The engineering team behind the CutiePi tablet hopes to do another preorder batch in the first quarter of next year.
If you’ve thought of taking your Raspberry Pi project on the go, then you understand how bulky and tedious it can get. And since it was not originally created with portability in mind, it lacks certain features common to mobile devices.
Meet Cutie Pi. It’s a Raspberry Pi-based Linux tablet computer built from the ground up to be a tablet. And CutiePi has all the essential components that make that possible.
One of the best things about CutiePi it’s running Linux under the hood. Of course, you could run other Linux distros, too, like Ubuntu, or use other touches UIs since all the drivers and software are open source.
CutiePi Tablet Specs
CutiePi is based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. At the heart of CutiePi is custom designed circuit board. It’s open-source hardware with all the components necessary to make your project portable.
But what does open-source hardware means? In short, that means you can access all the detailed schematics and find where every connection goes. The CutiePi design files are all freely available under the BSD license on GitHub.
Powered by an 8-inch (1280×800) multi-touch display, a 5000 mAh battery, and a handle that also doubles as a stand, CutiePi is everything you need to start working on the Raspberry Pi.
The tablet has all the computing power of a Raspberry Pi 4, but it’s squished down, so it can fit into a slim case. On the back of the CutePi tablet, you will find a 1080p 5MP camera, speaker, and microphone.
The UI that comes with this tablet is called “CutiePi shell,” and it has many great features.
|Processor||BCM2711, Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5 GHz|
|Raspberry Pi||Compute Module 4, Wireless, 2GB Lite (CM4102000)|
|Display||8” IPS LCD (1280×800)|
|Battery||Li-Po 5000 mAh|
|Connectivity||WLAN 2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE|
|Camera||Rear-facing camera 5MP (1080p)|
|I/O ports||1x USB 2.0 Type A, 1x USB type-C (Power only), 1x micro HDMI, 1x microSD slot|
|Dimensions||206(W) x 134(H) x 14(D) mm|
|OS||Raspberry Pi OS + CutiePi shell|
One cool thing about CutiePi is that the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 inside it can be swapped out. In other words, you could upgrade it to 8GB of RAM if you want.
You can learn more about the CutiePi tablet on the project’s website.
In an interview last year, one of the CutiePi designers mentioned they wanted to build an inexpensive and truly portable Linux tablet. They first built around Compute Module 3, which worked, but it’s really slow compared to Compute Module 4.
CutiePi will not beat many Android tablets in the same price range, but it’s still a nice device. It’s got the horsepower to browse the web, watch YouTube, and play retro games. It could also be helpful as a remote SSH terminal, especially with an external keyboard.
It’s important to note that cooling will be an issue with an all-plastic enclosed case.
Regarding the shipping schedule, it’s been a roller coaster from dealing with the PC parts shortage to dealing with EU regulations. But, of course, the CutiePi team is fighting to cross the finish line and get units in people’s hands soon. The device is priced at $229.
They are probably finally going to ship either this month or next, and they’re hoping to do another preorder batch in the first quarter of next year.