Gadgets Technology

PINE A64 mini computer: When size doesn’t equal power

Pine A64 Mini ComputerPINE A64 mini computer, found on Kickstarter, is a 64-bit high performance expandable single board computer (SBC) that is similar to the Raspberry Pi. Except with more power at your disposal. These new tiny computer boards are in a fight to be the cheapest computer available. The use of devices like the PINE A64 is up to you. The device can be used for work, entertainment or education. To know how to use their devices to suit your needs is something you have to learn, and knowledge of programming and computing possibilities isn’t a bad thing to have an understanding of.

The CPU that runs the PINE A64 is a quad cord ARM A53 65-bit processor. The PINE A64’s GPU is a dual-core MALI-400 MP2. This gives the PINE A64 slightly more graphics power than the original X-Box. That’s pretty impressive for a tiny device that costs $15 (Oddly, the PINE A64 shirt that’s available costs $16).

Users can turn the PINE A64 in a mini computer or a media player, running on Android 5.1. Apps like YouTube, Microsoft’s Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Google’s Chrome browser can be used on the PINE A64. Android gaming can be done on a television screen, changing the experience from a small screen with limited battery life into a gaming console on the cheap.

Being on an open source platform, the PINE A64 doesn’t have to run Android 5.1. You can install a Linux distribution (Ubuntu is recommended), OpenWrt or openHAD. Users can be of any experience level to use the PINE A64, to learn programming licences like Python, JSON, HTML and JAVA.

The PINE A64 mini computer is expandable, giving it more customisability and possibility. A Bluetooth adapter, Zwave, dry contact I/O board, camera, sensors, 802.11BGN Wi-Fi and a range of others are (And will be) available in the PINE A64 Shop.

Small computing devices like the PINE A64 are regularly released. Their specs are being updated, and while they’re unlikely ever to be the most powerful computers in the world, they’ve got more than enough specs for the average person to do their computing on. Technology has reached a point where what’s available is overkill for many tasks the average user performs. Spending $1000 plus on a computer is like using a shuttle from the Apollo missions to get to the shops down the road. The PINE A64 is worth looking at if you can admit to yourself you don’t need more power but just want a good, reliable computing experience.

There is a range of PINE A64 mini computer packs on Kickstarter, beginning at $15 (The $5 PINE A64s are sold out) and ending at $5000 for an Innovator Package.

Source: Kickstarter

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