Re: A Bit Late Now
Not really. I build a lot of specialist tools that fit in this category and while the alternatives are technically higher spec, they aren't as practical.
A Pi Zero 2W, I can run in a custom made handheld device (not retro gaming) for wifi and network related stuff...make of that what you will...with a small oled and some soldered in dongles (ethernet, extra wifi radio, serial adapter) for days...alternatives, with all the extra guff you get, like a beefy GPU you can't switch off, I might get a few hours.
It really depends on your use case though, if you absolutely have to have the processing power in your hands, then the Pi Zero 2W can be a bit weak, but if you're using it to gather data and offload it somewhere else to be processed, the Pi Zero 2W is great.
I don't really see something like a Pi Zero as a computer itself, I see it as a conduit through which I can send instructions / results from a much more power machine.
One use case I have is wifi surveys. I have my handheld Pi device (custom 3D printed case to house it, the dongles and a large battery), which is lightweight (probably about 200-300g), durable and has battery power for days that I can walk around with easily...and a beefy 24 core 64GB RAM, 1U server (that doesn't have to be in the same physical location as me, but can be if I need it to be) that crunches all the PCAP data, generates reports etc...it also provides an API that the hand held can grab useful data from that can be displayed on the 128x64 oled display while I walk around.
With the flick of a switch, it turns into a handheld, simple, network auditing tool...runs a ping sweep on the discovered subnet, grabs banners, mac addresses, broadcast traffic etc (obviously with permission from the client)...bundles it all up and sends it back to the server to be transformed into a sort of summary that is pinged to my phone with pushbullet as a PDF. The idea behind this device is that I can perform a simple scan to get a decent idea of a potential clients network, so when I rock up for the preliminary meeting to discuss my services, I can have a pretty good idea of their setup within about 2-3 minutes and give them a more accurate idea on ballpark figures etc...also, nothing shows people you know what you're doing like custom gear they've never seen that does a task in a short space of time that would take their existing network guys ages to perform.
By far the coolest feature though, is the custom app I have on my phone that gives me a UI from the server, from there, over a reverse tunnel that the handheld sets up, I can perform a whole shit load of stuff...I can do a vulnerability scan using Nessus (and various other tools), I can deploy simple services to the handheld if I need them in an emergency such as DNS, DHCP, a basic VPN server, wifi hotspot, remote shell etc etc...whatever I need to keep a network going in the event I need to remove a router or something to troubleshoot it.
It's endless really, I add to it all the time.