While smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, consumers are now leaning towards compact desktops and laptops for their workflow. As a result, we have seen how innovative startups have created unique computer systems in different form factors. Now, we have the “Abacus,” which essentially comes in a computer-in-a-keyboard form factor and is designed to be portable, affordable, and even biodegradable.
The Abacus: ultra-compact computer on a keyboard
Designed by a young England-based engineer Joon Sang Lee, the Abacus is primarily a combination of a keyboard and trackpad with which you can magnetically connect a modular computer system for a complete PC experience.
At first glance, it looks like a version of the Raspberry Pi 400, which also has a computer layout on a keyboard. However, unlike the Pi 400, users don’t need an external mouse to take advantage of the Abacus, as there is already a built-in multi-touch trackpad on board.
Speaking of internals, the system includes Intel’s X86 quad-core processor and comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux and Windows 10 out of the box. You can store up to 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and up to 128GB of onboard memory for storing files. It also features Intel’s 8th generation HD graphics memory and can output 4K content at 30FPS.
The Abacus comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a MicroSD slot, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In terms of connectivity, the device also has high-speed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
So, as you can imagine, it is quite a powerful device that can easily handle your daily work and it is also ultra-portable. You can simply put your entire setup (detachable computer system and keyboard-trackpad module) in your backpack or plug it into any monitor or TV to get started right away. Additionally, you can disconnect the keyboard module from the system to work remotely, as the keyboard remains wirelessly connected to the computer module.
In addition to being compact and ultra-portable, the Abacus is also an environmentally friendly product. The module housings are made of a biodegradable thermoplastic made from tapioca roots, residual cornstarch and sugar cane. As a result, the Abacus has 65% less carbon footprint compared to its contemporaries.
Price and availability
The Abacus comes priced at £ 98 (~ Rs 8,860) and is currently available at Pentaform Official Website, which is the startup of Lee. Currently, according to the developers, the device is sold out. However, the team is working to resupply them. In the meantime, you can reserve the Abacus computer at a discounted price of £ 89 (~ Rs 8,050).
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