Who said technology was expensive? Meet CHIP- a fully functional computer, complete with built-in WiFi, all for just $9. Listed on Kickstarter, the dev board-looking device has specifications at par with standard traditional computers: 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage and Bluetooth to connect cordless peripherals.
Its Kickstarter description says CHIP is a computer for students, teachers, grandparents, children, artists, makers, hackers, and inventors. It includes a fully integrated battery power circuit that allows you to make your project mobile with just a 3.7v LiPo battery.
CHIP can run a full Linux desktop and do all what a normal computer does; you can hook up power, run a video cable to a display, surf with Chromium, chat in Pidgin, or watch videos in VLC using the 2.3 x 1.5 inches tiny computer.
CHIP uses the gut of a cheap Chinese tablet- an Allwinner SoC, which is powerful yet cheap and is installed in numerous bargain-priced devices on sites like Aliexpress or Geekbuying.
Its built-in WiFi and Bluetooth allows you to connect to the Internet and attach a keyboard and mouse wirelessly.
CHIP is open source and offers a familiar experience. You can connect CHIP to any type of screen through its built-in VGA or HDMI. You can create word documents, presentations, surf the web, send emails, watch videos, and also play games and create music through peripherals.
One of the pre-loaded programs- Scratch – is an easy to learn language that teaches the basics of programing by making stories, games, and animations.
It can also be turned into a handheld PC that looks like a BlackBerry device. Dubbed, PocketCHIP, it gives CHIP a 4.3-inch touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, and 5-hour battery – in a case small enough to fit in your back pocket.
The cheap tag is only for the basic configuration, if you want a VGA or HDMI port, you’ll need to spend $10 and $15 extra respectively. The PocketCHIP costs $40 more.
The cheapest dev board listed on Kickstarter won’t be seeing the light of the day anytime before May, 2016 when it begins shipping.