Millions of people are continuously on the go. Connectivity is of prime importance to the present day. There are various tasks which our smartphones are not able to execute. This is where the matchbox PC comes into play.
Innovation of these computers
This type of battery guzzling small computer is packed with the right hardware to get things going. Nanogenerators are the things which will take portability to newer heights. This technology is being developed faster than most of us can imagine. These Nanogenerators can produce electricity from the bodily movements of the user, and this can completely change the way people look at technology today.
The basic Matchbox devices
There are varied devices in the matchbox section of the small computer. The basic ones are mostly bare yet function just fine. They are equipped with an operating system and hence are usable as soon as they are unboxed.
· Varied costs of the basic devices
The mostly education oriented Raspberry Pi costs roughly around $35 whereas the more hobby friendly Gumstrix Overo series come at $99-$299. Hackers, however, prefer the BeagleBoard Black costing around $44.95.
The second generation micro PC
Various devices were influenced by the successful Raspberry Pi. The peers of Raspberry, as well as its variants, grew popularity owing to its efficiency and user-friendly nature. These were designed to be more efficient and ease the usability further.
· Prices of these devices
The Gooseberry costing around $40-$62 was designed as a more compact device following the Pi devices. This was however designed for tablets. For favoring network connectivity, Rascal Micro was designed which is a wireless controller for other devices, and it costs only $199. To acquire slightly better connectivity than the Pi, Panda Board was made and priced at $175.
The more recent addition to this segment
Korean companies started assembling such software into their devices, and Odroid U2 was created. It features an Exynos4412 prime ARM Cortex A9 quad-core processor. This piece of hardware is much faster and efficient than the ARM-powered Broadcom SoC sported by the Pi and is priced at $89.
The Arduino and its advantages
Another device which is highly recommended in the automation sector is the Arduino. It comes in two variants. The Arduino Uno retail box version costs $60 while the bare board version costs $55.
· The specifications of this device
Its emphasis doesn’t, however, lie in power or speed. It uses an 8 bit RISC processor while running at a meager 80MHz.
The boxed and cased devices
A lot of matchbox systems come as a naked board. For these devices, the user has to build or assemble a case for their boards. However, there are devices which come packaged in cases assembled by the manufacturer.
· Pricing of these devices
The Cotton Candy runs on Android OS and is priced at $199 while the Rikomagic sports the same OS and is priced conveniently at $86. The CuBox, however, features additional specifications for user-friendly access. It offers inbuilt recovery options in case the device gets bricked and is priced at $119.
Devices which flaunt portability along with efficiency
The Trim-Slice H sports a powerful ARM Cortex A9 processor along with an NVIDIATegra2 chipset. The hard disk is a meager 2.5 inch. The case does not feature any fans and is priced at $279. The developer kits can be procured at $175.
· The Cappuccino PC
The assembly team at Cappuccino PC will build full-blown Intel systems based on user discretion. The user gets to choose the Atom or core variants.
· The SlimPro device
The fanless SlimPro SP675FP measures as 10inches and costs $685. The folks at CompuLab put together the fit-PC3 with a decent configuration of the dual-core 64 bit AMD processor with a 2.5-inch hard disk along with a Radeon HD 6250 or 6320 GPU according to user’s choice.
Microdevices sporting a keyboard
The OpenPandora was made to be a mix between a PC and a gaming console. It is a little bigger than the Nintendo DS and is priced at $479. Another revolutionary device came into the market known as Gecko Surfboard. It flaunted an Intel-powered system into a keyboard while using only 5 watts.