Smartphone and tablets are basically small computers that run mobile, touch-friendly operating systems. But if you take the guts of a phone, strip away the screen and replace the operating system with something a little different, you’ve got yourself a desktop computer… or a server.
The Ocean is a pocket-sized server with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4,200 mAh battery, allowing you to use it for up to two days without plugging in a charger. It ships with Debian 8.1 Jessie Linux and the developers say it’s “powerful enough to run a Node.js web server” and also supports Ubuntu, Raspbian, Android, and other operating systems.
Prices start at $149 for a model with 16GB of storage.
The little box measures 5.7″ x 3″ x 0.5″ and weighs about 6 ounces. It supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and has a full-sized USB port as well as a micro USB port for charging. You can also use a Qi wireless charging pad.
There’s no display and no video out port. This isn’t positioned as a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Instead, it’s designed to be used as a headless server. You connect to it over the internet or a local connection using a web dashboard, SSH, or other methods.
Ocean comes from iCracked, a company that repairs, buy, and sells iPhones. It was initially developed as a diagnostic tool for the company’s technicians, but iCracked figured there might be a wider market for the devices, so they’re offering them up to the public.
Theoretically, there’s nothing you can do with an Ocean pocket server that you couldn’t also do with a Raspberry Pi or other single-board computers. But what makes this product a little different is that you don’t need to build it yourself: it has a built-in battery, wireless card, USB port, and even software for getting started. You can also use it as a power bank to charge your other gadgets on the go.