The Raspberry Pi Zero (and its Zero W counterpart with wireless connectivity) are minuscule single-board computers that have various uses for coders and “makers” out there. The $5 price tag for the Zero and $10 price tag for the Zero W make them attractive for people whose performance needs aren’t too extreme.
Now, there’s a new option that will allow you to use the Raspberry Pi Zero in a handheld form-factor, and it’s called the SnapOnAir Raspberry Pi Zero PCB. This printed circuit board will allow you to attach a Raspberry Pi Zero and turn it into something that resembles a BlackBerry smartphone from years past.
In addition to the Raspberry Pi Zero (preferably the W model) and the PCB, you’ll also need to purchase a 2.8-inch ILI9341 TFT display and a TCA8418 I2C keyboard to get the project going. You’ll also need a power source, although it’s possible to attach an external 1800 mAh battery to keep things portable. You can keep on adding components, however, including a 3.5mm audio jack, a buzzer and even a microphone.
This looks like a very compelling, low-cost project for makers out there, especially if you’d like a device to carry out “in the field” with you. However, you’d probably want to craft some kind of case for the device to provide protection for the electrical components and the battery.
With that being said, the Raspberry Pi Zero features a rather meager 1GHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor, 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM and storage is taken care of by a microSD slot. Other features include a mini HDMI socket, microUSB connectivity and a 40-pin GPIO header. The Raspberry Pi Zero W adds both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity.
You can purchase the SnapOnAir Raspberry Pi Zero PCB direct from Tindie for $10.