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An entire PC is packed into a keyboard with this brilliant $150 device


By TechThop Team

Posted on: 12 Aug, 2022

Pentaform, a computer company based in London, is developing the Abacus PC, a fully functional Windows 10 computer that can be mounted on a keyboard. Over $400,000 was raised on Kickstarter for the project to manufacture the $149 concept.

Abacus is similar to a stick PC, but it integrates all the components into a sleek keyboard/trackpad device, making a nod to Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum, an equally affordable and compact personal computer of the 1980s.

A screen is the only additional component needed to make this computer usable. By using its built-in HDMI port, this mini PC can support 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. 

Moreover, there is a VGA connection that allows older monitors to be used, which helps keep costs down as much as possible. 

It can even be detached from the left edge of the keyboard for easy connection to a TV, allowing you to use the keyboard from a sofa, or you can keep it attached when you use it near a monitor.

As a complete solution, the Abacus PC comes pre-installed with Windows 10, works with Microsoft Stores, and even can run Linux.

There is an Intel Atom X5-Z8350, 2-8GB of RAM, and 16-128GB of storage. A Pentaform processor can access 8GB of memory instead of the 2GB that Intel Atom processors access. It is also possible to add removable storage using a MicroSD card.

Because the Intel Atom chip the Abacus uses was first released in 2016, the computer will not be fast. It was essential to keep the price as low as possible.

Wireless connections are supported via Bluetooth 4.3 and 802.11 ac. In addition to a trackpad, there is also a speaker built into the keyboard.

The Abacus PC also features 3.5mm headphone jacks, gigabit ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and a USB-C port for power distribution. A 40-pin GPIO port allows experimenters and developers to customize the hardware.

Abacus PC cases from Pentaform are made from rigid, recycled ABS plastic sourced from ocean waste collectors. 

It is estimated that the Abacus PC uses only 31 kilowatts per year when plugged in continuously, so it is also an environmentally friendly PC.

The production of any crowdfunded product might be delayed or even prevented for unforeseen reasons. To meet demand, Pentaform says semiconductors must be secured in sufficient quantities. 

Abacus PC was launched as a Kickstarter campaign last month, and after 2 hours, the project had reached its funding goal. It is expected that the first computers will be shipped in January 2023.

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