$15 Pine 64 looks to take on Raspberry Pi 3 with better graphics

A new $US15 board computer that could give Raspberry Pi 3 a tough competition has finally shipped fuelling the war in low-cost computers.

Called the Pine 64, this device is powerful as the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 and could serve as a PC replacement. The most expensive Pine 64 which comes with Wi-Fi, is priced at $29. Pine 64 runs on Android and Remix OS, a version of Android for PCs.

The backers who contributed a total of $US1.7 million into a Kickstarter campaign to build the computer would be the first to receive the initial shipments. The computer’s maker, Pine 64 Inc. is shipping out small batches after delays and slowly speeding up production, according to posts in the company’s forums and on its Kickstarter page.

While some backers started receiving boards, but many who have not have taken to the Kickstarter page to complaint over delays and about getting notices that the board was ready to ship but not getting tracking numbers for packages.

The company’s website has listed three models of Pine 64. According to the site, the $US19 and $US29 models, which can be pre-ordered, will ship no later than May, while the cheapest $15 model is out-of-stock.

Similar to Raspberry Pi 3 in many aspects, the Pine 64 has a 64-bit ARM-based Cortex A53 CPU, MicroSD slot, Ethernet and HDMI ports. Pine 64 comes with an ARM Mali 400 MP2 graphics processor that is capable of rendering 4K video and has better graphics. On the other hand, Pi 3 is capable of rendering 1080p video at 60 frames per second. The Pine 64 has two USB ports, while the Raspberry Pi 3 has four USB ports.

The base $US15 Pine 64 model comes with 512MB DDR3 RAM, while the $19 model has 1GB of DDR3 RAM, a 5-megapixel camera port and MIPI video port. The $US29 model has 2GB of RAM and also Wi-Fi, which is also an important selling point for Raspberry Pi.

Since its initial announcement in December, expectation for the Pine 64 computer has been increasing, which has also received extensive media coverage. No details were provided by Pine64 on its shipment plans.

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