Next Thing’s add-on boards or PocketChip handheld won’t ship until May, but the $9, Cortex-A8 Chip SBC will go to backers who spent $2 million on the project. While waiting for add-ons, they can get started with WiFi, BT, 4GB eMMC, plus USB and AV ports.
The Odroid-C1+ is a minor update to the Odroid-C1, which shipped a year ago, and was the 4th rated SBC in our May survey. For $37, it's the same quad-core -A5 Amlogic SoC and Pi-compatible connector, plus new heatsink, I2S, USB power, and full-sized HDMI.
The latest IoT-focused, MIPS-based board starts at just $16. MediaTek’s Seeed-built Duo runs OpenWrt on a 580MHz MediaTek SoC, and offers WiFi, microSD, and dual micro-USB ports, plus optional interfaces for Arduino and Grove sensors.
Qualcomm’s 96Boards.org SBC is the first affordable 64-bit ARM board, expanding upon the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 410 SoC. The DragonBoard 410c boasts WiFi, BT, 8GB eMMC, dual expansion connectors, and a tiny footprint.
This smallest and cheapest ($5 and up) of Pi’s is no media SBC, but IoT hackers and small-run makers will spin out all sorts of light, low-cost gizmos. It’s still ARM11, but at it’s got 1GHz, and though I/O is limited, you still get that 40-pin connector.
Hardkernel’s Odroid-XU4 is a good choice for those looking for power, but who think 64-bit is premature. For $74, you get an octa-core -A15 Exynos5422 clocked to 2GHz with Mali-T628 GPU, plus 2GB RAM, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and plenty of expansion.
This $15 follow-on to the Orange Pi and Orange Pi Mini is the cheapest quad-core hacker SBC on the market. The PC model offers a 1.6GHz quad-core -A7 Allwinner H3 SoC, Pi-compatible expansion, plus HDMI, Ethernet, and four USB ports.
Aimed at robots, drones, and IoT gizmos, the Neo has a power-sipping, Cortex-A9 i.MX6 SoloX plus a Cortex-M4 for real-time processing and Arduino. At $49 it includes WiFi, BT, and sensors, plus micro-HDMI, LVDS, USB, Ethernet, and camera interfaces.
The Raspberry Pi 2 advances to a 900MHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 SoC with 1GB RAM while keeping its $35 price and backward compatibility. Time to port over your favorite Linux distro and join the largest embedded community on the planet.
Take a popular, Cortex-A8 hacker SBC, add a micro-USB port and Seeed’s Grove sensor interface, and cut price by $11. For $39, what’s not to like? True, Seeed stripped out the BB Black’s micro-HDMI port, but real IoT hackers don’t need no stinking monitors