Sure, with a $35 price tag, the Raspberry Pi 2 is pretty cheap. Want something even cheaper? The makers of last year’s Orange Pi are back, and this time they’re offering a $15 single-board computer called the Orange Pi PC.

It’s a tiny PC with an Alwinner H3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and support for Android or Linux software.

You can pick one up from AliExpress for just $15 plus shipping.

orange pi pc

The Allwinner H3 is an ARM Cortex-A7 processor with Mali-400 graphics. While it’s certainly not the fastest processor on the market, it’s a low-cost chip that’s supposed to be able to handle 4K video playback.

The Orange Pi PC has no built-in storage, but it features a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of removable storage. The system measures about 3.3″ x 2.2″ and weighs just 1.3 ounces.

Other features include an HDMI and AV ports, an infrared receiver, 10/100 Ethernet,  three USB 2.0 ports, a micro USB port, an AV port, a built-in microphone, and a 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible header, CSI interface for a camera, and power and status LEDs.

On paper, the Orange Pi PC seems like an interesting alternative to the Raspberry Pi. But there’s a much larger user base for Raspberry Pi products, which means it’s probably a lot easier to find software and support for a Raspberry Pi product than an Orange Pi device.

You can find Ubuntu, Raspbian, Debian, and Android software at the Orange Pi download page (note that there aren’t official builds for the Orange Pi PC yet, but software developed for the Orange Pi 2 and Mini 2 should work).

via CNX-Software

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

45 replies on “Orange Pi PC is a $15 single-board computer”

  1. Additional features include garbage electronics. If it doesn’t work, Steven Zhao, the seller, wont be of any help and neither will aliexpress. I know this because I bought one that doesn’t work. I will never buy from aliexpress again. Nothing but a run around.

  2. Does anyone have a working link for the Android Image? The Google Link is non-existant and the other link is in Chineeses

  3. Hi I’m Tetsuo and I’d like to share my Orange Pi experience.

    I was wildly enthusiastic about the idea of an Android/Linux RasPi clone for US$15+.

    I went straight to AliExpress and ordered 2 of them.
    I also ordered 2 of the full house SATA,WiFi etc boards.

    If you are considering doing the same, please be aware of the following.

    The money was withdrawn from my account the next day – US$106

    07-09-2015 TETSUO : I sent a msg asking when the order would be shipped. I was going
    away for a week on 27-09-2015 and wanted to make sure the order went to the Post Office
    NO ANSWER

    16-09-2015 TETSUO : I sent another msg asking when the order would be shipped as Stores on AliExpress usually ship in 2-5 days.
    NO ANSWER

    16-09-2015 TETSUO : I went to http://www.orangepi.org to see if there was any info about shipping/factory delays.
    I also applied to join the user forum so I could post questions.
    FORUM REQUEST NEVER ANSWERED

    23-09-2015 AliExpress cancels the order due to non-shipment by supplier

    23-09-2015 TETSUO : “Give me a refund NOW !!”

    25-09-2015 Steven Zhao : ONLY msg from Orange Pi/ Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO.,Limited.
    “Sorry for the delay ,we need time to refund to you , trust us we will give you a sasatisfy response,thanks”

    25-09-2015 TETSUO: “I don’t believe you, you had 3 weeks to respond to a single email and happily took my money. So WHY should I trust you ??? If you can’t deliver the product WHY is the sales page still up and WHY are you taking other peoples money too ??”

    NO REPLY

    I contacted AliExpress disputes and LUCKILY got an excellent chat operator who immediately processed my refund request thru their buyer protection policy.

    27-09-2015 AliExpress : Full refund deposited into my CC acc.

    The Orange Pi sales page on AliExpress is STILL live and shows they have sold 3,300.

    How many customers got ripped off like me ? I don’t know.
    The most annoying part is I STILL want one !!

    Tetsuo

    PS: I’ve ordered some small items from AliExpress and have generally been incredibly happy with the products/service.

  4. Hi I’m Tetsuo and I’d like to share my Orange Pi experience.

    I was wildly enthusiastic about the idea of an Android/Linux RasPi clone for US$15+.

    I went straight to AliExpress and ordered 2 of them.
    I also ordered 2 of the full house SATA,WiFi etc boards.

    If you are considering doing the same, please be aware of the following.

    The money was withdrawn from my account the next day – US$106

    07-09-2015 TETSUO : I sent a msg asking when the order would be shipped. I was going
    away for a week on 27-09-2015 and wanted to make sure the order went to the Post Office
    NO ANSWER

    16-09-2015 TETSUO : I sent another msg asking when the order would be shipped as Stores on AliExpress usually ship in 2-5 days.
    NO ANSWER

    16-09-2015 TETSUO : I went to http://www.orangepi.org to see if there was any info about shipping/factory delays.
    I also applied to join the user forum so I could post questions.
    FORUM REQUEST NEVER ANSWERED

    23-09-2015 AliExpress cancels the order due to non-shipment by supplier

    23-09-2015 TETSUO : “Give me a refund NOW !!”

    25-09-2015 Steven Zhao : ONLY msg from Orange Pi/ Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO.,Limited.
    “Sorry for the delay ,we need time to refund to you , trust us we will give you a sasatisfy response,thanks”

    25-09-2015 TETSUO: “I don’t believe you, you had 3 weeks to respond to a single email and happily took my money. So WHY should I trust you ??? If you can’t deliver the product WHY is the sales page still up and WHY are you taking other peoples money too ??”

    NO REPLY

    I contacted AliExpress disputes and LUCKILY got an excellent chat operator who immediately processed my refund request thru their buyer protection policy.

    27-09-2015 AliExpress : Full refund deposited into my CC acc.

    The most annoying thing is the Orange Pi sales page on AliExpress is STILL live and shows they have sold 3,300. How many customers got ripped off like me ? I don’t know.
    The most annoying part is I STILL want one !!

    Tetsuo

    PS: I’ve ordered some small items from AliExpress and have generally been incredibly happy with the products/service.

  5. I got my Orange Pi PC working – the ad suggests the unit will work with “Raspberry Pi image” – well of course it doesn’t – it works with their specially prepared images only without which the red light won’t even come on – and for the PC version – right now there is NO Raspbian – just a Debian 8. That lasted – oh, 5 minutes into my scripts which loaded up Apache etc, the unit went from 0.4amps to 0.5amps and the screen died. Heap of junk.

  6. Might look good on paper but having received mine yesterday -the plug is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen – none of my 5v adaptors fit.. so I soldered a couple of wires carefully on the back, checking with a meter before proceeding. Apply 5v, the thing takes maybe 200ma max – the lights come on on the Ethernet adaptor and that’s it – no board lights – no display, nothing – even without a card I’d expect SOMETHING on the display. No schematics available, the one email they have is a consultant and he’s not answering emails. Not impressed AT ALL up to now.

      1. What do I expect for £15 (nearer $25 with postage etc). Neither I nor the product are American, Buzz. And when someone offers me something in writing with a specification no matter what the price I expect them to deliver what they have offered – not a brick. They claim to run Raspberry Pi Raspbian images – but when you get deeply into it, it’s their version, not the original. I think that is deceitful and if they’ve sold me a puppy then every site that mentions the phrase “Orange Pi PC” will have my response on it to say they’re selling a duffer.

    1. Found some info on getting this to work….I still don’t have mine so i’m going to quote what I found on youtube and the customer forums on aliexpress.

      1 one guy said the adapter puts out 3 amp instead of 2 as stated.

      2 this is how 2 people have got the orange pi pc to boot.

      “I had the same issue. Try to connect the Orange Pi like before, turn on the screen, now push the reset button next to SD card slot, wait around 3-4 minutes, turn off and turn on the screen – it should work.”

      “I got my Orange Pi-PC through the post today.
      I had the same red light with out video initially. Pressing the reset switch, solved the problem on both ‘ Debian 8 with XFCE Desktop’ & ‘ Raspbian’ ”

      Here is a link to the original video you can check the comments.

      Guys I hope this helps

    2. I found this to Still digging around for answers

      denniselisson

      I got mine Orange Pi to function, i tested the new ubuntu mate OS and it did work, probably did something go wrong when i first tested and installed Rasbian, it did work in a Rpi but not the Opi. I have still some issues whit drivers for my mouse and keyboard (wireless combo) Here is a link where you find the official.https://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=342

    3. Found this comment to Hope it helps

      John C

      When I got mine (2 weeks ago), I thought it was defective, no video, and having already a Raspi 2 and a Banana PI I know what to expect … so I thought.
      But it is just the horribly bad Linux distro they offer and ghastly bad default device boot-up setup.
      The Orange Pi PC with the standard distro or no SD card does not(!) work at all on most 1080p monitors.
      Neither my TV not my “emergency” 1080p monitor would show a picture via HDMI.
      Red LED on, both NIC LEDs on. So I thought, well that is toast.
      I tried to find any news or tips via Google, could not find anything except for one video where someone claims this is a scam. He is having the same issues I had.
      I tried to contact he seller three times, nothing. I started a complaint, and then he replied, stating standard stuff, no USB power, 2A 5 V, use correct image, which I all had, and he never replied again.
      Almost giving up, I hooked up my trusty $2 USB to TLL adapter to the thing and lo and behold! I could see Linux booting via TTL monitor. So it worked, just the HDMI is not initialized correctly.
      On a hunh I hooked it up to my Dell Ultrasharp (1200p) and got a (badly overscanned) picture.
      Further investigation led me to this page in the forums: https://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=342
      Followed the directions to the letter(!), PERFECT boot with HDMI. From that moment on nothing but bliss. Love the little thing, so much power for $15, nice. I even could use some spare Raspi B+ aluminum heat sinks I had as it gets hot.
      And I commented on Ali Express, telling all of the above, it never showed up. (2 weeks ago)

      Read more: https://www.cnx-software.com/2015/10/02/orange-pi-pc-not-booting-you-are-not-alone/#ixzz3nevfLHf7

    1. Well, they SAY it needs more than usb can supply – so that suggests more than 500ma. Mine (which, granted doesnt’ seem to work) is sitting here using 100ma.

      1. I hope you get yours working. Mine just shipped a few days ago. I noticed they were not selling any more of the single boards but you could buy them as a kit with power plug and case. I bought the board only.

        Guess they just ran out that day they are selling again

  7. This device is a dead meat. There is no H3 support in community kernel and u-boot. You only can run one so so Android or Linux based on the same the one and only old 3.4.39 kernel which is buggy like hell.

    1. Hi, I’ve only touched the surface building my own mini-pc, but is the Mali 400 that bad for the Orange Pi? Does Raspberry Pi have better “specs”?

      1. It depends. Mali boards are ment to run Android and it runs pretty nice on it. With Linux the are problems with 3d and video drivers so for simple command line it’s OK but for multimedia it’s crap.
        On paper this board looks better, but raspberry has bigger community and for a beginner it’s better to start with raspberry pi

        1. I think i’ll try to do a dual boot. Linux for desktop tasks and Android for Media center. How fast will it run on a micro sd card? Much lag? I heard that larger cards are slower.

      2. The point being – the Raspberry Pi 2 (I would not bother with the older versions now) works as it says it does and works well. I am running databases and some quite complicated Node-Red MQTT communications on one of my Raspberry Pis and it’s not even breaking a sweat. I was kind of hoping I’d get half that performance out of the Orange Pi PC from their spec – but up to now all I have is a bust board and what seems to be the worse company for communications on the planet.

        1. Thank you sir for your experience with both R.Pi and O.Pi. Much appreciated. Cheers! 🙂

      1. They are not working now either. I just checked. Nothing seems to have been updated since 2015.

  8. I always hate they advertise prices cheaper than you can get it. You cant get a rasp 2 on the market for 25 and you cant get a orange pi for 15. its more like 35. MISLEADING.

    1. I just bought a kit with an Orpi, PSU, memory card and a case, for the price you mention. Including shipping.

      I live in Sweden, maybe you live in an area where shipping prices are much higher?

  9. It seems that this cannot accept power via the USB OTG port so you need to buy a dedicated power supply for it (raspberry pi accepts power via otg so you can use a tablet/phone charger).

    A Pi PC board + case + power supply can be bought in a set for $23 on their aliexpress store.

    1. On ôter allwiner cards l’île this one y ou can use both. This can help to support usb hdd or other power hungry devices.

  10. This is crazy-low price for a computer board like this. Some of the quality, named Arduino clones sell for more and those usually don’t have ethernet and microSD. Of course they target very different use-cases so this can really be compared to the Raspberry Pi and alike.

    Given sufficient Kodi-support, this could be the base of a very cost-effective DIY streaming media center.

    Given sufficient Raspbian support, this could also be the central hub for a home automation system.

  11. now i feel like an idiot for buying the chip kickstarter when this ships right now with more processing power and compatibility…if anything this will make a good miracast device if it isn’t any good

  12. Lol, Allwinner. More like AllLoser except the chip owner. They’re notoriously famous for giving shit source code or nothing at all, often the later.

  13. Just to be picky, I have to say it does have some storage in the form of an on-chip boot ROM. The H3 data sheet says:

    On chip ROM
    Size:96KB
    Support secure and non-secure access boot
    Support system boot from the following devices:
    – NAND Flash
    – SD/TF card
    – eMMC
    – Nor Flash
    Support system code download through USB OTG

  14. That chip is also supposed to have Hardware decode of HEVC so if they give the source code and with lima drivers for the mali this could be amazing.

    1. that’s a pretty big “if” that hasn’t been realized yet with allwinner and arm.

      1. All-winner apologized and released some code and promises more. Reverse engineering is coming along well albeit slowly. They open-sourced the boot-loader and with Lima and Cedrus many believe it is the most open chips so far. Check out the link below for progress on cedrus.

        https://linux-sunxi.org/Cedrus

        This is only a start mind you but makes is worth considering for a HTPC and more. Oh and they joined the Linux Foundation this June so I think they are making all the right moves lately.

        1. Mali driver is dead since two years and half. Only one line patch. The other guy that worked on this was hired by intel for their own closed graphic driver. So if noone else start serously a driver and with mesa community this time (as freedreno or videocore driver) there is no chance to see any driver soon.

  15. Funny that the biggest difference is a hardware power switch… too bad they picked Mali-400, though.

Comments are closed.