This $15 Computer Is Blowing Up Kickstarter & Its Potential Is Kind Of Mind-Boggling

You may soon be able to buy a fully functional computer for roughly the price of a movie ticket. The PINE A64 is a $15 computer that just ended a very successful Kickstarter campaign, earning over 55 times the campaign’s original goal. The creators at PINE64 asked for just over $31 thousand and received over $1.7 million in pledges — and when you look at the capabilities of this inexpensive computer, it’s easy to see why customers are so enthusiastic.

The PINE A64 is a single board computer with a CPU speed of 1.2GHz. Its GPU runs at 500MHz, which means that this device’s graphics are marginally better than those of the original X-Box. Each PINE A64 comes equipped with two USB ports, an Ethernet port, a 4K HDMI output, and an audio/mic output, allowing users to customize the device as they see fit, with keyboards, touchscreens, and other accessories. The $15 version comes with a non-upgradable 512 MB of memory, but for $4 more, you can upgrade to 1 GB. For a still-shockingly-affordable $29, you can get the device with 2 GB.

The PINE A64 takes some customization, so it’s probably best aimed at people with a bit of tech savvy, but in the right hands, it offers a lot of possibilities. The device can host a variety of platforms, including Ubuntu and Android 5.1. With Android 5.1 loaded, users can use the PINE A64 to run Chrome, Microsoft Office, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as games and apps available for Android devices.

The PINE A64 also requires much less energy than typical computers, using 2.5 to 3.5 watts (as compared to the 75 to 300 watts that most desktop computers consume). In an interview with Tech Crunch, PINE64 co-founder Johnson Jeng suggested that the PINE A64 may be particularly useful to customers in countries with limited resources, saying, “Imagine what [the PINE A64] can do to save schools, educational facilities, government facilities electricity.”

People who invested in PINE64’s Kickstarter will start receiving their devices in February. The Kickstarter closed this weekend; if you decide to buy a PINE A64 now, you’ll be looking at getting yours in May or June.

Images: PINE64 (3)