The big attraction of the Raspberry Pi is that it’s an entire computer on a tiny board. The Pi makes it easier for more people to have access to a computer and it’s perfect for makers building DIY tech projects and prototypes. The latest, the Pi 3, is the most powerful yet and feels more like a real computer than ever before and still costs only £30. However, a new competitor on Kickstarter, the UDOO X86, looks like it will blow the Pi out of the water in terms of power and still remain at a low price point.
The UDOO X86 is a single board that’s both a powerful PC and an Arduino 101-compatible platform. For makers, this will be the most powerful option available for its size. But where it really stands out from the Raspberry Pi is as a standalone computer. The newest Pi can play games and stream movies but it’s still designed with a strict £30 price point in mind. The UDOO X86 packs tech that has more in common with your desktop tower than a credit sized-computer. The video is a bit cheesy but it does a good job showing the possibilities:
To give you an idea of the power, this computer that you can hold in your palm can run 3 4K monitors simultaneously and run Android, Windows 7-10, or any X86 Linux distribution. It comes in different set-ups at different prices but the best has an 2.56 GHz Intel Pentium processor and 8GB of RAM. For the makers it has built-in accelerometers, Bluetooth, and Arduino pinout. It’s definitely ready for the Internet of Things.
The Kickstarter campaign has smashed its $100,000 target by raising $563,818 so far with 25 days to go. There are early bird options available for the cheapest models. The Basic model has a 2 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM for $89 (£61.29). The Advanced model has a 2.24 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM for $109 (£75.06). The Ultra model has a 2.56 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM for $209 (£143.93). The shipping costs $18 (£12.40).
Like the Raspberry Pi, this will be an amazing board for creating a retro gaming console, media centre, or an Internet of Things project. Where it really stands out is as a standalone computer. It will run just about any software you can throw at it, including dedicated graphics packages and more demanding games. A few years ago we would have seen this exclusively as a product for makers and enthusiasts. Today, it seems affordable single-board computers could become as popular as dedicated PCs if they’re as capable and affordable as the UDOO X86.