So I would like to have a laptop-esque setup with my rpi. I have my pi, my keyboard, and I want to buy a small USB monitor along with an external battery pack with USB ports. My question is to make this portable can I power a powered USB hub along with the rpi and USB only monitor off this battery. If not is there anyway I could do this with something else?

Thanks, and here's a link to the pack.


2 Answers 2


It should be possible with nearly any USB-battery-bank. What you need to calculate is the runtime you can get with such battery. The RasPI (Model B) normally consumes about 600-700mA. With the battery mentioned by you it's about 15h runtime without any accessories. Check the comsumtion of your USB monitor. A quick search on google gave me one that consumes up to 9W (1800mAh @5Volts). Given that and 250mAh for mouse and keyboard, your runtime would be around 4h. Check if this would fit your needs.

  • You can increase the battery life by down clocking the Pi to 500mhz - Then it will never get close to 600ma. Use a suitably selected battery- not just any alkaline. For example rechargeable sanyo Eneloop /Eneloop XX or some other Lithium battery backs like used in Mobile phones.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 9:50
  • I don't think the problem in this case is the PI... It's definitly the monitor.
    – Mose
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 9:57
  • Yea that is true. He would have to use a LED screen instead that is much more efficient than the USB screens designed for AC powered devices.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 10:14

Have you looked at the Atrix Lapdock? It's an add-on for a Motorola phone that turned it from phone to essentially a laptop. It has an internal rechargeable battery, 11" screen, HDMI, USB, mouse, keyboard. Sounds like exactly what you want. Powers the Pi for at least 6 hours. Several people have used them. They go for around 70 quid on eBay at the moment, but they're cheaper in the US I think.

If you really want a bit of snazzy custom kit, check out the MoPi board. It takes pretty much any power input and converts it for the Pi. 8 to 10 hours on 8 AAs. With a screen and Wi-fi that time will go down, but should still be pretty respectable. What's pretty neat in this case is the ability to hot swap battery packs. Current batteries getting low? Replace the pack on the go! I loved it when my old Dell Inspiron 8100 did this, but with most laptops being much smaller and focussed on reducing weight, it's pretty much a dead feature. Oh well. The MoPi board also tells the Pi when the batteries are low so that it either shuts down nicely or prompts for new batteries.

  • MoPi looks nice, but it costs more than the Pi itself! ($37 on DigiKey) Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 9:48

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