The DevTerm keyboard is far too small for grownups to type on

Subjectively, speaking, as long as this keyboard is maximum as big as Nokia N810, I am good. I use a Nokia N900 still, and as a 30 something adult, it is pretty good. I am glad that there is a shift on both the sides. Having used the N900 keyboard for programming, I think this will be plenty big.

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i reckon it’s WAY bigger than even the sidekick thumb board. maybe by at least twice as much. the screen alone is 180mm wide…

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The Gemini PDA that @ashneo76 mentioned in the other thread looks really comparable to the DevTerm’s keyboard size. It has a keyboard width of 177mm.


Thank you for the comparison photo. The gemini pda is crippled by SoC. The keyboard is nice except for the somewhat finicky spacebar.

The SoC, CPU errata and the somewhat tedious flashing process are what hold it back.

In the of CPi, I hope I can swap out the module for a more powerful RPi down the road.

CM4 changed the interface, CM3 may be the last rpi compatible with DevTerm :face_with_head_bandage:

Just a bit of copy pasting, but;

RPi 4:
Broadcom BCM2711
Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
Broadcom VideoCore VI 500 MH GPU

CPi 3.14:
ARM64-bit Dual-core Cortex-A72 @ 1.8GhZ and ARM64-bit Quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.4Ghz
Mali-T864 4 core GPU

A few frequencies are missing re: RAM and GPU, and the information isn’t like for like, but where it counts it is.

I posted something similar in this thread.

But basically, the A-0604 is plenty powerful compared to a rPi4, and arguably the GPU is better too.


Thanks for the comparison. This cleared up some things for me

I like the CPi is based on only ARM hardware and that the GPU has an open driver in the kernel: Building Panfrost

In that regards, I would rather have the CPi instead of having to rely on qualcomm.

Now, my only concern is if the keyboard has a backlight.

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I highly doubt you would find any kind of standard illumination. I never EVER use the backlighting on my Barocco MD770 with bluetooth support. If I do turn it on, it is only to show off and I’m gonna use USB mode cuz it will kill the battery in like 20m, and that’s just a keyboard,… If they do manage to implement some kind, I can only imagine that EL sheets would be used due to their extremely low power draw. All that said… There is a reasons I have such a keyboard… and portability is one of them. Perfect pair to the DT, i feel personally.

I wanted to check this out for myself so I made a very rough print of the keybed and a few keycaps from the models.

Transatlantic currency and my fat index finger for scale.

After sitting with this print and pretending to type on it for a minute, I’m pretty happy with the scale and can’t wait for mine to arrive :slight_smile:


W0W it really does look like a thumb board next to your fat finger.


Er… thanks. I think.


i had assumed it was going to be a thumb board from the start


@SakaSal : yeah, i had assumed it to be about that size judging by comparison to the 18650s they had rendered.
@Steve_Engledow : Preem job on the test print and comparison. I appreciate ya sharing your findings.


I’m not gonna cancel my order, but boy oh boy am I wondering why new-device developers seem to be so allergic to making a useful machine. I also invested early in both Astrohaus products and was disappointed in their crappy battery life and unnecessary decision to use out-of-date and sloooooooooooooow e-paper tech.

I am honestly struggling to come up with any explanation why this device had to be so small, or at a minimum why making it so tiny is better than making it usable on a human scale. Maybe it’s all price-related, but in a world where I can get a totally functional human-sized keyboard for $30, how much would it have cost to make something with a reduced number of adult-sized keys?

Much of this project looks great, which is why the ridiculously lilliputian size of the actual machine is so brutally disappointing.


That’s why I got this bad bluetooth boy

Also got a twiddler3

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Yowza meowza McSnee, certainly no one is making you purchase a Devterm under duress I would hope! Please blink twice if you’re being held hostage! I myself think a lot of us see this project as a sort of Gameboy-like retro gaming device on some major steroids. So, I feel this size and form factor is cohesive with the theme of what the device is. I can also see myself using it to run several different networking administration and management tools on this devices as long as the screen is legible. I’ll ping the shit out of you homie! The device is also marketed as being hackable and open source. You’re always more then welcome to take your system apart and perform any manner of modifications to it. That even appears to be the whole point of the device for some of our cohorts on the forum.

Finally some of us just like small cute things, maybe it’s just not for you my guy.


I honestly don’t know what to make of your post.

Were you expecting a 11-inch… no wait- 14-inch linux machine with 8 to 12 swappable 18650 li-ion batteries, has a printer at the side jutting out, modular enough to be hackable and you can build one like a model kit? If size you’re looking for, apologies my good friend but this product isn’t for you.

Perhaps… if the keyboard size is your primary main beef with the devterm, Novena should be better in your use case?

The keyboard on the devterm is already looking good, despite some compromises were made. Reducing the key count to accommodate these ‘adult’ hands will detriment the function of the keyboard even further. Last time I checked, UMPCs were a thing and now they’re coming back in recent years. All of those have miniscule keys compared to what you get on the devterm. This one’s closer to Psions or the HP Jornadas, and those are excellent, size-wise!

The devterm have game buttons too, so I don’t think they can upscale it further as that would just make it more unwieldy. Maybe an alternative keyboard with no game buttons in future? that would make those who complained about the keyboard size to be happy. Either way it’s too early to tell, so we’ll just see what’s in store for us in future.


shrug. I thought I was pretty clear.

Not sure where you got literally any of that from my post. I just wanted it to have a keyboard that would comfortably accommodate my hands. Based on the early renders, that seemed plausible. After seeing the assembled version next to a regular keyboard? Less so.

Glad you like it! No, for real–I am. I’m glad there are folks for whom this is providing exactly what they’re looking for. And hey–maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and this won’t be miserable for speed typing!

… Not for nothing, but so what? Is your point here “You should be happy because this is bigger than something even smaller than it is”?

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Also… if you don’t like it… use a full size?


I was referring to your conundrum about the product, that is all. More to come on this below.

I was going by what you went on with your earlier post regarding the keyboard not able to accomodate your hands. But since it is your hands were referred to here, I have no clue on what size fits you the most. However, we do KNOW that the devterm keyboard won’t be suitable in your hands (as mentioned by your earlier post), and that’s your primary concern. So being a good samaritan I was, I pointed you to a similar modular product, the Novena.

which brings us to the next one:

Let’s be honest here: Nobody is forcing you buying the devterm, in fact my reply (see above) was for you to find an alternative product. Also, why waste your money on something that is going to disappoint you in the future? If you are going to tinker with it (make a bigger keyboard) or use a bigger keyboard attached to it, sure!

But your earlier post never mentioned as such; it was poignant, and profoundly evident in your disappointment of the devterm. But for the sake of clarity, let us take a few steps backward and fix this before it goes downhill any further:

1 - You’re disappointed with the product. we get that. Discussions were given in this thread on the alternative keyboards, or you can just always cancel your preorder. Even the original poster of this thread acknowledged as such; keyboard is subjective, it has fans and detractors alike.

2 - If you’re still continuing with the preorder then great! Chin up and see the things we can do, as a community on how to get this device better.

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