Arduino vs clone

Should I have any reservations about using the clone boards from China intead of the genuine Pro Mini ?

Probably not. Just buy from a vendor that has a good rating. Look at the negative feedback to see if there have been any issues with arduino boards being sold.

All my Arduinos are compatibles or as called "clones", and they are just fantastic! the price was great and I'm having no issues with it.

Here's a list of my collection:
Arduino Mega 2560 (favorite)
Arduino UNO R3
Arduino Nano V3 (if you're going to buy this one, get a pack of female to female jumpers or 2 breadboards that you can clip on together)
Arduino Pro mini (cool size)

All good so far, its been 5 months since i started collecting
And here is what I recently ordered about 2 days back from a local company here in South Africa (yeah I stay here):

Arduino Leonardo (http://unihobbies.co.za/buy%20arduino%20leonardo%20board#all)
And I also got an arduino kt that i paid R295 (this works out to $28.60 USD) for, i bought it just because of its crazy low price (http://unihobbies.co.za/cheap-arduino-kit#all)
Ethernet shield (http://unihobbies.co.za/buy-ethernet-shield-for-arduino#all)
Proto kit (http://unihobbies.co.za/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=65#all)
and finally i managed to add in the "arduino elite kit" that has EVERYTHING in it, (http://unihobbies.co.za/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=73#all)
I know i overspent, but its just once in a while and the prices were too good to miss

but let me know how your experience with the clones turns out
i'm a hobbiest so i put a lot of work to these boards which i think is a great test for the clones (and they work out well for me, no let downs whatso ever)

Surely they're not "clones" in an open source environment?

I take "clone" to mean a reverse engineered illegal copy, a rip-off. First time I encountered the term was in the early 80s where the market was flooded with Apple][ clones from the east, nick-named "Japples".

Something being built legitimately according to an open source licence according to the designer's specs is surely not a "clone", although it can't carry the branding. If the boards you're looking at are using the branding illegally, then you should alert Arduino to that.

arduinoismyfan:
All my Arduinos are compatibles or as called "clones", and they are just fantastic! the price was great and I'm having no issues with it.

The how can you possibly justify your name arduinoismyfan?

If it is pretending to be an Arduino then it is illegal, if it is just saying it is Arduino compatible or some such it is fine.

However, if you are happy to participate in this forum which is financed by Arduino from the sales of there products then are you not being a bit of a parasitic hypocrite? All take and no give, bad for the soul.

If you're capable of putting a bootloader onto blank parts, you might be okay.

andreto:
Should I have any reservations about using the clone boards from China...

Only moral ones.

JimboZA:
Surely they're not "clones" in an open source environment?

I take "clone" to mean a reverse engineered illegal copy, a rip-off. First time I encountered the term was in the early 80s where the market was flooded with Apple][ clones from the east, nick-named "Japples".

It is a clone if it calls itself an Arduino Pro Mini (or Arduino anything) rather than an Arduino Pro Mini compatible. The Arduino is open source, but they hold IP on the name and other aspects. The sale of official boards help fund further development and the O&M for this site.

Using chinese clones is a hit and miss situation. Generally the price (and reputation of the seller) are your best guides. If the price is close (say 70-100%) of the price of an official board then you can be reasonably confident that they are simply cutting out 'overhead' (like supporting this forum) to get you their clone. However, if the price is less than say 70% of the price of the official board, you significantly increase the liklihood of something shady going on. The boards might still work for you, but some of the things others have found is the chips aren't even AVR's, just plastic cases with no silicon inside... And even if the parts are real, they are almost certainly the absolute lowest quality the seller/manufacturer could obtain. The cliche "You get what you pay for." is valid in this situation.

wanderson:

JimboZA:
Something being built legitimately according to an open source licence according to the designer’s specs is surely not a “clone”, although it can’t carry the branding. If the boards you’re looking at are using the branding illegally, then you should alert Arduino to that.

It is a clone if it calls itself an Arduino Pro Mini (or Arduino anything) rather than an Arduino Pro Mini compatible. The Arduino is open source, but they hold IP on the name and other aspects.

Yeah that’s kinda what I said.

JimboZA:
If the boards you're looking at are using the branding illegally, then you should alert Arduino to that.

Noted from that website, where the boards are clearly labelled as "Arduino Uno" with the symbol,

Arduino AUR3S-ELITE-KIT (Inlcudes Generic Uno R3 Board)

Inlcudes?

I'm suspicious of that Unihobbies website. Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't give their physical or postal address anywhere; yet when I went to sign up (I'm in South Africa too) it wants my address. I cancelled then...

Although it gives one local phone number (area code for Port Elizabeth), their map is centred on Naples, Italy.

I'll stick to these guys; been using them for 2 years, fault-free.