Looking for compact but flexible, simple and cheap development board? You should consider this nice list of microcontroller USB-Stick tools. These are special development tools that include all necessary hardware and software in a portable USB stick. Most of them consist of two parts – USB stick and attachable target board.
For instance eZ430-RF2500 is the world’s smallest low-power wireless development tool. At only $49, the tool includes a USB emulator to program and debug your application in-system and two 2.4-GHz wireless target boards featuring the highly integrated MSP430F2274 ultra-low-power MCU.
All the required software is included such as a complete Integrated Development Environment and SimpliciTITM, a propriety low-power star network stack, enabling robust wireless networks out of the box. The MSP430F22x4 combines 16-MIPS performance with a 200-ksps 10-bit ADC and 2 op-amps and is paired with the CC2500 multi-channel RF transceiver designed for low-power wireless applications.
If you want to try different microcontroller then you can choose other USB stick development tools like ST microelectronics ST7FUS-PRIMER, STR9-comStick, Freescale ZSTAR demo board with accelerometer, NXP-Hitex LPC2468 ARM7TDMI based LPC-Stick with external SRAM, user pins and LEDs, and ATMEL RZRAVEN 2.4 GHz Evaluation and Starter kit that includes wide range of lowpower wireless applications like IEEE 802.15.4, 6LoWPAN and ZigBee networks.
All those development tools look attractive and are really cheap. Check out the full list here.