Cheap IoT boards to buy under $50 [2020 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

If you’re looking for a cheap IoT board, this article may help you. Check out the list of IoT boards available below and buy the one that best suits your needs.

 IoT boards with a friendly price tag

Intel Arduino 101 Development Board with Intel Curie

The Intel Arduino 101 IoT board is perhaps the best choice for entry-level education environments. The device is designed to build students’ technology skillsets through hands on projects in coding.

Arduino 101 features an accelerometer, gyroscope and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. You can program the board through the Arduino Integrated Development Environment using a Windows or Linux computer.

This board comes with open source licensing, which means that anyone can innovate on top of Intel’s hardware design.

You can buy the Arduino 101 IoT board for $29.17 from Amazon. For more information on how to get started with Arduino 101 on a Windows computer, check out Intel’s blog post.

Tessel 2

Tessel 2 is an interesting IoT and robotics development platform that comes preinstalled with Node.js 4.2.1 LTS or newer.

Here are its main characteristics:

  • Programmable in JavaScript with planned support for other languages
  • Deployment over USB or remotely by WiFi
  • The Tessel Modules extend the board’s capabilities
  • Supports 10/100 ethernet
  • 64MB DDR2 RAM
  • 32MB Flash
  • 16 pins GPIO, 7 of which support analog in
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports with per-port power switching

Getting Tessel 2 to work on Windows 10 is not an easy task. Fortunately, Scott Klein, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, published a step-by-step guide on how to get Tessel 2 to work on the latest Windows OS version.

You can buy Tessel 2 for $48.95 from Amazon.

Acrobotic ESP8266 ESP-12E IoT Board

This $11.95 board allows you to develop IoT apps without breaking your piggy bank. Another major advantage of this board is that you can get started building your internet-connected project in seconds.

All you need to do is plug the board into a USB port, download the programming app (Arduino IDE), and you’ll be ready to start writing code. If you’re a complete beginner, don’t worry: Acrobotic, the startup behing this IoT board has got you covered. You can find plenty of tutorials on Acrobotic’s official page.

You can buy the Acrobotic ESP8266 ESP-12E IoT board for $11.95 from Amazon.

If you’ve used other IoT boards that cost less than $50, tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other IoT products, check out our wide collection of guides.

This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.