Some hardware hacks only exist as a way to prove they’re actually possible. Such is the case with this ‘Computer Mouse’ that was designed, 3D-printed, and assembled by YouTube’s Electronic Grenade. It’s a fully working portable computer that’s smaller than even the thinnest laptops, but at the same time infinitely less convenient to use.
The buttons, sensor, and motherboard from another optical mouse were transplanted into a custom designed 3D-housing that was large enough to also accommodate a rechargeable 500 mAh battery, a tiny Bluetooth keyboard that can retract inside, and a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer.
The use of a Raspberry Pi Zero W is one of the many challenges that make it hard to actually be productive with this tiny computer, as it runs on a single-core, 1GHz processor with just a half-gigabyte of RAM. In other words, it’s no speed demon. The tiny keyboard isn’t for touch-typists, but it doesn’t seem impossible to use, as anyone who had a smartphone before auto-correcting software keyboards existed could attest to.
The biggest challenge might be that screen. Sure, it’s an OLED with 16-bit colour and lovely contrast levels, but it’s just an inch-and-a-half in size with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. Even the most basic smartwatches can display more pixels than that, but they rely on custom operating systems tailored to small screens. This portable computer still runs an OS with folders and windows navigated by a teeny-tiny cursor. Will I be trading in my comparatively bulky MacBook for one of these? Nope, but I bet it runs Doom just fine.