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Computers you can hold in the palm of your hand

It's not that long ago that a computer was something housed in a giant beige box that weighed as much as an engine block. Now a computer can fit in the palm of your hand.

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Topic: Hardware
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
1 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

A credit-card sized computer that is becoming a big hitter in the IoT and educational space. And given that it's priced at only $35, it's easy to see why it's so popular.

The latest version is the Raspberry Pi 3 model B and features the following spec:

  • 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Broadcom VideoCore IV graphics
  • 4-watt power consumption

Link

Raspberry Pi Zero
2 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi gets even smaller, in both size and price. At only $5, this is almost a disposable computer, and yet is has enough power to handle many IoT or homebrew projects.

Despite the size, there's room for a microSD card slot, mini HDMI port, and micro USB data port.

  • 1GHz single-core ARM1176JZF-S CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 0.8-watt power consumption

Link

VoCore
3 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

VoCore

A coin-sized Linux computer that is totally open-source, and costs $20. This is a small, low-cost, totally open-source (both the hardware and software) computer that's ideal for projects such as IoT or building your own custom router.

  • 360MHz MIPS CPU
  • 32MB of RAM
  • 8MB of flash memory
  • Ready equipped with header pins for sound, USB 2.0, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi

VoCore

Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300
4 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300

A Windows 10 computer that can fit into your pocket. All you need is display that has an HDMI port and some wireless peripherals and you're ready to go!

Priced at around $99.

  • 1.33GHz CPU
  • 2 GB of DDR3 1600 RAM
  • 32 GB of SSD flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Windows 10

Link

Dell Inspiron i3050-3000BLK
5 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Dell Inspiron i3050-3000BLK

At $155 this is a bit pricier than many other small computers, but it does come with beefier specs to allow it to cope with more demanding tasks.

  • 2.41 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron J1800 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB)
  • 32GB of flash memory
  • Intel HD graphics
  • Windows 10

Link

C.H.I.P.
6 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

C.H.I.P.

At $9, C.H.I.P. is a perfect demonstration of how cheap computing has become. You get what would only a few years ago have been desktop power on a tiny board.

  • 1.0GHz CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Link

Asus Chromebox
7 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Asus Chromebox

If you want to take Google's Chrome OS for a whirl, then why not pick up a palm-sized Chromebox, such as this Asus Chromebox. Starting at around $150, these represent excellent value for money.

  • Intel Core i7-4600U or Intel Core i3-4010U or Intel Celeron 2955U CPU
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000/4400
  • Up to 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • 2xUSB 3.0, HDMI, RJ45
  • SD card slot
  • Chrome OS

Link

Acer Revo Build
8 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Acer Revo Build

Like tiny computers, but hate the fact that there's no way to upgrade them? The Acer Revo Build might be the system for you. You add to this system by snapping on new parts, such as the optional storage or graphics modules.

For $179 you get:

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor
  • 2GB DDR3L RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • Windows 10

Link

MintBox Mini
9 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MintBox Mini

For those of you looking for a small Linux system, the MintBox Mini might be just what you are looking for. At $295 it's not cheap, but you do get quite a decent spec:

  • AMD A4 Micro-6400T SoC featuring Radeon R3 graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Linux Mint

Link

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