raspberry Pi Zero with a small and low res 128x128 screen, piezo buzzer speakers and a rough 3D printed minimal skeleton case. He's been selling them on Tindie for most of this year and despite the shortcomings, has sold out every batch he's had available within a hours of the kits becoming available.

Otiginal TinyPi in the nude

But in the background, he's been working the past year on its successor. The TinyPi pro, with a High quality 240x240 1.3" IPS screen, a dedicated DAC/AMP chip and cellphone speaker for crisp sound and inbuilt battery charging management inside a SLS printed case (much higher quality than the 3D printing you're probably familiar with) and not to mention a totally solderless kit, making it a breeze to put together! (with a deft hand and a few test fits, the whole kit can be put together in under 10 mins... It's so easy, my 7 year old son could do it without bating an eyelid.)

the Kit as it comes with all tools needed, just supply a Pi and an SD card

Mostly Assembled
So it's easy to put together, but is it any good? OH YEAH! The kit has had a lot of thought put into every detail. The device is tiny but not uncomfortable to hold, The buttons are slightly clicky (and based on feedback from early testers, the production ones will be softer to press) but positioning is still highly usable, The screen is crisp and vibrant (and IPS too so the viewing angle is superb) and the sound is crystal clear. But best of all is the pocketability of the thing. No other emulation handheld that I have (PocketCHIP, Gameboy Zero Pocket, Bittboy) can fit into the 5th pocket on my jeans!

Keychain Sleeve by Sudomod Wermy
Excuse fingerprints!
The standard OS image for TinyPi Pro is customized Retropie so adding games is as easy as copying files to a network share or attaching a USB stick and letting it auto-sync the files and should be familiar to anyone who's dabbled with emulation on the Pi in the last few years.

Finally, If you want to get in on this kickstarter fund, now is the time as the campaign ends lunchtime (UK) New Years Eve!
Back it here: TinyPi Pro Kickstarter
Pi0cket Tindie shop: here 

*Disclaimer: This device was bought with my own money and not a "review sample". Opinions expressed above are my own and there was no expectation of a review good or bad by the project creator.

-Alistair
@ABrugsch

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