Raspberry Pi vs FXI Cotton Candy

PC consumers are having a very sweet month, with two tiny single-board Linux computers attracting huge attention.  Meet the Raspberry Pi, and the FXI Cotton Candy.

The Raspberry Pi is a bare, uncased board that costs $35, and the Cotton Candy is a finished, ready to run PC-in-a-USB stick that costs $199. Both sport ARM processors, use SD card storage (up to 64GB) and both will run Linux variants.


Raspberry Pi is powered by a 700MHZ Broadcom ARMv6 processor with VideoCore graphics, has 256MB of RAM, 2 USB ports, an Ethernet jack, and outputs for high definition audio & video via HDMI and RCA .

Somewhat costlier but much more elegant is the Cotton Candy from FXI which turns any screen (tablet, smartphone, PC, Mac, TV, set-top-box – anything with an HDMI or USB port) into a computer. The USB stick style unit contains a 1GHz Samsung ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, an ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI output and is available with either Android or Ubuntu operating system.

While these devices represent some amazing technological advances (emergence, chip size, low cost manufacturing) personally I wonder what exactly would an every-day-joe use it for? The problem is portability – to actually use these you’d have to lug around mouse, keyboard, power source and a bunch of cables. When you add up the cost and hassle of these peripherals I start to think… maybe I should just get an iPad?

5 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi vs FXI Cotton Candy

  1. Jed says:

    Well iPad is a bit of a price hike… but I see your point.

    1. Maeve says:

      Sure, basically just saying there are a whole heap of much more portable, versatile products available at every price point capable of very similar functionality… think smartphones, Android Tablets, Eee PC, Netbooks…

  2. Nicholas says:

    Great post. I think your point is a good one. A windows phone or tablet pc of some kind would be a much better buy for most of those who lust after a miniature computer.

  3. Johan de Beer says:

    I could see myself developing on the FX Candy thing. I would save myself from commuting every morning and evening with a heavy laptop. In the office i connect my current laptop to a seperate screen, keyboard and mouse anyway. This small device could be a great solution! I wonder how it performs…

    1. ask me says:

      Unless your development environment supports the flavour of Linux running on the cottoncandy, then it still would not work.

      Heck, even a cheap 10-11″ laptop with a DVI port would be infinitely more useful.

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