Here's an open source PC that can be a laptop, desktop or even tablet

Supporters of open-source computing now have several new options for giving their backing to the environmentally-friendly EOMA68 PC project.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

At the core of the campaign is the EOMA68 PC card with an ARM processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB storage.

Image: Rhombus Tech

Would-be backers of the open-source, modular EOMA68 PC card can now support the crowdfunding campaign by purchasing several new gadgets that work with the system.

Fundraising for the 'Easy-on-Mother-Earth' EOMA68 PC began in July and has now reached $66,000, or just under half of the $150,000 targeted by the end of August.

The concept, from UK firm Rhombus Tech, is designed to demonstrate that computers can be easy and cheap to fix or upgrade with a standardized PC board and 3D printable housing and components. It also hopes the modular design can cut the mountains of e-waste produced by the tech industry.

At the core of the campaign is the EOMA68 PC card with an ARM processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB storage. The card can run Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD, ArchLinux and Parabola, Debian, Android, and other systems.

Hardware hackers can buy a micro desktop that houses the card and which can be connected to a display for $55, or purchase the $450 to $500 laptop housing kits, which consist of 3D printed casework parts, bamboo plywood panels, PCBs, cables, battery, charger, keyboard, LCD, and components for the trackpad. Alternatively, the completely-assembled EOMA68 laptop can be reserved for $1,200.

Now, supporters of the concept can buy the $35 EOMA68 passthrough card. This can be used with an EOMA68 device, such as the laptop housing, and connected via HDMI and USB to a smartphone or tablet.

Similar in concept to NexDock, the card turns the EOMA68 laptop into a secondary display and allows fans to support the campaign even if they're not satisfied with the current PC card's specs.

The company has also launched the $20 EOMA68 breakout board, to support those who want to use the PC card for their own projects but don't want to manipulate GPIO pins to get the job done. The PC cards and housing components should be shipped in March 2017.

According to Liliputing, even if the campaign only reaches $100,000, the makers of the EOMA68 will be able to begin manufacturing the products anyway.

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