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In the beginning, the Raspberry Pi
There were many single-board computers (SBC) before the Raspberry Pi showed up, but its combination of price, power, and community made it the poster-child for the do-it-yourself generation of makers who want nothing more than see just how much they could do with a SBC. Popular as the $35 Raspberry Pi is, there are many other worthwhile SBCs out there for the maker who wants to go a little farther out.
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Intel MinnowBoard Max
While far from being as cheap as the Raspberry Pi, for $99 Intel's forthcoming MinnorBoard Max looks pretty sweet.
This SBC, which will appear in June 2014, is powered by either an Intel Atom E3815 (single-core, 1.46 GHz) or the $129 E3825 (dual-core, 1.33 GHz)a 64-bit Intel Atom system on a chip (SoC). It also comes with 1GB of RAM; 8MBs of Flash RAM for on-board storage and a Micro SD card for additional storage; and built-in HD graphics.
For ports, it comes with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet. At 99 x 74mm (2.9 x 3.9in), it's credit-card sized. And, as usual for SBCs, it supports Linux. In particular, it will come ready to run with Debian Linux, Yocto embedded Linux, and Android 4.4 System.
I can see makers doing a lot with this high-end, as SBCs go x86 compatible card.