I am looking for a small computer (preferably with Linux, but as long as it can be programmed I am happy), that comes in a casing and has at least one RS-232 (9 pin D-SUB) connector and an ethernet port.

Power consumption is not an issue, it will be grid-powered, size and price are important. Also, it is for a commercial application, so availability is also important.

I have found the NanosG20, but I was wondering if that is a good choice, or that others are perhaps available.

2 Answers 2


One solution with which I am familiar is to buy an older thin client such as the HP t5740e WES.

This machine is low-power and fairly cheap, but it has your RS-232 and ethernet as required. It also has some other neat perks, like 4gb of internal flash storage (not as fast as a conventional SSD for sustained reads/writes, but should make for a good swap partition or even OS partition, since it is low-power and has good seek times).

The biggest downside here is that it runs on the Atom N280 chip, which is a very low performance single core x86 processor with hyperthreading. A headless or openbox/i3/LXDE-based linux would be the best match for its capabilities, and don't ask it to do to much in the way of running a program. I've run old dosbox games on it just fine, but that's about the limit.

  • I'd personally would go with this one, Mainly because it's a bit more "self-contained". The Intel has a faster overall processor speed and front side bus (a bit more processing capability). I'm also a bit of a stickler for Intel CPUs.
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 7:23
  • This is a decent choice, but it is for a commercial application, so it could get harder to find "older" thin clients reliably. Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 13:25
  • @BartFriederichs please note that you need this for a commercial application in your question. My answer is perfect for your question as it stands, but not as you meant it to be.
    – Adam Wykes
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 22:19
  • @AdamWykes I agree, I updated my question. Still, your solution isn't really small, which is what was in my original question. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 7:34
  • It's pretty small compared to most machines. Did you consider that asking for a "small" computer isn't really giving anyone the sense that you'd be a stickler on the size? If you need a certain dimension just say so.
    – Adam Wykes
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 8:44

Another possible solution, if you need even less processing power and more cost savings, might be the ALIX.3D2. This is a dev board which supports linux and runs an AMD Geode x86 processor at 500mhz - very low power, very low performance, but also very small and rather inexpensive - though you'll have to source the enclosure and power supply as well, of course.

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