Hardware

Missed out on Raspberry Pi? Here're five alternatives

Cotton Candy

If you thought the Raspberry Pi was tiny, then check out the Cotton Candy, a computer that fits onto a USB stick. Billed as the smallest computer in the world, the Cotton Candy is designed to be a computer you can carry in your pocket.

The $199 Linux-powered machine is simple and only needs a USB port for power and a HDMI-compatible display to operate.

It can be plugged into any computer or device with a USB port, hooked to a display and paired with a mouse and keyboard and it's ready to go. Cotton Candy's manufacturers describe it as providing a secure way for people to access cloud services and apps on the move.

Photo: Cotton Candy

Specs

Processor: Arm Cortex-A9 1.2GHz.

Graphics: Quad-core ARM Mali 400MP. 480p/720p/1080p decode of MPEG4-SP/H.263/H.264 AVC/MPEG-2/VC1. OpenGL ES v2.0.

Video/Audio: HDMI 1.3a with audio for connection to devices that do not support USB mass storage.

Memory: 1GB DRAM.

Storage: Up to 64GB local microSD storage.

Connectivity: Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.USB 2.0 male form factor for power and connection to devices that support USB mass storage.

Supported OS: Android Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Ubuntu.

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.