The $ 69 ZimaBoard Lets You Supercharge Your Smart Home Systems


Setting up a smart home system could be made a lot easier thanks to a new pint-sized device designed to be used as a DIY, hackable server.

While ZimaBoard isn’t the first of its kind, the fanless server does offer a number of unique features, which would explain how it managed to hit its fundraising goal in less than ten minutes. The project received pledges of over $ 160,000 over the weekend against its original goal of around $ 6,500.

“ZimaBoard allows users to create a personal NAS, private VPN, 4K media server, software router and more,” writes Lauren Pan, founder of Shanghai-based IceWhale Technology, who developed the ZimaBoard.

Open and skillful

ZimaBoard is a single board computer which, unlike similar devices, is powered by a 6 watt Intel Apollo Lake processor.

It is equipped with two SATA 6.0 Gb / s ports which can be used to connect SSDs. You also get a single PCIe 2.0 4x interface, a few USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a Mini-DisplayPort that can output up to 4K at 60Hz.

There are two versions of the ZimaBoard. The $ 99 ZimaBoard 216 uses 2 GB of LPDDR4 RAM with 16 GB of eMMC storage, while the ZimaBoard 832 costs $ 179 and comes equipped with 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM with 32 GB of eMMC storage. Contributors on Kickstarter can snag them at discounted prices starting at $ 69.

According to IceWhale Technology, the ZimaBoard ships with Linux but is compatible with Windows, OpenWrt, pfSense, Android and LibreELEC. Pan suggests this allows ZimaBoard to be used as a personal NAS, private VPN, 4K media server, software router, and more.

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