Innovation

Size of a Raspberry Pi, power of a MacBook: The Window 10-powered LattePanda Alpha

The LattePanda Alpha has more in common with a laptop than a low-cost board like the Pi.

If you're after a computer close to the size of the tiny Raspberry Pi but approaching the power of the MacBook, then you may want to check out the LattePanda Alpha.

However, it's worth noting the LattePanda Alpha is not a Pi competitor. While the Pi costs just $35, the LattePanda Alpha starts at $289.

The difference is reflected in the specs, with the LattePanda Alpha having more in common with a laptop than a low-cost board like the Pi.

The LattePanda Alpha uses the same class of Intel processor as found in this year's 12-inch MacBook, a 7th generation, Intel Core m3.

Backing up this processor is 8GB of DDR3 memory and 64GB Flash storage, alongside Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, 4K video out.

While the board's makers DFRobot say the Alpha will ship with Windows 10 Pro, they add it will also be compatible with a range of Linux-based OSes.

The board—which is about 70% the length of the iPhone 7 Plus—is designed to be used to be used by developers working in a wide range of fields, from robotics to internet of things, and as such has the necessary electronics for adding a wide-range of custom hardware to the board.

SEE: Hardware spotlight: The Raspberry Pi

The Alpha has 2 x 50-Pin headers for hooking up hardware, as well as an Arduino Leonardo co-processor.

Alongside the Alpha, the board's makers will also release a version of the board without the eMMC storage for $269, as well as the lower-specced LattePanda Delta, which starts at $129.

The Delta runs on an Intel Celeron N4100 processor, has 4GB of RAM but still keeps many of the advantages of the Alpha board, such as 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 3 x USB 3.0 ports.

Both boards are being crowdfunded via Kickstarter, and as of publication have passed their £72,611 funding target, with just shy of £97,000 raised with 56 days left to go.

DFRobot estimate that the boards, which are also available with a 7-inch touchscreen display, will ship in May next year.

It is not the first Windows 10-based, developer board released by the company, with an earlier machine selling for around $120. That initial board was again higher specced and priced than the Pi, but also attracted some reports that the board overheated without additional cooling, resulting in the processor being throttled to a slower speed.

lattepandaalpha.png

The LattePanda Alpha.

Image: DFRobot
lattepansspecs.png

The specs for the LattePanda boards.

Image: DFRobot

Read more about the Raspberry Pi

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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