I keep seeing stuff for the Home Assistant approved SBC and is the price worth it?
My answer is no. Reason being it doesn’t come with WiFi or Bluetooth. You’re dependent on USB Dongles. You can save a few bucks and get a CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 kit for $100.00, the 4GB model that comes with everything including a 32GB Micro-SD Card. Labists even has a Kit with the 8GB model for the same price as the HA Blue. The only downside is you’ll have to install Home Assistant on it. The HA Blue comes with Home Assistant installed.
The way I see it no matter you choose you’ll need to be some what an end user to get into Home Assistant. You’ll need to know basic Linux commands, program in YAML, Python and JSON. You’ll also need to know basic Computer Networking as well and maybe electronics if you decide to build some custom Sensors and Switches or modify existing devices to use 3rd party Firmware.
The Raspberry Pi has a few more bells and whistles and is more expandable. The HA Blue uses the Odroid-N2+ and is some what compatible to the Raspberry Pi but lacks a few options. The only benefits I see with the Odroid-N2+ is it has a built in 128GB eMMC Flash so no SD Card is required, comes with Home Assistant preinstalled and has a nifty case.