Raspberry Pi alternative: Khadas pitches $50 VIM3L as 4K home theater PC

The VIM3L single-board computer for home media-center fans costs $50, but prices will rise by $10 from October 8.

A guide to Raspberry Pi in 60 seconds The potential of this fully functional, ridiculously inexpensive little computer is limited only by your imagination. It's not too late to join the Raspberry Pi bandwagon.

Khadas has opened up pre-orders starting at $50 for its new Raspberry Pi rival, the Khadas VIM3L, which is aimed at home theater PC enthusiasts. 

The VIM3L computer comes with Android 9.0 Pie pre-installed and runs on the Amlogic S905D3 processor with 4K support up to 60 frames per second. 

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It's available for pre-order for $49.99 or as with a CoreELEC HTPC (Home Theater PC) kit including a transparent enclosure, heatsink, Wi-Fi antennas, and remote control for $69.99. Both prices include worldwide shipping.

The board runs on an Amlogic S905D3, a four-core Arm Cortex A55-based CPU, and includes 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB of eMMC flash. It also has Bluetooth 5.0 support, as well as Gigabit LAN, HDMI, USB-C, and USB 2.0 ports.

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, launched in June, comes with up to 4GB memory for $55, twice the RAM offered by the Khadas VIM3L. 

However, the new Khadas board also sports a neural processing unit machine-learning accelerator with 512kB internal L2 cache and a 1MB system workspace buffer. Khadas says the NPU supports all the big deep-learning frameworks, including TensorFlow and Caffe.  

The price of $49.99 for the board alone and $69.99 with the kit is available in the early-bird selling phase from September 3 and is estimated to ship before October 30, 2019. Prices rise to $54.99 and $74.99, respectively, on September 17, and again to $59.99 and $79.99, respectively, on October 8. 

The VIM3L will support the same accessories as the recently launched VIM3, which could be a bonus for anyone who's already bought VIM3-compatible heatsinks and fans. 

As CNX Software notes, the cooling fan is recommended if booting Linux distributions. However, the VIM3L's Amlogic processor can operate in passive cooling mode when running Android. 

READ MORE: Best Raspberry Pi alternatives (September 2019 edition)

With the new VIM3 and VIM3L available now, the price of predecessor VIM boards have been reduced. 

The VIM1 basic, which runs on an Amlogic S905X processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage has been reduced by $10 to $44.99. The VIM2 Pro and VIM2 Max with an Amlogic S912 eight-core processor have been reduced by $20 to $99 and $119, respectively. 

khadasvim3lspec.jpg

The VIM3L computer comes with Android 9.0 Pie pre-installed and runs on the Amlogic S905D3 processor with 4K support up to 60 frames per second.   

Image: Khadas

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