Taiwanese computer company Asus has launched its own take on the hobbyist’s favorite, the Raspberry Pi. The newly unveiled (and nicely named) Tinker Board is available in the UK and Europe for £55 ($68) and offers some neat upgrades compared to the most recent Pi, but with a price bump to match.
Specs for the Tinker Board include a quad core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, four USB 2.0 ports, support for gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD slot, Micro USB for power, swappable 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi antennas, and a HDMI 2.0 port with support for 4K video.
Compared to the Pi Model 3 B, all this should give users improved 3D performance in the Tinker Board (courtesy of the Mali-T764 GPU and double the RAM) and access to 4K. Although, as noted by Ars Technica, while the Tinker Board will happily handle H.264 or H.265 encoded files, it doesn’t support 4K Netflix streaming — so not quite perfect for building your own media center.
Other key attributes include support for Debian Linux (including the popular Kodi media center software) and a hardware layout that looks to be very similar to the Pi’s — suggesting you could swap one board out for the other without too much trouble. It is more expensive, though, compared to the Pi 3 Model B (which is currently going for $40 on Amazon). We’ve only found the Tinker Board for sale at CPC for £55 so far (it’s currently on backorder) but drop a link below if you find alternate retailers.