Asus Tinker Board is a DIY mini PC that takes aim at Raspberry Pi

For makers, educators and IoT designers, this little board promises a lot more performance than its competitor.

Joshua Goldman

Joshua Goldman

Managing Editor / Advice

Josh Goldman helps people find the best laptop at the best price -- from simple Chromebooks to high-end gaming laptops. He's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software for more than two decades.

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Raspberry Pi has made a name for itself among makers, developers and students for its tiny $35 Raspberry Pi 3 computer. Asus thinks it can do better, though.

The Taiwanese tech company known for its PCs and components is now selling the Tinker Board, an open-source system ready to run anything you want to build around it -- from home automation to a drone to a video game emulator to a media box.

Like the Raspberry Pi 3, the Tinker Board is basically an entire PC -- motherboard, CPU, GPU, system memory and more -- all in one package. Based around a Rockchip RK3388 SoC quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, Asus is claiming the board will have twice the performance of the Pi 3, which is now nearly a year old.

Other specs include:

    • 2GB dual-channel LPDDR3 memory
    • Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
    • Four USB 2.0 ports
    • 40-pin internal header with 28 GPIO pins
    • Contact points for PWM and S/PDIF signals
    • 3.5mm audio jack connection
    • CSI port for camera connection
    • DSI port supporting HD resolution
    • HDMI 2.0 port with 4K-resolution support
    • MicroSD port supporting UHS-I card speed
    • Supports Debian OS with Kodi
    • 5V/2A Micro-USB power supply (not included)

      It is just the board and what's on it, however, so you'll have to supply your own microSD card for storage, a Micro-USB power supply, keyboard, mouse and display.

      French site MiniMachines first learned of the board at CES 2017, but it is now available in the UK for £55, which converts to approximately $70 or AU$90. That's about twice the cost of a Raspberry Pi 3, which for some will defeat the entire low-cost purpose of the platform.

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