Clockwork, makers of the Gameboy-esque GameShell, are back with a new mobile product aimed even more squarely at lovers of retro tech. Their DevTerm is a self-contained computer powered by a low-energy CPU or Raspberry Pi aimed directly at folks who are looking for a low-profile, extremely portable computer for coding, sysadmin work, or writing.
The whole thing looks like an unholy union between a cyberpunk luggable and an electric typewriter, especially considering the two knobs on the sides. You have a choice of a ClockworkPi mainboard running an ARM64-bit Quad-core chip or a Raspberry Pi CM3+ Lite. You can also add up to 4 GB of memory. The computer runs Linux and includes a number of ports, including two USB-A ports and a UART port for expanding the device’s input and output. You also get a 6.8-inch screen and a mechanical keyboard with arrow keys and a clever pointing device below the screen.
What is this thing for? Well, as the name suggests, it’s a development tool or a light system for analysing servers and the like. An optional thermal printer add-on lets you print out your findings instantly onto rolls of compatible paper or thermal stickers. You can even stick together a few printouts to make an A4 sheet, although at that point you might as well just buy a regular printer.
The whole thing is honestly silly but fun. At $US250 ($343) you’ve really got to be dedicated to the idea of minimalist computing to really get behind the product, but as a dedicated coding, writing, or sysadmin computer it could be very cool. While you won’t be able to fold this thing up, what you lose in portability you gain in usability thanks to the low-power processors and form factor.
Now for the bad news: This guy is shipping in April 2021, so it will take half a year for your Neuromancer Ono-Sendai deck dreams to come true.