An individual who enjoys electronics as a hobby has created a laptop-like device called the PotatoP that is capable of running for up to two years before needing to be recharged. The PotatoP was designed to use low-power components, along with a 12,000 mAh battery pack and a modest collection of solar cells. The device’s creator, Andreas Eriksen, hopes to expand the project in the future to provide infinite battery life and a larger screen.
The idea for the PotatoP came about when Eriksen became frustrated with his existing laptop always running out of battery. The device he created is intended for use with small programming projects that do not require powerful hardware. As long as the screen is clear and readable, and the keyboard is functional, low power consumption is preferred.
To accomplish this, the PotatoP design uses the SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP developer board as its “motherboard.” The board features the Ambiq Apollo3 SoC, which is known for its energy efficiency. It is powered by the Arm Cortex-M4F and uses less than six micro-Amps per MHz. The board also has 384KB RAM and 1MB flash memory, as well as several interfaces and connectivity options despite its small size.
Another important component of the PotatoP is the Sharp Memory in Pixel display LS044Q7DH01. This monochrome display has 320 x 240 pixels and a diagonal size of 4.4 inches. Although Eriksen would prefer a larger display, he has found this one to be readable in well-lit conditions. The lack of a backlight contributes to the device’s power efficiency.
Despite the sacrifices made in processing power and display size, the PotatoP’s creator wanted to ensure that it had a good typing experience.