CHIP is a $9 computer that could do almost everything

Meet the world's cheapest computer

Credit: Next Thing Co.

You thought the $35 Raspberry Pi was cheap? You can buy three CHIPs and still have money left over for pizza.

The tiny computer--it's about the size of a large binder clip, smaller than a credit card--has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 1GHz processor, 512MB of memory, and 4GB of storage space. Like the Raspberry Pi, CHIP (or C.H.I.P.) runs Linux and can be used to run LibreOffice for work, surf the web with the Chromium browser, play games, and be used to learn to code (the computer comes with Scratch installed) or in all sorts of projects.

Even more interesting, there's a PocketCHIP accessory that makes the micro computer portable--with a 4.3" touchscreen, keyboard, and 5-hour battery. That accessory adds $40 to the price, however, and the other accessories--VGA and HDMI adapters and battery packs--also raise the cost of the computer. You can get the whole package, though, for $93, which is still much cheaper than the least expensive laptops on the market.

Next Thing Co., the makers of the CHIP, had a $50,000 goal for it on Kickstarter. With 25 days still left to go, CHIP has raised $709,336. CHIP won't start shipping until December or January next year (or May 2016 for some of the packages), but this might be worth waiting for if you want a dirt-cheap yet capable computer.

Here's the Kickstarter campaign link if you'd like to learn more.

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