Intel’s Sharks Cove is a single-board computer aimed at Windows and Android developers. It has an Intel Atom Z3735G processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, HDMI output, and a range of input and output options including USB, GPIO, UART, and other pins.

Essentially it’s like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino for folks that want to develop and test software with Intel’s chips rather than ARM-based processors.

It’s also more than 8 times the price of Raspberry Pi. Sharks Cove boards are now available for pre-order for $299.

sharks cove

Intel and Microsoft unveiled the Sharks Cove platform in April, but didn’t reveal the price tag at the time.

$299 isn’t actually a bad price for a developer-centric piece of hardware that will probably be produced in limited quantities. But at a time when you can buy a fully functional Windows tablet for $199 or an ARM-based developer board at a small fraction of the price, the Sharks Cove board does start to seem a bit expensive. The price is probably a sign that Intel doesn’t expect its product to appeal to amateurs and hobbyists the way that the Raspberry Pi and some other single board computers have.

via MSDN and Ars Technica

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13 replies on “Sharks Cove Intel Atom dev board goes on sale for $299”

  1. For the hobbyist (ie. not buying it for development within an actual company) who want an Intel based system, they’re better off getting Intel’s MinnowBoard Max ( https://www.minnowboard.org/meet-minnowboard-max/ ). This seems geared more towards companies prototyping future products (ie. tablets, phones, embedded application specific devices, etc.)

  2. Yea that $299 price is at least double what you could get really nice Arm hardware for. One question though, is the video compatible with the really excellent Open Source Intel drivers? If so, there is your reason to prefer it. Real open source video and, again we need to see the specs, perhaps real OpenGL and not the cut down OpenGL ES endemic in the Arm world.

  3. They REALLY dont get it. First raspberry Pi costs all of $35 is all open source and as such can play back HD, where as my Atom can’t stream HD from Netflix. Thats on the entertainment side. On the I/O side its a VERY cheap CPU which can use for single purpose computing. Things like learning about and controlling robots, making your own NAS drive. If the PI is just too slow and you can pop for 20 more you can get into Banana Pi leamaker.org and have a dual core 1Ghz pi like device with several OS distributions which have just started to mature enough to say ITS cool. With the extra hardware you can actually code some solutions that are more complex. In short neither of these cost more than $100 and have enough horse power to do most people want or they would be using a regular PC.
    ARM is amazing and I hope it continues to be so.

    1. Something happened to your Banana Pi link, it isn’t working.
      The BBB is another good alternative…

      1. That is NOT the site of the Banana PI In fact its been around for a while but they cant fix it.

        leamaker.org is the official site and they are really nice to deal with. Its a great little board and starting to become quite mature. Please done use any bananapi .com .org in reference to the board.

          1. sorry that’s right.. Oops. No they are the manufacturer and do not have a store. Got mine via aliexpress. Going to order two more soon

    2. Uh, nope, sorry but your whole post seems to be based on a mistaken assumption… Maybe you just skimmed through the article but making a direct comparison to the RPi or anything similar is rather misleading at best…

      This is a developer board that can handle both Windows and Android development! Most ARM based boards barely handle certain Linux distros in comparison and none will let you develop for Windows!

      Further, to put it in context, the introduction of W8 tablets as cheap as $99 means there could be a lot more Windows based devices in the future, but the market is still small right now and like the article stated this board is likely only for professional developers with long term goals in mind that directly relate to producing actual products and not for individual users to just play with or for educational purposes like the RPi is mainly meant for…

      Besides, typical Intel development boards used to cost well over $400… So this is a lot cheaper in comparison and it’s not a low end board that can barely run a OS but a SoC that you can actually find in end products, like those $99 W8 tablets!

      Never mind they’re likely only making a very limited number of these and price goes up the smaller the number of production… but even ARM based boards can still be pricey if only produced in small limited quantities… So the pricing is, as the article stated, still reasonable for the intended market…

      The article only failed to emphasize that the board can be used for things that the ARM based boards can’t, like developing for W8 devices!

      For example, the price not only covers the cost of the hardware, but also includes a Windows 8.1 image and the utilities necessary to apply it to the Sharks Cove…

      So lets be clear that this isn’t directly equivalent to the other products you’re thinking of and is in a different category!

  4. I think it will be a fail, 300$ is a high price for a hobbist. Minnow board is a lot cheaper (but not so powerfull) BUT i don’t see any moves from them on the market. MAX is still on preorders …. and i don’t know how is the support from community. IMHO, I think that minnow (or an atom x64 solution) is a better solution for a small pc running x86 linux (hw video decoding + skype) than an ARM based one.

  5. I think it could be similar to the Pi if they wanted it to. All they need is a community and a large install base like the Pi. I’d be willing to drop some extra money if I knew there was a large amount of people creating things for it. That’s why I bought a less powerful Raspberry Pi. I think of it like and Xbox 360 or PS3. The specs on each of those consoles are terrible but there are enough developers working with it that they are able to create some decent looking games. I always take community over power.

    1. Of course, a major reason why Raspberry Pi has a community and a large install base is that it is so inexpensive. I’m not sure there are 3 million people — or even 30,000 people — willing to buy the Intel board at $299 each.

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