Coffee Space


Cheap Computer

With the recent boom in the interest in the Raspberry Pi (I currently own three), the Arduino and many other projects it only seems right to think abut the most cheapest basic computer that can be built. The basic aim of this project is to build a simple, cheap computer for £5 or less.


I have set the following aims:

With this, I am willing to accept the following flaws:


Currently ear-marked designs:

Currently ear-marked hardware:

NOTE: One issue I’ve noticed is that the price of these electronics is so cheap compared to manufacturing costs that they fluctuate from day to day. I imagine this is because of changing prices in various markets and the strength of currencies. In a matter of a day, the Nano clone has gone from £2.22 to £2.19. Maybe it’s worth waiting a few days if you’re looking to mass produce these things to look for the right price to buy in at.

NOTE: Where possible I have tried to make sure that postage is free (to the UK) so that it reflects the final cost of having the parts there with you.

Bringing the total cost to £4.81! It’s very possible that we may be able to build an open source computer, at least in theory, for less than £5! I will need to source two resistors, but they should certainly be less than 10 pence. I still need to figure out how this thing will be powered… I’m sure some trickery will be on it’s way!

If we’re entirely honest, the SD card holder and SD card is just showing off - this would be a valid system without that addition… Makes you wounder what else we could add to the system to make it more user friendly!

Potential Upgrades

Okay, so I have found so many cool things I simply have to write about them somewhere! This project has so much room to be pushed further! Below if a nice list of what I’ve found:


The following are ideas I’ve had for it’s use: