Utilite Is A $99 ARM-Based Ubuntu Computer

As awesome as the Raspberry Pi is, it still makes for a severely underpowered computer.  If you want a proper computing experience for cheap, it's going to be hard to beat the Utilite, an ARM-based computer that's supposed to bring a full PC-like experience.

Made by Compulab, the entire computer is housed inside a small case that makes it look nothing more than a router.  Measuring just 5.3 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches, it brings on heavy power for its size, ensuring a richer computing experience than most cheap, miniature computer kits.

The Utilite can be fitted with either a single-, dual-, or quad-core Cortex A9 processor (up to 1.2GHz clock speed), along with up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM and up to a 512GB SSD.  The rest of the specs sheet is just as impressive, with WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, microSD support up to 128GB, HDMI, DVI, two BaseT ethernet ports, S/PDIF 5.1, stereo in/out, 4 USB ports, one microUSB slot, and a pair of RS232 serial ports.  It supports OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0, OpenVG 1.1 and OpenCL EP, as well as multi-stream 1080p H.264 on-chip decoding, so this should handle multimedia viewing with ease.  It's also light on the power consumption, sipping just 3 to 8 W on a 10-16V power supply.

Compulab offers either Ubuntu or Android preloaded, so there's a full ecosystem of applications out there to instantly get working on this thing.  You can, most likely, throw in your favorite ARM-compatible OS of choice, of course.

Priced starting at just $99 for the single-core version, the Utilite definitely sounds like a sweet deal.  It goes on sale in August.

Check It Out

3 Responses

  1. preston

    this is a really neat little computer, and while I must say I am really excited about all of the work being put into cramming more and more processing power into smaller and smaller devices, attention also has to be paid to the utility those devices provide. You note at the beginning of the article that the RasPi is “a severely underpowered computer” and this simply is not the case. Sure, you wont be running Skyrim on it, but thats not what it’s for. The platform is actually designed to make use of it’s simple I/O and it is incredibly useful for all sorts of hobbyist projects. Look no further than http://hackaday.com/category/raspberry-pi-2/ for all the projects your could ever dream of. This computer is definitely appealing, but it certainly doesnt beat the RasPi for it’s intended purpose.

    Anyway, nice article, this thing looks really neat!

    Reply

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