1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

$25 PC the size of a USB Stick!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by newtekie1, May 6, 2011.

  1. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    http://www.geek.com/articles/games/...braben-creates-a-usb-stick-pc-for-25-2011055/

    “Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25.

    The hardware being offered is no slouch either. It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0 allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. Storage is catered for by an SD card slot.”
    IMO, this would be great for educational systems and the like. Though, I believe it needs a little refining, obvioulsy. I'd like to see a built in ethernet port, or even wifi, so a USB one wouldn't be required. Also, maybe an extra USB port so a keyboard and mouse could be connected without needing a hub. Yes, all of this would drive up costs and make it slightly bigger, but should still keep the price under $50 and vastly increase functionality, and the cost to the end user wouldn't really change since you have to buy a USB hub and USB NIC anyway. I think these would also make great workstations in government centers/libraries/schools and even business as well.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  2. cheesy999

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    3,944 (2.40/day)
    Thanks Received:
    586
    Location:
    UK
    wow, £15 i'll have 7 please
     
  3. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    4,453 (1.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    598
    Location:
    AZ
    ummm with all the add ons to be able to get monitor keyboard, mouse, network, and power it's bigger abd bulkier than mini itx.

    plus you can pretty much take your phone apart and do the same thing.
     
  4. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,033 (5.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,105
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hook up a powered usb hub to it?
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    Not really, a USB hub and a USB NIC(wireless or wired) is really all that is required, and that sits on your desk. Even if you count the bulk of the USB hub, this will still be smaller than even an mini-ITX motherboard.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  6. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    15,050 (3.88/day)
    Thanks Received:
    11,954
    price is impressive, the rest not.

    i've been using this for several projects [​IMG]

    arm, linux, ethernet, usb
     
    Chevalr1c, yogurt_21 and cadaveca say thanks.
  7. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    Yeah, but that is the point, the Calao is like $280 or something like that, and doesn't have a display logic to connect to a monitor? These are two different beast, the Calao is closer to a home router while this is closer to a full blown PC.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  8. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    15,050 (3.88/day)
    Thanks Received:
    11,954
    display logic is not too hard to build .. i'm not sure if/how they will pay hdmi/hdcp licensing for that price
     
  9. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    4¢? I think they can work it in.

    And if it is $280 without a display logic, I'd hate to see the price if they build one in and added an HDMI port...

    But as you said, it really isn't the size that is impressive, it is the price. At $280 a pop, the Calao has a very specific use, one that is different from the use of a standard PC. At $280 a pop, to try to adapt the Calao to fit the role of a standard PC workstation would be stupid, you can just buy a full PC workstation for that price, but with this(or a modified version of this) only going for say $70 a pop, it would definitely turn some heads.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  10. RejZoR

    RejZoR

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,854 (1.30/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,026
    Location:
    Europe/Slovenia
    Actually phones can already do all that and you already have a keyboard and a screen with speakers. Because here, device itself might be 25 bucks but allt he stuff that you have to attach is not exactly cheap. For HDMI you need a LCD screen which aren't all that cheap, keyboard/mouse. You can get phones for 150 bucks that will do WiFi and they come with a charger, battery, screen etc. Sure it's tiny but i can do pretty much everything the same on phone as i can on PC. As far as music, movies, internet, text and images are concerned.
     
    yogurt_21 says thanks.
  11. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    I have a smart phone, with a rather large screen actually, and I would hate to do most of what I do on a standard PC on it. They are fine for minor things, but have you every tried typing an entire paper up on a phone? It isn't exactly easy, besides the fact that the keyboards on phones are extremely small, which is fine for text messaging, but sucks for any extended formal typing, there is also the small screen which would give me a headache if I had to sit there for hours on end typing on it. Doable, yes, but not practical. Oh, and how about printing? Good luck with that...

    You can pick up an LCD with HDMI for around the $100 range on sale, but more importantly they can use their HDTV, which a lot of people already have. Add in a USB hub with built in ethernet adapter for $25, a keyboard and mouse for $15 and you have a fully functional system for $165. Try beating that with any other PC system, or even coming close, and remember the keyboard/mouse and LCD have to be bought with the PC anyway.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  12. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    9,512 (2.92/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,143
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    You mean like old single core netbooks which can be had for ~$120 with a screen, keyboard, mouse, BATTERY, Wifi, and faster processor?
     
  13. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,256 (6.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,294
    Yes, if you wanted to hand out old used netbooks to people the schools could do that I guess, assuming they could find enough of them for $120...

    Can you come up with say, 5,000 of them?

    Yeah, I could go buy an off-lease P4 system for $90, but if I wanted 5,000 identical ones it ain't happening, or even if I wanted 100 of them it probably wouldn't be possible.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  14. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,678 (2.92/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,776
    Location:
    Chicago
    Cool.
     
  15. cheesy999

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    3,944 (2.40/day)
    Thanks Received:
    586
    Location:
    UK
    i'm thinking crysis whereever i go:rolleyes:
     
  16. Raijian

    Raijian New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    177 (0.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    20
    Location:
    Canada
    Neat concept.
     
  17. OneMoar

    OneMoar

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,067 (2.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,346
    Location:
    Rochester area
    under powered much
     
  18. silkstone

    silkstone

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,907 (1.29/day)
    Thanks Received:
    510
    It should be fine for basic word processing and spreadsheets, ideal for 90% of all office/school work. Sounds like a nice concept. It isn't powerful, and there are other options like netbooks, mobile phones micro pcs, but this is something no one else is doing yet (at least in the same way).. now i'm thinking if you could add a little fan to the top and some TIM what sort of overclock would be possible?
     
  19. OneMoar

    OneMoar

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,067 (2.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,346
    Location:
    Rochester area
    didn't know you could OC arm chips
    you would probably blow whatever this tiny thing has for a vrm off if you exceed the TDP
     
  20. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    9,512 (2.92/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,143
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    I think the P4 system would be a better bet, for 2 reasons. 1: they are abundant. 2: They are actually x86 systems. Have fun getting the students used to an ARM operating system. Most will know Windows already so the P4 is the best idea.
     
  21. silkstone

    silkstone

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,907 (1.29/day)
    Thanks Received:
    510
    I'ts not a matter of getting them to use an ARM Os, just one of teaching them to use it... That shouldn't be a problem, they are in school after all and probably the best time for them to learn there is more to a computer than microsoft.
     
    Chevalr1c says thanks.
  22. bokou

    bokou New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    178 (0.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    43
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Windows 8 will be multi-platform so that point will be moot anyway... you'd be able to run W8 on something like this easily.

    They're also releasing Windows Thin (lol thindows) in the next few weeks that's designed for very minimal systems. Cost prohibiting that's a very viable option to slap on an SD card.

    The real bonus to this thing is that it's the same diameter almost as the end of the HDMI cable so you really have a tiny hub that you plug things into and nothing else. It can literally be kept behind a flatscreen TV and no Mini ATX PC I've had has been that small (as small as they are).

    If you've got a big screen HD TV then this would be a great option to browse netflix or something (assuming you can run flash at a reasonable FPS) like watch Youtube or just to have an extra "computer" that the kids can facebook or check their favorite flash game websites on.
     
  23. wahdangun

    wahdangun New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,512 (0.66/day)
    Thanks Received:
    114
    Location:
    indonesia ku tercinta
    not really spectacular, actually you can get 7 inc ipad clone for $80 with 256 mb of ram, 700 mhz cpu, 4 gb of memory, wifi, usb, 7 inc touch screen,

    btw isn't "TPU device" use some thing like this ?
     
  24. OneMoar

    OneMoar

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,067 (2.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,346
    Location:
    Rochester area
    700Mhz ARM chip is relatively slow
     
  25. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    853 (0.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    318
    You wouldn't neccessarily need a USB NIC. HDMI has Ethernet in the spec. HDMI 1.4 I believe has it as an option (not that there's actually any HDMI devices which run ethernet over the HDMI port in the real world)
     

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page