Awaiting the world’s first $9 computer

Two months ago, in a moment when I had some free time to spend, I was rustling around Kickstarter’s technology section when I came upon this little fellow – the C.H.I.P $9 computer.

Produced by Next Thing Co., the device offers extraordinary performance for its price tag of just nine US dollars. Here are some of the specs:

  • built-in WiFi B/G/N which is promised to connect the minicomputer to the Internet in less than a minute

    C.H.I.P. promises to be a really cool gadget, especially considering its price. Photo credit:

  • 1GHz R8 processor (single-core)
  • 4GB of internal storage (no slot for extra SD card available)
  • 512MB of RAM
  • integrated Bluetooth 4.0
  • direct microUSB connector for power (at least 900mA current is required)
  • 1 USB port (self-powered USB hub is needed for more than one device to be connected, since the port does not provide large power capacity. Furthermore, the hub can also accommodate a USB stick for extra space)
  • TRRS (Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve) connector for audio/video output
  • bespoke operating system (based on Linux Debian and installed out-of-the-box) which can easily be re-flashed with other OS.

The words of the manufacturer…

C.H.I.P. does Computer Things! Built for WORK, PLAY, and EVERYTHING in between!

CHIP MIDI keyboard

MIDI keyboard, powerful and portable music processing device, audio speakers…I suspect I’ll be buying the MIDI soon! Photo credit:

…actually made me pretty eager to have one, so I pre-ordered the minicomputer. Drawbacks so far? Well, since to me it seemed difficult to find a composite cable for the TRRS connector, I opted for the HDMI adapter for the minicomputer, which costs $15 (almost twice as much as the C.H.I.P). I also ordered a protective case for the minicomputer at the cost of $2. Add several dollars’ amount for delivery plus a (currently unknown) tax at the Bulgarian customs and the minicomputer’s price sums up to something several times more than $9. But, to me personally, this is regular stuff and the computer itself is outrageously low-priced, keeping in mind its capabilities.

I’m pretty looking forward to playing with this cool little device and am really curious about its craftsmanship and quality as well. It is going to face some though tests, since I’m planning to play top trumps with it against “the daddy” – Raspberry Pi 3 – while of course ignoring the factor of power difference between the devices as strongly as possible.

In anyway, it’s going to be interesting! Stay tuned for more information after I get it delivered!


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