Raspberry Pi Tablet Tutorial

Learn to make your very own tablet device! Powered by the raspberry Pi, this project is actually very simple to follow and could spark a brain wave of possible other raspberry pi tablet projects you could get up to. If that’s the case, I look forward to seeing them in the future. In my previous post I referred to this project as my #funProject, this is the unavailing of it….

Please view the PDF version of this tutorial if you wish for a more illustrative guide.

Featured in this guide:

*Note the capacitive touchscreen I used in this tutorial was bought as a bundle from chalkboard electronics as part of their 10 – inch touchscreen LCD bundle.

Preparing your raspberry pi:

Items needed for this part:

Raspberry Pi board, SD card, USB mouse and keyboard, HDMI cable.

If you don’t have one already, what are you waiting for? Purchase yourself a raspberry pi. You can buy one from a number of sites now, but I suggest farnell. Select the model B type board, however by the time you read this there maybe some model A boards on sale.

So you have your Pi in close sights, let’s get this baby fired up and ready to use.

First step; Installing an operating system for your pi to use, I recommend Rasbian ‘wheezy’ for beginners or even enthusiast. It’s nice and simple OS to use and fires up in no time. You can download the image file from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and select Rasbian “wheezy”. There are various tutorials online to help you with this is you get stuck.

Second step; Once finished, you can follow the tutorial on the SD card setup on http://elinux.org/RPI_EASY_SD_Card_Setup ; make sure to carefully follow the steps related to your operating system. The tutorial basically shows how to copy the image files of the OS you just downloaded to your SD card for the Pi to use.

At last; Now you have your SD card ready, plug in your Pi into an HDMI viewing device, setup your keyboard and mouse and slot you SD card into your PI, boot it up and watch the credits roll. You’ll see what I mean…..

DISCLAIMER NOTE: During the first boot of your Pi with Rasbian, it will run configuration utility, from the options select “Start desktop on boot”. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT for later.

In no time, you should see the Rasbian OS booted up. To be honest you have the hard part done.

Connecting TouchScreen to your RaspberryPI:

OK, now for the fun part.

This section will need:

  1. Power adapter (2V needed at least, best 5V)
  2. miniUSB cable
  3. LVDS cable with attached miniUSB connector
  4. HDMI – LVDS converter (PCB)
  5. LCD panel
  6. RasberryPi board with SD card installed
  7. microUSB cable to power RaspberryPi

Follow these steps:

  • Connect the HDMI – LVDS converter (PCB) to your rasPi board via the HDMI slot.
  • Connect microUSB cable from the raspPi to the HDMI – LVDS converter (PCB).
  • Attach LVDS cable to the PCB board.
  • Connect microUSB cable between the rasPi USB port and the small blue board, which is part of the LVDS cable. (please be carefully)
  • Connect the other end of the LVDS cable to the back of the touchScreen.
  • Connect the power cable into the HDMI – LVDS (PCB) board.
  • Turn Power on.

The raspberryPi will now boot and you will be able to immediately use the touchScreen as your mouse to operate. ENYOY!!!!

raspberry pi tablet

That’s it; you have completed the necessary steps to build your own raspberryPi tablet. Neat isn’t it? Go fourth and explore what other people are doing with their pi and come up with some ideas to enhance your new tablet.

18 responses to “Raspberry Pi Tablet Tutorial

    • Hi Ajay, this current device showed in the pictures runs the rasp pi Raspbian “wheezy” UI. It can play music and watch videos, even surf the net. There is a noticeable difference in speed (system slows down) when surfing the net and doing all these task. “wheezy” comes packed with standard desktop features so check it out.

  1. What kind of LCD touchscreen did you use for this? It seems to me that there are very few touchscreens compatible with the Raspberry Pi, which makes the price of a Raspberry Pi-compatible screen bigger than 3″ astronomical.

  2. for what does the mini usb cable exist for? i can’t see where it goes…is it required? also, can i just plug the battery pack? will the PCB not work?

    • Sangrok,

      the mini-usb cable exist to connect from the raspPi to the HDMI – LVDS converter. (transfer power from pi to display). In other words, an connect from the raspberry pi to the touch-screen display. It is required using the method I used.
      All equipment listed on my list in the tutorial is required.

      … if you choose to plug the battery pack and not the power adapter then both the pi and the display will work.

      I will actually post an update on how to use the battery pack, stay tuned.

      Hope this makes sense? 🙂

  3. Hi! I am very interested in building something like this and I was wondering if the touchscreen case is big enough to hold the raspberry pi and the other components inside?

    • Hi David,
      You touch-screen case isn’t big enough to hold the raspberry pi and other components.
      You would have to fit or build your own casing for this…
      something actually, I’m looking to do. Currently, I’m sourcing to create a case
      using a 3D printer.

  4. Hello,
    Thanks for the wonderful post. I am working to create tablet using raspberry-pi. But facing few troubles:

    1) Where to find the screen with the above specification in India.
    2) How to code the raspberry pi for GSM module. I am not getting where to find the console to write up AT commands which will control GSM module.

    Please help me to find the solution. I am working to submit it as a major project in my college.

    Waiting for your reply.

    Prateek Sancheti

  5. Hey there,

    Just wondering how would I calibrate the screen so my touches are more accurate?
    Also I’ve noticed the LVDS board gets very hot very quick…any way to combat this? I feel like it’s gonna overheat and fry…

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