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.