C.H.I.P. is the Raspberry Pi rival that's only nine dollars

By Shawn Knight ยท 13 replies
May 8, 2015
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  1. The Raspberry Pi is a heck of a deal at just $35 but now there’s a new option that significantly undercuts the foundation’s popular PCB. Meet C.H.I.P., a tiny barebones system billed as the world’s first nine dollar computer.

    Developed by Next Thing Co., this open source microcomputer is powered by a 1GHz Allwinner processor alongside 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It features both 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and uses a built-in composite output (or VGA / HDMI with an adapter) to supply video to a wide array of displays.

    There’s even an optional docking station of sorts known as Pocket C.H.I.P. that allows you to use the computer away from home.

    raspberry pi computer kickstarter tiny computer c.h.i.p. next thing

    C.H.I.P. comes with a Debian-based OS (it can run any Linux-based OS) and comes pre-installed with a handful of apps with thousands more to choose from. Unlike other hobby boards, this caters both to makers and the average Joe wanting an extremely cheap computer to surf the web, check e-mail, play games, get work done and more.

    It’s not going to set any speed records but keep in mind, it costs just nine bucks.

    Next Thing Co. has already blasted past its $50,000 Kickstarter funding goal. With 28 days remaining, they’ve already raised more than $252,000 and best yet, there are still units available at the $9 price point. For a bit more coin, you can add a battery, VGA or HDMI adapter, Pocket C.H.I.P. and more.

    The first wave of nine dollar C.H.I.P. systems are expected to ship to backers this December.

    Image via MakeZine

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    If it was available now, I'd think about it. I'm not big on investing in chances, even for only $9.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    When a computer as such fits under $50, it decimates any further price competition, as it becomes irrelevant. It is everything else that counts then:
    • power
    • capacity
    • portability
    • compactness
    • extensibility
    • compatibility
    • support.
    Try and beat Raspberry Pi in those departments, and then we will see what it is worth, but pitching it for a smaller price in that price bracket is a marketing sham.
  4. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 253   +70

    I do not agree! It all comes down to your income I guess... I would not buy one for 50$ "just for toying around" ... <10$ on the other hand is the sweet spot for me personally.

    Secondly with "10$ brains" you can start thinking about expendable uses, like guided rockets and stuff... whereas 50$ to blow up with every next try might be too expensive.

    Thirdly, this project did cut down the size of the board also quite a bit. Rasperry Pi is 85mm x 56mm vs chip is 60mm x 40mm.
  5. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    I'd like to see this up against a quad core raspberry pi as a webserver, for $9 per webserver that can run id say at minimum half what a quad core raspberry pi can run at would be amazing!

    I'd be stocking up on these bad boys like no tomorrow!
  6. This is such a "ripoff". They claim they have 9$ device, but want 20$ for shipping. So its a 29$ device, so almost as much as rpi b+.

    Classic ebay scam.
  7. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    I was looking into this Raspberry Pi stuff the other day, for what reason I do not know. Just felt like spending some money on something funny. I figured out there's a Pi 2 B. What I couldn't figure out is what I would possibly do with one. My stationary computer simply beats the point out of it, so I chose to ignore my compulsion altogether. Why are these things so popular? :p
  8. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 70   +30

    $20 shipping for that little thing. Right...
  9. avioza

    avioza TS Booster Posts: 120   +54

    They are popular because of easy access to the hardware to interact with sensors and control things. With a little python programming and a couple imported libraries, I was able to hook one up to my microscope eye piece and display what is on the slide to a TV in high definition. I can also take pictures for cataloguing specimens. (Also required piCam for this use)

    I also am setting one up as a little security system. It take a series of pictures of my from door when a magnetic switch triggers as it is opened and emails them to me while I am away.

    With some relatively inexpensive electronics and some programming knowledge, you can automate just about anything pretty easily.
    WangDangDoodle and GeforcerFX like this.
  10. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Nothing of much interest to a gamer like me. But I get your point. :)
  11. I think a lot of people are missing the point of a $9 system. This isn't ONLY for U.S. users, this will be for 3rd world users as well as educational use. The $20 in shipping costs is likely a bit exaggerated, but it was only a couple years ago R-Pi was shipping for $10-$15/unit also.
    Even still, I think the important thing to monitor in situations like this is that we're supporting a market which becomes more inexpensive but not cheap. There is a difference. Pi is Inexpensive... but it is both reliable and high in quality. A cheap system will not last. Nobody wants to see a repeat of the previously popular company E-Machine. Granted, those were full on PC's, but they were piled sky high with bloatware, unreliable HDDs, and other faulty hardware such as RAM.
    I think people waiting to see how this system turns out before buying are doing the right thing in exercising caution.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    That may be the case. But I personally have had more issues out of HP and Dell, than I have E-Machine.
  13. Technically its only $20 outside the US. only $5 inside, which is where im sure the majority of their buyers are. They noted the high price of their international shipping in the FAQ.
  14. $20 outside the US. $5 inside it.

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