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I'd like to build a homebrewed tablet-style device that can run an Ubuntu-ish OS pretty well. The easy solution for a DIY computer is the Raspberry Pi, since it has reasonable power and supports myriad customization, but it's too chunky for what I'm planning. Here's my wish-list of requirements:

  1. Thin overall architecture - I'm thinking about 1/2" thick at most, and less is better
  2. Around 1.2GHz processor or better - I want it to be able to run a light GUI with good responsiveness, not having to constantly wait for input to get recognized
  3. 2GB of RAM would be great, obviously more is better
  4. Micro SD slot for OS (onboard memory for the OS would be fine too, as long as I can expand it with a card)
  5. Ability to attach a simple touchscreen - I can flex on this, if it can run a screen but can't do touch then I'll deal with it
  6. At least one free micro USB port - I'm flexible on power options, as long as it can be charging/powered while having a free port
  7. Built-in wifi (preferably also Bluetooth)
  8. HDMI-out would be a bonus but isn't required
  9. Low-budget is preferred since I'll be building a lot of it myself, but I'm willing to spend a couple hundred if something really fits the bill

I'm expecting to have to do a lot of modification myself, and I'll be designing my own case (unless there's a commercial one that suits my needs). Pretty much what I'm hoping for is a slimmer RPi with the same power, just fewer ports. I know there's the Pi Zero W but its significantly reduced power and memory are too constricting. What other options are there?

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    Have you looked into Orange Pi boards? Small and cheap is going mean less RAM though, from what I've looked at. Orange Pi boards do have several other features that might meet your reqs that a Raspberry doesn't. – user1691 Jan 10 '18 at 17:50
  • Besides thickness, do you care about footprint? – JMY1000 Jan 10 '18 at 21:47
  • @SiXandSeven8thsI actually wasn't aware of the Orange Pi but a quick search has me optimistic about that or similar solutions, thank you for the recommendation. – thanby Jan 10 '18 at 22:52
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    @thanby You could just desolder and remove them if that's all that's killing you. – JMY1000 Jan 10 '18 at 23:45
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    @thanby, no. Unless you screw it up. But you seem like you might know what you are doing :) – user1691 Jan 11 '18 at 14:11
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Asus Tinker Board

Thin overall architecture - I'm thinking about 1/2" thick at most, and less is better

Around 1.2GHz processor or better - I want it to be able to run a light GUI with good responsiveness, not having to constantly wait for input to get recognized

2GB of RAM would be great, obviously more is better

Micro SD slot for OS (onboard memory for the OS would be fine too, as long as I can expand it with a card)

Ability to attach a simple touchscreen - I can flex on this, if it can run a screen but can't do touch then I'll deal with it

At least one free micro USB port - I'm flexible on power options, as long as it can be charging/powered while having a free port

Built-in wifi (preferably also Bluetooth)

HDMI-out would be a bonus but isn't required

Low-budget is preferred since I'll be building a lot of it myself, but I'm willing to spend a couple hundred if something really fits the bill

Tinker Board has

  1. 1.8Ghz Quad Core CPU
  2. 2GB DDR3 RAM
  3. DSI MIPI connection for a display
  4. Micro USB for power
  5. SD 3.0 microSD card slot
  6. Built in WiFi (and Bluetooth)
  7. HDMI
  8. Priced around $60 on Amazon

I can't find the size specs, but a closer look at the links might tell you that. As mentioned in the comments, the USB ports and and such could be de-soldered without issue to give you that slim profile you are looking for.

Other options to look at would be the Orange Pi models, depending on your specific use.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've found out the hard way that the Tinker Board has pretty limited support, while the Orange Pi has comparable models with some hardware advantages and much broader support. I might give the OPi a shot if the Tinker Board doesn't do what I need. Thanks for the suggestions! – thanby Jan 15 '18 at 13:09

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