Suggestions for PocketCHIP II


My suggestions for chip is:

Better Keys (A new designed keyboard).
Better screen (one with more resolution).
More memory
Second SD card slot
Built in speaker (Piezo speakers and cell phone speakers are available)
Better documentation
Compartment for chip (If you have an empty case, why not make a compartment to hold SD cards, thumb drives, etc?)
A few more Apps on the desktop screen.
Bigger LIPO battery.


Half the stuff you mention is PocketCHIP related. In that case, it’s pretty trivial to pull down the PocketCHIP schematic and layout and modify it to your hearts content to support a bigger screen. The batter can be bigger already, just need a different case.

Why is everyone fascinated with SD Card Slots? Is this for loading the CHIP OS onto or for expanded storage. If it’s the latter, then I’m okay with that, but if it’s the former, then I have issues. The SD Card is the one point of annoyance I have with my Raspberry Pi’s, my PineA64, and my Uncle’s UDOO.

In my Raspberry Pi project, I specifically gave up on Raspbian and went with a custom Yocto build to get me a read only filesystem so I don’t destroy the SD Card when it’s installed in my car.

Documentation issues can be easily resolved by submitting pull requests to:


Why is everyone fascinated with SD slots?

If you had an extra SD slot, you could have more portability and until you do that, you are stuck with a USB wire or an active internet connection.

It is like having an extra hard drive.
Not having it is like being held back.

Did you ever want to boot from an SD card? Or do you want to be stuck with what is in internal memory and when you fill it up, do you want to be constantly erasing it so that you can fit something else on there?

In order for Chip to be practical, you have to have something I’m going to use every day so you have to compete against the big boys.


(I’ve placed this into PocketCHIP category)

I do agree that a different keyboard could be cool, because i’ve been using this one for about 3 days, and you can’t really type fast on it, well kinda, but still. It is true however that you can get a case and have that as a “new keyboard”. I was however surprised that i could type on the keyboard without actually seeing the keyboard, which is quite impressive in my opinion. But as i said for longer typing it’s not ideal. I will probably be using my USB keyboard, as soon as i get around to changing the keyboard layout :blush:.
For bigger battery you can get an external battery with 8000mAh, which should last long enough, as tested here:

If you want more apps check this out:

You can put in your own speaker, although i do agree that having one on it, would be much easier :smiley:


It needs a stylus holder or slot. Maybe you can build one around an existing manufacturer: Kindle, Nintendo, another third party, etc.


You can just drill a hole, like this:


Why not just get a bigger SD card? They’re available in 128GB, and I don’t see a way to use that up in a CHIP.


I went through this with Amiga. I had an Amiga 500 and the internal workbench disk would get full and I had several work bench disks but it was the constant drag the disc out and put new stuff on it that bothered me because you had to constantly copy files from another drive to your operating system disk.

128 GB is not a lot of memory because companies are selling 2-6 Terabyte drives. Another thing is that if you start using a card for the operating system, you would have to change it someone comes out with another operating system or if someone uses another version of Linux possibly. With an external SD card, you just swap it out.

People use RAID operations in the home computers where several hard drives copy the same data to keep from losing the data.

What do we do for Hard Drive support? Will there be hard drive support?


I sure hope you are trolling…

If I were to try and take you seriously this would be my reply:

It just sounds like you are listing big words to sound cool but actually don’t make any sense for the product in question. You want to run your OS from a card but RAID your storage?!

When someone sells you a $9 computer the size of a small chocolate bar they don’t exactly need advice on how to make it more expensive.

When they take it even further and professionally put together a platform that has all the basics to get you up and running in minutes and on the go, it’s not exactly news to them that there are bigger batteries, better screens and other fancy accessories on the market.

Would you buy a $350 UMPC that runs Linux? I very much doubt it…

On the other hand we paid a mere $49 on a portable development platform which you can modify in any way you wish, including adding some of the nonsense you mentioned.

But I guess you already knew all this.



Personally, I’d rather have header pins for sound / mike / composite video than a 1/8th inch jack. I like that CHIP has built-in storage, but add-on removable storage is always good. That can be in the form of a microSD card or a second USB port (so you don’t need a hub for two things).


You can connect a hard drive through USB if you really want to, but seriously, the CHIP has a single core 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. I really don’t see much use for more than like 8 or 16 GB of storage. Also you can use those tiny USB flash drives, where part of PCB is inside the connector.

  1. Better keyboard. pg down, pg up, home, end 2 alt (very important in other language)
    all chars for programmers.
    numbers key is not necessary.

  2. better way to using power.
    for example 12V car accumulator, bicycle alternator, solar panel

  3. extended wifi antena. sometimes i need better antena,( yaga?)

  4. sleep mode in chip for better energy plan.

  5. Do You remember OQO transmeta komputer? good idea for usb cable (many plugin)
    one big cable for many different devices. For example ethernt 3 usb, and power?

  6. Heavy Duty case or case+solar panel.

  7. meybe small e-ink screen for some function
    percentage of power battery, time and date, etc. this information is not neccesary on small screen.

generaly POWER and some small upgrade functionality. Smallest device.
meybe add addition batterry similar (magnes second disk, using second battery GOLE F1 5 Inch)


Because when using SD card (as boot media) it is extremely easy to image (backup, copy, write) system. Just turn the system off. Transfer the card to any PC (with cardreader). Image (backup, copy, write, edit content, whatever) the card/filesystem and you are done.

Now please explain how to backup C.H.I.P. image. It is nearly impossible. AFAIK to do so you would need to implement such function yourself (as in code it in C) into u-boot. Not very convinient huh?

This is also related to boot process. Right now (prove me if I am wrong) you cant even modify kernel cmdline without reflashing NAND memory. And oh - C.H.I.P.'s built inn tools to do so (mtd-write) are broken as for now and do not work.

So yes - not having SD card slot (one, single for root filesystem, ditch the NAND already) it is #1 problem with C.H.I.P. in my humble opinion.


See here: Pocketchip Unlabelled Key Combos

“By holding [fn] + [a direction] you can do the following:
[fn] + up = page up
[fn] + down = page down
[fn] + left = home
[fn] + right = end
[fn] + backspace = delete”



The reality is that someone reviewed Pocketchip and said it is hard to use:

Pocket CHIP in its current state requires a bit of learning and a bit of trial and error. Unlike CHIP’s stock firmware, it is fairly complex to install apps, games and other utilities. If you aim to buy this thing which is currently only available for a pre-order due to demand, you may be slightly disappointed to find out that installing games or emulators on it can be fairly hard to do.

The users who want the product improved should be listened to if you want Pocket Chip to be more widely accepted.



Boot from a tiny USB key and all problems are solved?
@Chuckt as you can see, PocketCHIP is popular enough that it’s still in preorder phase. When NTC will be able to keep up with the orders in time, maybe they will think about improving it and attracting even more buyers. Now it would make no sense, since there are already too many who want it :slight_smile:


The same thing can be said for fast food. There are people in line but not managing the product better or making improvements is basically how fast food chains go from a store making $2 million a year to running the store in the ground. Your competition, the Raspberry Pi already came out with several revisions of the Raspberry Pi. There are expectations and in a sense credit was given in the kickstarter and when expectations are not met, it is a mistake to give more credit to whom credit is due. It happens the same way in business; someone can’t pay their bills so you keep selling to them and then it becomes an amount that isn’t paid.

One of my electronic internet friends says, “How long have you had it (Chip)?” And then I tell them the truth. They ask me if I can resize the size of the Commodore 64 on the screen and I have to say, “I don’t know.” When you buy a brand new system, customers expect support to be slow and they expect there to be a lack of software. I’ve experienced the same kinds of problems with the Amiga as I was told I would have to wait a year for a third party disk drive.

In business, managers might not be able to control what happens but they can control how they respond by managing differently.


CHIP is in a totally different price range than RPi. You just can’t expect it to have every feature that the latter has. And it doesn’t need to. Now compare it to RPi Zero and you will see that we actually have more and better features…


Hello there,

I would agree that the CHIP beats the RPi zero. As for boot storage, I prefer micro-SD only because it makes flashing/backing up/updating a lot easier, and more expandable if you want more onboard storage, and I’m imaging that a CHIP with just a SD slot could be cheaper than one with 4GB soldered on.

That said, I totally get the turnkey mentality of having the computer out of the box. So for me, it would be nice to see two models, one with onboard flash, and one with a SD slot instead. I’m not interested in having both on on board.

The only other thing I sort of want is onboard ethernet, but I can’t see that happening with the form factor and keeping a low price point.



Hello there,

Oh, and as excited as I was for the Pine64, they have just sat while I’ve been using my CHIP. So I guess the other thing would be multi-core or 64 bit…but I’m really only thinking embedded use (weather station, openhab, etc.)