A step-by-step Guide to Building Your own DIY Tablet Computer With a Raspberry Pi

Of course, these days, there are plenty of tablet computers on retail shelves. However, you could too easily find yourself struggling to decide between these options. Perhaps few of them quite meet enough of the right criteria for you — in terms of specifications, price, or both.

Thankfully, as MUO reports, it is possible to make a touchscreen Android tablet for less than $100 — not least as the famously customizable Raspberry Pi would be at the centre of it all. Here is how you could get started with this project…

Prepare the parts you will need

What are those parts? They include a Raspberry Pi (naturally) and the official Raspberry Pi 7-inch touchscreen display, which can be bought from The Pi Hut’s Raspberry Pi Store.

Other pieces it is recommended you source for the project include a 16GB microSD card, an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000 charger, a 2,500mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, and an SPDT slide switch. You should also think about what case to get for the tablet.

Connect the Raspberry Pi to the touchscreen display 

It’s worth taking an ‘easy does it’ approach to assembling the tablet’s physical pieces, just so that you can more easily make sure everything works as it should.

Hence, you should start by just connecting the Pi to the display. You can power the screen with jumper wires or, if the Pi model in question is a Raspberry Pi 4, a Micro-USB power cable. You might be able to order this online in custom-made form.

Install emteria.OS

The MagPi Magazine claims that “while there have been attempts in the past to port Android, emteria.OS has been the best way to use Android on Raspberry Pi for a few years now.”

Once registering an account for emteria.OS at emteria’s website, you can download the required OS installer from the same place.

After opening this installer app, log into it using the details for the above-mentioned account and then select the Raspberry Pi hardware and SD card you are using.  

Place the Raspberry Pi and screen into the case

You have many different options for your tablet’s enclosure. There might even be too many. After all, in theory, that case could just be something made out of Lego — and this kind of case might not quite have the structural integrity that would survive, say, accidental drops.

If you have a 3D printer, you could even use that to produce housing for your tablet. However, perhaps the least fussiest option would simply be a readymade case bought online.

Build the rest of your Raspberry Pi-based tablet 

The exact steps you need to take to build this type of tablet from scratch will depend on exactly what components you will be making the device from.

However, you can use the mounting holes in the screen to affix this firmly to the housing. You can also use screws to keep the Pi itself held in the case, while hot glue is a favorable option for use in securing the battery in there as well.

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