OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Move over iPad. An Oakland-based group of computer engineers unveiled CHIP, “the world’s first $9 computer,” capable of surfing the web and then some.

As of Tuesday, this powerful, yet tiny computer built by Next Thing already surpassed it’s $50,000 goal by nearly $1 million.

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Featuring a 1-gigahertz processor with 512 megabytes of RAM, CHIP says users can work on spreadsheets, save documents to the computer’s 4 gigs of storage, surf the web over WiFi and play games with a Bluetooth controller.

And you don’t need to be a computer hacking wiz to start using it immediately. Dozens of applications and tools are already pre-installed and ready to use the moment you plug it in.

But if you are the maker type, then you’ll have a field day with the plethora of practical uses you can morph this tool into.

“Whether you’re building yourself a wall clock that counts down time to the next bus at your stop, or setting up a network of hundreds of solar-powered air quality sensors for use in disaster relief, you need the same basic tools to start from: a processor, a way to exchange data, and a way to power everything,” the group said on its Kickstarter page. “With C.H.I.P., all the groundwork is laid, and the only question is what you’ll do next.”

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It’s similar to the $35 Raspberry Pi, but has some key differences like built-in WiFi and Bluetooth so you can connect to the Internet and use a keyboard and mouse without any cables.

Next Thing has also built PocketChip case, a battery-powered portable unit based on CHIP that includes a touch screen and tiny QWERTY keyboard similar to the classic Blackberry.

CHIP --

The group says they plan to start fulfilling pledge orders between September 2015 and May 2016. Just donate the minimum $9 to receive a CHIP, unless you’re a super fan willing to shell out $489 for 10 pocket CHIPs and 10 basic CHIPS.

 

 

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