FriendlyElec’s latest tiny computer is really tiny, measuring just about 1.6″ x 1.6″ (40mm x 40mm). The ZeroPi is also cheap, selling for just $13.
What you get for that price is a single-board computer with a 1.2 GHz Allwinner H3 quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 procesor, 512MB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and a microSD card reader. It has a micro USB port for power and a USB 2.0 Type-A port for data.
What you don’t get is any sort of video output — the ZeroPi is meant to be used as a headless computer.
That means you can use it as a file server, or as the basis for other electronics projects.
FriendlyElec says the ZeroPi supports the Linux-based Ubuntu Core 16.04 and OpenWrt operating systems, and you can find more details about setting up the software at the ZeroPi Wiki.
As CNX-Software notes, this isn’t FriendlyElec’s first tiny computer in this form factor. The ZeroPi looks a lot like the NanoPi Neo, but the new model has faster Ethernet support, optional support for SPI flash, and lacks GPIO expansion headers.
While the ZeroPi is priced at $13, FriendlyElec also sells accessories including cases, heat sinks, power supplies, and microSD cards. There’s a $5 “metal combo” option that includes a heat sink and metal case, for example, or you can add a clear acrylic case to your order for just $1.