I BOUGHT A PI-TOPCEED!

IT’S A $99 DOLLAR ALL IN ONE DESKTOP… SORT OF

I have been looking at the PI-TOP laptop for a very long time but have been reluctant to buy one due to the high price tag. A light, powerful, flexible PI 2 based laptop was very intriguing and I wanted to check it out. I thought it would make a great secondary laptop and a useful learning tool for my younger sister. With the Raspberry PI 2 included, the final price of the toyish laptop would have been $269.99 + $20 for shipping. With a budget like mine I can not justify dropping down $300 for what is essentially just a $30 Raspberry PI in a laptop like case. My primary laptop (Dell Inspiron 15 3521) with a dual core Celeron, 8gb of DDR3, and a 120GB SSD cost me less than that! I soon dropped the thought of purchasing one completely.

The other day I was browsing Indiegogo for something to support and demo on my channel when I ran across another project from the same team that made the PI-TOP. Apparently the PI-TOP CEED (pronounced “seed”) has been on Indiegogo for a very long time, I just never ran across it. I immediately clicked on the support page to check it out and for the most part I was impressed with what they were offering.

PI top ceed

PI-TOP CEED (Image from the Indiegogo campaign page)

The CEED is using the same concept as the PI-TOP. Under the hood is a Raspberry PI 2 with lots of room for other boards to add onto the computer. It is in the form of an all-in-one desktop, it has a 13 inch screen inside the case, a slot on the side to expose the PI’s USB ports, and a stand in the back to prop it up. The proposed design is minimalistic and in my opinion attractive, it will ship with the option to have a Green or Grey case.

PI-TOP CEED GREEN AND GREY

PI-TOP CEED GREEN AND GREY (image from www.raspberrypi.org)

What really grabbed my attention was the header which advertised it as being a “$99 dollar Raspberry PI desktop”. I soon found out that the $99 option did not include a Raspberry PI (at least by the time I made it to the campaign). If you want the desktop completely ready to go, PI included, it will cost you $134 plus another $20 for shipping. The fact that the $99 option did not include a PI did not upset me, this actually gives you the chance to use a different single board computer if you wanted to. What kinda irritated me was the way the title sounds, “pi-topCEED, the first $99 Raspberry Pi desktop!” makes it seem like the PI would be included…. “pi-top CEED, the first $99 Raspberry pi all-in-one case!” would be a more honest title.

PI-TOPCEED Price 2

$99 DOES NOT INCLUDE RPI

PI-TOPCEED Price

OPTION THAT INCLUDES THE RPI

Despite this little marketing spin I was still really interested in the CEED. The way the bottom of the system is laid out leaves a lot of room for expansion. I can image a ton of uses for this extra space, space for sensors, a small PI cluster, custom circuits, different displays, and maybe even enough room to throw in a board with an X86 processor. This room combined with the internal rail mounting system opens up a limitless number of possibilities.

I pulled the trigger and bought the CEED off Indiegogo using PayPal. I wanted to buy it off the PI-TOP official site but my fraud protection kicked in and my card was denied (that actually prompted a pretty big ordeal with my bank that I do not want to talk about). I am really looking forward to seeing not only how it fairs as a learning tool but also how well the design works as a usable desktop.  Their included operating system, designed to help people learn to program, will also be neat to look at. The estimated shipping date is April 2016 so expect a review in a few months.

What do you think of it?

Check out the PI-TOP and the PI-TOP CEED HERE.

It finally arrived!  I have some HD images and a first look video up HERE!

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: NexDock: The World’s Most Affordable "Laptop" | AA COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY

  2. Kenny Peng

    Reading this in June-almost-July. ahahahahahahhaha

    Reply
    1. Braxton VanGundy (Post author)

      Haha, I think you left this comment the day it arrived :p

      Reply
  3. jllprod

    Hi, I read that you expected to use it with aPine64 board. Did you do it finally ?

    Reply
    1. Braxton VanGundy (Post author)

      I am sticking to the RPI3 for now, I want to play around with if for a little. I would like to purchase a Pine 64 in the near future though!

      Reply
      1. Neil

        I wouldn’t bother the pine64 is terrible.

        Reply
        1. Braxton VanGundy (Post author)

          Oh man, really? Do you actually have one? I heard support for it might be a little iffy but the hardware looks great on paper. What exactly is wrong with it?

          Reply
  4. Cole Shores

    I use mine every day. After making a some tweaks, namely installing uBlock Origin & Auto HD for YouTube in Chromium(to limit the video resolution), setting the swap to 2GB, and updating the OS to the newest Raspbian with Pixel OS. It really flies! The only website that is sluggish is facebook, however everything else is perfect pretty much every app runs well. Using it for QT development in QT Creator in my kitchen.

    Reply
    1. Braxton VanGundy (Post author)

      That’s great! I also still use mine. However, I swapped the RPI3 out with an ODROID C2 which is much snappier 😀 . The only drawback is that the ODROID does not have as large of a community behind is as the PI does which makes troubleshooting a little interesting sometimes.

      Reply

Leave a Reply