This $15 Computer Raised Over $1.5 Million on Kickstarter
It can be nearly impossible to find a brand-new, cheap laptop for less than a few hundred bucks. But if you’re looking for a personal computer on a tight budget, consider the PINE A64: the 64-bit computer is currently available on Kickstarter for only $15.
The single-board device doesn’t exactly resemble the computers most people are familiar with, but in the hands of someone with a little tech know-how, the potential applications are enormous. The board’s CPU runs at 1.2GHz and its GPU runs at 500MHz. That’s enough power to put the computer's graphic capabilities slightly above those of the original XBOX console. The PINE A64 comes equipped with an ethernet port, two USB ports, and a 4K HDMI output, making it completely expandable and customizable. (Though the device's 512MB to 2 GB of memory isn't upgradable.) In addition to using it to build your own custom PC, the board could also be used to power a 3D printer, laser engraver, or tablet.
PINE A64’s co-founder Johnson Jeng told TechCrunch that he can see the board appealing to consumers in developing countries as well as techies here at home. For all the computing power it packs, the A64 runs on surprisingly little energy. It performs at a mere 2.5 to 3.5 watts compared to typical desktops that operate somewhere between 75 to 300 watts, making it a smart option for regions with limited resources.
The project’s Kickstarter campaign ended over the weekend after surpassing its original goal of $31,416 more than 50 times over, but you can still preorder the basic board for $15 or buy it with special add-ons and updates for a higher price. Shipping is estimated for February of this year.