Iconoclastic tinkerers have a new toy: the popular BeagleBone Black single board computer just got a slight makeover. The new BeagleBone Black Wireless swaps out the 10/100 Ethernet port for some much-needed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s only 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, but that’s sadly all most internet of things devices ship with these days, thanks to cost considerations. BeagleBone Black Wireless also has a new “system-in-package” chip which integrates the processor, GPU, microcontrollers, RAM, and storage, and has an open source design which should make it easier to create a custom version of the board.
It’s hard to compete with the Raspberry Pi if you aren’t selling on the scale of Raspberry Pi. This new BeagleBone board is slower than the new quad-core Raspberry Pi 3, and twice the cost (almost $70, compared to Pi 3’s $35 tag). And, to really rub it in, the Pi 3 has similar wireless connectivity but still manages to retain its Ethernet port. Still, the flexibility and open source nature of the BeagleBone continues to be attractive for many, and the addition of built-in wireless is sure to be a welcome upgrade.