Aside from the novelty of the touchscreen, convertible design, and Rockchip RK3288C CPU, Asus’ 10-inch Chromebook Flip tempts with a $249 price, superior keyboard and IPS display, and 11+ hour battery life.
With Google’s $35, audio-only version of the Chromecast, you can turn any speaker system into an Internet radio that can play Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play. You can also stream from an Android phone via WiFi without Bluetooth pairing.
Parrot’s $160, Bluetooth-controlled Hydrofoil mini-drone can’t shoot video like the BeBop, but it can fly acrobatically for nine minutes, taking still photos, and you can attach it to a hydrofoil to navigate on water. There’s even a Linux SDK.
Belkin’s major upgrade to the AC router moves to a faster dual-core SoC with 512MB RAM, and adds an open source OpenWrt Linux stack. This latest Linksys offers dual-band 802.11ac, four GbE ports, plus eSATA and USB.
The $295 Mini is a Linux Mint version of CompuLab’s Fitlet mini-PC. The 10.8 x 8.3 x 2.4cm device features a quad-core AMD A4 with 4GB DDR3, a 64GB SSD, five USB ports, plus GbE, WiFi, HDMI, microSD, and mSATA links.
Yeah, it’s pricey at $130, and it’s not open source, and it’s bigger than other Rokus, but the Roku 4 adds 4K support and faster access to Roku’s excellent, 3,000+ channel lineup. The 802.11.ac media player also adds microSD and optical audio.
The $249 SmartThings home automation kit boasts easy installation, extensive device support, and a faster, second-gen hub. You also get a discounted smart electrical outlet and mix of ZigBee-linked motion, door, and window sensors.
Qnap’s latest home NAS device has dual SATA bays for up to 12TB storage. The $249 TAS-268 runs Qnap’s mature, Linux-based QTS NAS stack, and when you connect the HDMI port to a display it turns into a Kodi-ready Android media player.
Ugoos’ latest media-oriented mini-PC supports 4K video, and runs Ubuntu and Android on a quad-core Rockchip RK3288 with a Mali-T764 GPU. The $149 UT3S ships with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, plus microSD, GbE, WiFi-ac, and more.
This $110, Kodi-ready media player and mini-PC dual boots Ubuntu and Android on a Rockchip RK3368 with 2GB RAM. Remove the mainboard and plug it into a $30 carrier board to turn it into an open spec hacker SBC.