If you thought the $35 Raspberry Pi 2 was a small and cheap computer, think again. Next Thing Co.’s open-source C.H.I.P. is an even smaller barebones microcomputer that only costs $9.
C.H.I.P. is a computer. It’s tiny and easy to use.
C.H.I.P. does computer things. Work in LibreOffice and save your documents to C.H.I.P.’s onboard storage. Surf the web and check your email over wifi. Play games with a bluetooth controller. With dozens of applications and tools preinstalled, C.H.I.P. is ready to do computer things the moment you power it on.
C.H.I.P. is a computer for students, teachers, grandparents, children, artists, makers, hackers, and inventors. Everyone really. C.H.I.P. is a great way to add a computer to your life and the perfect way to power your computer based projects.
Like the Raspberry Pi, C.H.I.P. can be used in a variety of ways. Connect the necessary parts — a keyboard, mouse, and a display — to it and it becomes a personal computer. Otherwise, you can hack it into a retro games emulator, or robot, or whatever you can dream up. Next Thing Co. encourages users to learn how to code and make things with C.H.I.P.
As you can probably guess, C.H.I.P. is not a very powerful computer. Its 1GHz Allwinner A13 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal flash storage are just enough to run apps and browse the web.
“Out of the box, C.H.I.P. can connect over composite video, so you can use an old TV or a tiny screen you have,” Dave Rauchwerk, one of Next Thing Co.’s founders, said in a video for MAKE:.
If you really want to hook C.H.I.P. up to an HDTV or modern computer display, you can buy a separate HDMI ($15) or VGA adapter ($10) that snaps onto the computer, Lego-style.
You can also make C.H.I.P. portable by snapping it into PocketC.H.I.P, an accessory with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard and battery that lasts up to five hours.
Take C.H.I.P. on the go with the portable Pocket C.H.I.P., complete with a 4.3-inch touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, and five-hour battery; the machine and accessory together cost $49