Compulab’s Utilite is a tiny computer with a Freescale i.MX6 processor and support for Android and Ubuntu Linux.

While Freescale’s ARM Cortex-A9 processor isn’t exactly a speed demomn, it’s relatively Linux-friendly and comes in single, dual, and quad-core versions. Compulab offers Utilite models with each processor type, with prices for the single-core version starting at $99.

The Utilite was first unveiled this summer, but now it’s available for order. Note that it could take almost two months for the device to actually ship.


The Utilite Value feature a single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot, WiFi, and Gigabit Ethernet and sells for $99.

Compulab also offers a Utilite Standard with a dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and DVI input as well as HDMI, microSD and 2 Ethernet ports. This dual-core model sells for $159.

The last version is the Utilite Pro, a $219 device with a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rest of the specs are the same as those for the Standard model.

Compulab says each device consumes just 3 to 8 watts of power, which could make these energy efficient options for folks looking for a basic computer, media center, or digital signage or kiosk system.

While the company is promising Ubuntu compatibility, right now the only official software available for installation is Android 4.0.4 and the U-boot bootloader, both of which you can find at the Utilite wiki.



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22 replies on “Utilite ARM-based Linux PC now available for $99 and up”

    1. What max speeds do you get through the gigE ports using CIFS/SMB, NFS, scp, iperf and the CPU usage during each?

      Do you have any tar.xz compression/decompression tests?

      1. I really would like to make some tests with the gigE but currently I don’t have Gigabit Network at home – what I can do is some scp tests when I connect it direct to my Laptop via
        Gigabit Ethernet. I will post the results on my blog when done, and of course some comp/decomp examples.

        1. Thanks. I’m interested in the Ethernet speeds of both the ports. I hear the one that uses the internal Ethernet MAC may be slower than the second Intel one.

          Also, any photos? I’ve only seen these renders.

  1. Is this compatible with FreeBSD? I don’t need graphics other than a console but I need the dual Ethernet to be fully supported.

    1. But the SoC in the MK808 is from Rockchip, who have not released much/any documentation about their chips. Freescale has (apparently) released a lot about its i.MX6 SoC’s. This makes a big difference in getting desktop Linux (not Android) up and running.

      Also, the MK808 doesn’t have even one Ethernet port. For some people that’s important.

  2. Single core for $99 dollars? Why the hell would anyone spend that amount, for something with a single core processor?

    1. The single-core “Value” model isn’t that impressive. The other two are more interesting though.

  3. Don’t forget that the “32GB of storage” in the Pro model is an mSATA SSD instead of a microSD card. That will go a long way to improving the performance of disk-bound tasks.

  4. I wonder how much power a Bay Trail T or M version would consume plus how much would it cost.

    Anyone know of any benchmarks of the quad core version? Mainly archiving in the tar.xz format and Ethernet speeds for various network loads (plus CPU usage).

    1. There are multiple reviews on Bay Trail with benchmarks done on at least the reference sample models that were done by Anandtech, HotHardware, etc.

      Overall, the Z3770 scores equal to better than the AMD Kabini A4-5000… despite the Kabini being a 15W TDP SoC and the Z3770 being somewhere less than 4W, with a 2W SDP rating.

      Even under heavy load the CPU cores only pulled 1-2.5W during the benchmarks…

      So Bay Trail is proving to be very power efficient and low cost… Tray pricing for the top end Bay Trail T Z3770 for example is just $37 but that’s a quad core… Compare that to the older dual core Clover Trail Z2760 that has a Tray price of $41… So Bay Trail is cheaper despite having double the cores and offering over twice the performance!

      And Bay Trail will also offer lower cost dual core models too, so pricing should be very competitive with high end ARM offerings.

      Though, Bay Trail M will be competing more with AMD than ARM and being marketed under Celeron and Pentium branding probably means they will be priced closer to what those product brands are usually priced rather than the low pricing of the mobile specific models.

      The max TDP ranges for Bay Trail M is also a bit higher than Bay Trail T but should still be more power efficient than say Haswell Y chip, and definitely still lower cost…

      Bay Trail M will start at 4.5W TDP, btw… The quad core N2910 is rated for 7.5W TDP and 4.5W SDP…

      And according to a earlier rumor, Intel seems to expect at least one Bay Trail based product to come out before the end of the year for less than $100…

      1. I’ll believe that when I see one. Intel has been promising stuff like that for over two years, never materialized. I say it’s pretty much vapourware at this point.

        1. Fact is they got low enough chip pricing to make it possible, they’re offering Chips with pricing that competes with ARM pricing.

          So, if ARM can come out with a device in that price range then so too can Intel…

          Besides, they’re already getting pretty close, as you probably already seen from the articles released on the upcoming Dell tablets. There will already be a 7″ Intel based tablet for $150 and that model isn’t even using the lowest end chip they have available!

    2. I’d like to see Bay Trail versions of these mini-PC boxes assuming they cost the same or proportionally the same based on performance.

      1. I hope to see some Bay Trail mini PCs too. I have some old ARM and Atom SBCs. I definitely prefer the Atom ones. A lot less hassle. With Bay Trail, it’ll be even less hassle.

        1. Yes, It is. But price it is matter. When ARM SoC costs $25-35 for high-end solutions such as Tegra 4, Snapdragon 800, Exynos 5410 and so on, Intel’s Atoms costs a little over and provide a little less performance.
          Though, I hope, Bay Trail change it in questions of performance and costs both. And ’cause it is has Intel HD Graphics inside (not IT which saks in terms of Linux support), there are will be a good solution. So only price will matter for success.

    3. Yes, I’d like to see some Ethernet benchmarks for various network tasks (CIFS, NFS, SSH/SCP with different encryption protocols) and their CPU load. Does this chip have AES offloading? (De)compression tests would be useful (tar.gz, tar.bz2, tar.xz, tar.7z).

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