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.
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.
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.
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!