Smallest PC achieves biggest cute factor

Carter Hurd has built some pretty cool computers. There’s the gorgeous wood and leather PC that looks like an old-timey radio. A concrete computer which… is a slab of concrete. And an entire computer hidden inside a pleasingly retro mechanical keyboard. But this mini PC build is by far the smallest and cutest he has ever undertaken.

a tiny retro pc with orange summer time clouds on the lock screen. pc is sat on a wooden desk with a plant in a pot out of focus behind it. pc is light green in colour and keys are black.
Image: carterhurd.com

How does it work?

The aesthetically pleasing outer shell is actually a Bluetooth speaker, but Carter had greater things in mind for it, so he set about hacking it into a fully functional PC.

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Carter popped the hood, pulled the space-taking speaker out, and trimmed down the PCB he found inside. He repurposed a Blackberry QWERTY keyboard and made it fit where the luscious clickety-clack retro touch buttons used to be (hope he saved those for another project).

tiny QWERTY keyboard from a Blackberry phone
God I miss my Blackberry. No, not really.

Next he replaced the dummy computer screen with a 4″ capacitive touch screen designed to work with Raspberry Pi. Custom-cut thermal forming sheeting was then added on top to give the curved retro “dome” look Carter wanted for the screen.

Raspberry Pi and wires stuffed into the base of the tiny PC
Like a glove

The Raspberry Pi powering everything is hidden in the base underneath the Blackberry keyboard. Working with the Pi proved tricky in this instance because the GPIO pins needed to be removed to fix on a right-angle header. Space is tight in tiny builds like this, so any hack is worth a go!

world's smallest cyberdeck pc
Rear view

Can I interest you in the smallest iMac I’ve ever seen?

Carter’s creation reminds me of YouTuber Michael Pick’s Raspberry Pi 4-powered mini iMac, dubbed “the world’s smallest” at the time.

world's smallest mac pc on a desk next to a can of red bull for scale. The red bull is as tall as the pc. the tiny keyboard is being held by a pair of human hands
No banana for scale this time

Now these things obviously aren’t designed to be the most ergonomic PCs. They’re more decorative. Like Shih-Tzu puppies versus working sleigh-pulling huskies. So if a big, booming, powerful gaming PC is the husky in this analogy, what would you do with this adorable Shih-Tzu of a computer? I think a desktop weather display or calendar could be cute. Drop your suggestions in the comments below. And I happen to own an aged Shih-Tzu so you can rest assured there is no hate here.

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Ashley Whittaker

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