Raspberry Pi's smaller, cheaper rival: NanoPi Neo Plus2 weighs in at $25

NanoPi Neo Plus2 wants to power your Internet of Things inventions.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

NanoPi Neo Plus2's spec shows a number of improvements over the $15 NanoPi Neo 2.

Image: FriendlyARM

FriendlyARM, the maker of compact NanoPi developer boards, has released the NanoPi Neo Plus2 for $25.

This board is an update to the recently released NanoPi Neo 2, a $15 cookie-sized developer board measuring 40mm x 40mm (1.6in) with a 64-bit Allwinner H5 processor, 512MB RAM, and one USB port.

The NanoPi Neo Plus2 is slightly larger at 52mm x 40mm (2in x 1.6in) and has two USB ports. It has the same H5 quad-core A53 ARM Cortex processor, but comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC storage.

As noted by ZDNet sister site, TechRepublic, the NeoPlus2's storage in addition to Gigabit Ethernet puts it ahead of the Raspberry Pi 3 on paper, and at $25 undercuts the better-known board by $10.

The unit also features a microUSB port for power input, a microSD slot for expandable storage, and in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

On a wiki for the board, FriendlyARM says the design is made to suit Internet of Things applications that require a compact device with "high-speed and large throughput data transmission and high-performance computing".

The firm says the device works with UbuntuCore 16.04, and Debian to support its NanoPi NAS Dock.

However, as noted by CNX Software, the 8GB storage is the cheapest Samsung eMMC flash available, which may be a performance constraint depending on the application it's used for.

The company is also selling a basic kit for $29, which includes a micro USB cable, a heatsink and thermal pad, and an acrylic case. There's also a USB2UART board for debugging available for the first 200 orders.

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