Testing the Adafruit PyPortal touchscreen

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© Lead Image © donatos1205, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © donatos1205, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 237/2020
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Unlike other displays for the Raspberry Pi, Adafruit's PyPortal touchscreen provides an autonomous environment, including a microprocessor, sound output, and a WiFi connection.

The Raspberry Pi has a hard time with small displays because support from Raspbian is surprisingly poor. Creating and implementing suitable interfaces is difficult with a dearth of off-the-shelf programs for controlling small displays. I'm quietly confident that the PyPortal intelligent touchscreen by Adafruit is a better solution.

PyPortal (Figure 1) is a small 3.2-inch networkable resistive touch display with an integrated microprocessor [1]. At $55 (EUR59), it is not exactly cheap, but considering its components, the price seems reasonable. A correspondingly sized 3.2-inch display plus a Pi Zero W with an SD card, at about the same price, will serve as a comparison with the PyPortal configuration.

PyPortal in Detail

The screen takes up almost all of the real estate on the front, with a mounting frame and a brightness sensor on the right side. Adafruit has cut costs on the display itself. The resolution of 320x240 pixels is more suitable for 2.8-inch devices. Resistive touch technology is also a way of saving cash, but it does mean you need a stable mounting – just touching the screen is not enough, you actually have to press it.

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