Board maker's $US45 PC tries to catch up with Raspberry Pi on price

BeagleBoard Black is a barebones PC the size of a credit card and has a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor

Open-source board maker BeagleBoard.org has introduced a bare-bones PC starting at $US45, bringing it closer to the popular Raspberry Pi, which offers basic models for $US25 and $US35.

The $US45 BeagleBoard Black has no casing and comes in the form of a motherboard with key connectors and components, just like the Raspberry Pi. The board is about half the price of its predecessor, which was $US89 when it was launched in November 2011.

The PC is targeted at enthusiasts, developers and hackers. The BeagleBoard has been used to test smartphone and tablet applications, and also for hobbyist projects like the Smart Pill Box, which is a device that sounds an alarm to remind memory-impaired patients to take medicine.

Beagleboard Black is the size of a credit card and runs Android, Fedora and Canonical's Ubuntu. The hardware includes 2GB of storage, 512MB of DDR3 memory, and USB, HDMI and Ethernet ports. Attachments like keyboards, mice and monitors need to be purchased separately.

The PC runs on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor with a clock speed of 1GHz, which is a boost from its predecessor, which had a 720MHz Cortex-A8 processor and 256MB of DDR2 memory.

The new BeagleBoard falls into a category of products called open-source hardware, in which hardware schematics are publicly shared so the designs can be replicated or changed by other companies. Much of the innovation in the open-source hardware community has been around Arduino microcontrollers, but enthusiasts are finding new ways to use such PCs. For example, the Raspberry Pi is used as a media-streaming device, a desktop replacement and also for robotics.

The new PC is available through BeagleBones' website. The hardware schematics are available via Circuitco's wiki page.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags texas instrumentshardware systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?