07-11-2012 | Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article
You might have heard of the Raspberry Pi, or the Cotton Candy, or the Snowball. Those are, besides nice pi, candy and snow, also small Linux pc's. Most of them have an ARM chip, a small amount of memory and run some for of Linux.
This page will provide an overview of what is on the market, specs, an image, and links to the boards. It is probably not complete, and if I forgot one, please leave a comment. I think I'll be doing another overview at the end of the year.
Prices are in US dollar unless otherwise stated. It is the starting price for the cheapest model where applicable.
USB is always 2.0 unless otherwise stated.
If specs are known, I add them, (HMDI 1.4, 10/100/1000 base T ethernet), if not then it is like (HDMI, RJ-45 ethernet).
Linux (Debian, Arch, Fedora), RISC OS
allows users a single, secure point of access to all personal cloud services and apps through their favorite operating system, while delivering a consistent experience on any screen. The device will serve as a companion to smartphones, tablets, and notebook PC and Macs, as well add smart capabilities to existing displays, TVs, set top boxes and other media that supports USB mass storage."
Linux (Ubuntu), Android
Ive set up Gooseberry for one chief reason, the time the Raspberry Pi is taking to get here!
Android ICS only. Arch and Ubuntu expected.
40 UK Pounds
The Rascal is a small, open source computer that works with Arduino shields. Inside, it runs Linux, and you can program it in Python. The Rascal comes with a web-based editor and lots of examples that you can modify to make whatever you want.
I could not find any good hardware specs, if you know them, please leave them in the comments.
Android 4 ICS, Ubuntu ARM, Fedora ARM, Arch Linux ARM
129 US Dollar
CuBox Developer Platform is a highly energy efficient and miniature open source development platform for different applications, like multimedia, set-top-box, NAS, automation and other applications.
Linux (Ubuntu), Android
*designed to take advantage of existing open source software and to be a target for homebrew development and emulation. *
APC was born from our love of computers and our realization that the PC needs a fundamental redesign. The redesign that we offer is a computer that is more accessible, and more valuable, because youre not paying for functions that you dont need and wont be using.
None, a cheap china-made clone/mix of the above.
Android, Linux (Ubuntu).
$75 base price, varies where you buy it.
None, cheap china made clone/mix of the above, upgrade of the MK208
Android Jelly Bean 4.1
$60 base price, varies where you buy it.
Webshop that sells the MK808
: bn. The Chinese character signifies an origin or the beginning place; It signifies exactly what the first version of the NanoNote is: a beginning. The version of NanoNote is an ultra small form factor computing device. The device sports a 336 MHz processor, 2GB of flash memory, microSD slot, head phone jack, USB device and 850mAh Li-ion battery. It boots Linux out of the box and also boots over USB. Its targeted squarely at developers who see the promise of open hardware and want to roll their own end user experience. Its the perfect companion for open content; we envision developers turning the device into a music or video player for Ogg or an offline Wikipedia or MIT OpenCourseWare appliance. Or you can simply amaze your friends by creating an ultra small handheld notebook computer. You choose the distribution.
Linux (Debian MIPS)
*The Gecko Surfboard is one of the easiest, most energy efficient and least expensive platforms to get on the web. The Gecko Surfboard is the size of a standard keyboard but inside is a full x86 computer. *
This is an x86, so Windows, Linux, Android, BSD, Haiku, ReactOS or whatever you can hack on it.
Differs per model, these are the specs for the SlimPRO SP645 Mini PC model
Starting at 400 dollars.
The Z2 is a handheld device which was originally marketed to children for chatting on instant messenger services through wifi without the need for a costly cellphone and associated service plan.
This is the nice thing about this device, it runs Linux, and you can hack it to run Debian with FluxBox and the Dillo Webbrowser.
Here is a step by step guide to setup debian
Around 40 dollars on ebay, not in production anymore.
Trim-Slice is the first desktop computer powered by NVIDIA Tegra 2. It is a miniature fanless dual-core ARM Cortex A9 computer that provides outstanding multimedia experience.
Android, Linux (Ubuntu)
OLINUXINO is Open Source software and Open Source Hardware, low cost EUR 30 Linux Industrial grade single board computer with GPIOs capable to operate -25+85C. OLINUXINO is completely open source - including hardware and software, this means you have access to all CAD files and sources and you can reuse them for your own personal or commercial project. There are NO restrictions to manufacture and sell these board for your own use or resale.
Linux (Arch), Android, Open Embedded Linux
designed to allow standard computing features in as small a space as possible.
Varies per plug PC.
Wikipedia Article about Plug Computers