In hopes to bring a better option to PC seekers, a German startup has created an affordable PC that runs on a Raspberry Pi Platform, but does oh-so-much more
German engineers from the MSD Group have rolled out a tasty new product called Pi Vessel; a mini PC that operates on a Raspberry Pi platform and Linux operating systems. The team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the mini computer which is not only super sleek, but super affordable.
Originally hitting the market in 2006, the Raspberry Pi platform acted as a computer base without the frills of the traditional PC. It allowed for people to learn how to complete coding and was significantly cheaper than a traditional desktop or laptop. However, until now the aim wasn’t necessarily to replace the more tradition computer with the Raspberry Pi platform, so it lacked other essentials that the average consumer might seek; it was just another tool to add to your collection of computing devices.
What sets the Pi Vessel apart from previous Raspberry Pi platform mini PCs are its added components and capabilities. It’s assembled with a Raspberry Pi board (B/B+), 8 GB memory card, built-in power supply, and a Linux operating system. Not only can it be used for internet access, gaming, and media viewing through a TV, but it can function as a traditional office computer that allows one to execute tasks using traditional Microsoft office programs. The exterior of the vessel is composed of a virtually indestructible aluminum case. And if all of that wasn’t impressive enough, you can either purchase it pre-assembled or assemble it yourself for some added fun.
All the pieces of the Pi
Pi Vessel’s founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Chuba, always had a passion for developing gadgets. He had successful creations in the past such as the iBlazr LED Flash, which is currently available for purchase in Apple Stores.
“For as long as I remember, I was always keen on putting things together and experimenting with gadgets,” said Chuba. “I remember one day when I was a little kid I saw other kids playing with a remote control car in the neighborhood. When I returned home I put a small rubber band around a toy car, added an engine that I had removed from a tape recorder, and powered it with two small batteries. And there it was – my interpretation of the remote control car.”
Chuba originally came up with the idea for Pi Vessel while looking for an inexpensive computer for his nephew to study and play video games on. As many of us have probably found, for simple computing there’s not much out there without extra frills. Chuba discovered that the available hardware was primarily expensive PCs that exceeded the processing capabilities he was looking for. Thus the idea for this multi-functional, affordable, stylish, and ultra-strong mini PC emerged.
“Today my hobby grew into a profession where I take great pleasure in transforming brave ideas into functioning products,” said Chuba. “The Pi Vessel is my vision of the cool and affordable mini PC.”
Above all, the Pi Vessel boasts versatility. Selling itself as “a minicomputer for the whole family,” not only is it a useful and inexpensive alternative to bulky PCs or expensive laptops allowing you work with text, presentations and spreadsheets, or stream presentations via a projector, but is aptly suitable for those who wish to play games, videos, and music. The computer can also be used as part of a home theater system and allows for full HD quality. For those wishing to take it to the next level, the Pi Vessel can work as a control and information-processing unit in a Smart Home system.
Though the Pi Vessel will be officially launched in January 2015 at the CES international show in Las Vegas, they have rolled out a campaign on Kickstarter – so if you’d like to get your hands on one of these awesome mini PCs early, check it out.
Plans for distribution of the Pi Vessel are initially set for the US and EU markets, however a source at MSD Group said there may also be a launch into the Asian market, as they already have interest for the product from Malaysia, China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. The price for the mini PC is set to be around the $140 range.