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Dozen Raspberry Pi alternatives

Here is a selection of single board computers for homebrew projects and automation, with prices starting at only $5.
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Topic: Hardware
NanoPi NEO Plus2
1 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NanoPi NEO Plus2

The NanoPi NEO Plus2 is less than half the size of the Raspberry Pi, but it packs a performance and storage punch

  • H5 quad-core A53 ARM Cortex processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB eMMC storage
  • 2 x USB ports
  • Gigabit ethernet

All that for $25.

More information

Huawei HiKey 960
2 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Huawei HiKey 960

The Huawei HiKey 960 is essentially a PC running Android.

At a whopping $239 it's not cheap, but it certainly has the horsepower to handle whatever task you want to throw at it.

  • Kirin 960 SoC Quad Core ARM (4 x 2.3GHz ARM A73 cores, and 4 x 1.8GHz ARM A53 cores)
  • ARM Mali G71 MP8 GPU
  • 3GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • 32GB of UFS flash storage

More information.

ODROID-XU4
3 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

ODROID-XU4

ODROID-XU4 is a new generation of computing device with more powerful, more energy-efficient hardware and a smaller form factor, and costing only $59.

Offering open source support, the board can run various flavors of Linux, including the latest Ubuntu 16.04 and Android 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop and 7.1 Nougat.

  • Samsung Exynos 5422 Cortex-A15 2Ghz and Cortex-A7 Octa core CPUs
  • Mali-T628 MP6 (OpenGL ES 3.1/2.0/1.1 and OpenCL 1.2 Full profile)
  • 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP stacked
  • eMMC5.0 HS400 Flash Storage
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Host, 1 x USB 2.0 Host
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • HDMI 1.4a for display
  • Size : 83 x 58 x 20 mm approx.(excluding cooler)
  • Linux Kernel 4.9 LTS

More information.

Cubieboard4 CC-A80 High-performance Mini PC Development Board
4 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Cubieboard4 CC-A80 High-performance Mini PC Development Board

Not only does the Cubieboard4 pack a punch, it can output 4K video, making it a great choice for those wanting to build a media center or a gaming platform.

At $160, this board doesn't come cheap, but it's a solid basis on which to build a project on.

  • Octa-core big.LITTLE Cortex-A15/7 processor
  • 64-core IMG PowerVR G6230 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage
  • 2x USB Host, USB 3.0/2.0 Dual-Role (host/device)
  • Ethernet MAC
  • 4x SPI, 7x TWI, 7x UART
  • 4x SD/MMC

More information.

Parallella
5 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Parallella

The Parallella computer is a high performance, credit card sized computer based on the Epiphany multi-core chips from Adapteva. Starting at $99, the Parallella can be used as a standalone computer, an embedded device or as a component in a scaled out parallel server cluster.

  • 16-core Epiphany RISC SOC
  • Zynq SOC (FPGA + ARM A9)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1GB SDRAM
  • Micro-SD storage
  • Up to 48 GPIO pins
  • HDMI, USB (optional)

More information

BBC micro:bit
6 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

BBC micro:bit

While the BBC micro:bit is primarily aimed at schools, its low price (about $16) and ease of use makes it a great tool for learning and prototyping on.

The micro:bit is powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor and comes with a built-in accelerometer, magnetometer and Bluetooth.

A unique feature of the micro:bit is the integrated 5x5 LED matrix that offers 25 individually programmable red LEDs to use as a basic display or output.

C.H.I.P.
7 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

C.H.I.P.

At $9, C.H.I.P. is a perfect demonstration of how cheap computing has become. You get what would only a few years ago have been desktop power on a tiny board.

  • 1.0GHz CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

More information

2016-06-1615-02-58.jpg
8 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NanoPC-T3

The NanoPC-T3 is the bigger brother of the NanoPi 2 Fire, and features an octa-core processor which has enough power for commercial and industrial applications.

  • Samsung S5P6818 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.4GHz
  • 1-2GB of RAM
  • 8GB of flash storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB 2.0

More information

2016-06-1614-56-08.jpg
9 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NanoPi 2 Fire

A cheap, $23 quad-core powered board that's ideally suited for hobbyists.

  • Samsung S5P4418 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 up to 1.4GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB 2.0

More information

Raspberry Pi Zero W
10 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi Zero W

OK, OK, I know that technically the Zero W is a member of the Raspberry Pi family, but this one is too awesome to not list!

Why?

Because for only $10 it offers a very impressive feature set:

  • 1GHz, single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini-HDMI port
  • Micro-USB On-The-Go port
  • Micro-USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers
  • CSI camera connector
  • 802.11n wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4
2017-02-2811-49-46.jpg
11 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MinnowBoard MAX

The MinnowBoard MAX is an update of the popular MinnowBoard, and features a 64-bit Intel Atom E3800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics.

There's also a SATA port allowing the MinnowBoard MAX to be hooked up to a hard drive.

At $139 it's not a cheap board, but it does offer a number of high-end features.

2017-08-0112-40-56.jpg
12 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

VoCore2

A coin-sized Linux computer that is totally open-source, and costs $20. This is a small, low-cost, totally open-source (both the hardware and software) computer that's ideal for projects such as IoT or building your own custom router.

  • MT7628AN, 580 MHz, MIPS 24K
  • 128MB, DDR2, 166MHz
  • 16M NOR on board, support SDXC up to 2TB
  • 802.11n, 2T2R, speed up to 300Mbps
  • 1 port/5 ports, up to 100Mbps
  • Support USB 2.0, up to 480MBit/s

More information

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