Raspberry Pi 3 Slim is the thinnest usable computer you can make

JC Torres - Aug 4, 2017, 4:01 am CDT
Raspberry Pi 3 Slim is the thinnest usable computer you can make

If console makers can create slim versions of their hulking gaming machines, why can’t computer makers do that too? Well, some do, but they have nothing on this computer that is only as thick as a few stacks of credit cards. You shouldn’t be surprised that no computer OEM is crazy enough to do that. Fortunately, the ever so creative, persistent, and insane N O D E has done it for the rest of us. Introducing the Raspberry Pi 3 Slim, which is really a fully functional computer that can almost fit in your wallet.

There is already a pretty slim and small computer in the form of the Raspberry Pi Zero (and its “W” model), but it is so underpowered that it is close to being a simple controller. In contrast, the Raspberry Pi 3 is a lot more capable, especially with the right components as seen in our pi-top review. It is already small by most single-board computer (SBC) standards, not that much larger than a credit card. It is, however, not as thin as it can be.

N O D E set out to fix that problem. Not without work and sacrifices, of course. That practically meant removing everything that sticks out of the board, which practically means the full sized USB ports, the HDMI port, and even the GPIO pins. he does retain the micro USB for power and the underside for the microSD card. He does solder two other micro USB ports to make up for the lack of most ports.

Like many such hacks, you’ll need to 3D print your own case. Especially considering all RPi cases are thicker than the board itself. One needs to make sure, however, that there is enough ventilation for the more powerful but also notoriously hotter RPi 3 processor.

Reducing the RPi 3 Slim’s size unavoidably reduces its functionality as well. Nevermind the lack of hackable GPIO pins, the Slim doesn’t even have any video output. But exactly because of that, plus the fact that you can still swap in any OS you might need, makes the Raspberry Pi 3 Slim even better for headless (display-less) uses.


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