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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemstexas instruments

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Scan at 1 Photo per second!

Quickly organise your entire photographic history. Automatically color correct and restore poor condition and even faded photos. And, most importantly easily share your memories with friends and family using your favourite social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and more.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?