Asus Tinker Board Specs and Features: Move over, Raspberry Pi, there’s a new, more powerful single-board computer in town, and it’s built by Asus. Meet the 4K-capable, Kodi-ready Asus Tinker Board.
The Asus Tinkerboard is official, giving Raspberry Pi a brand new rival to butt heads with. But what is the Tinkerboard, and can it really compete? Here’s what you need to know.
Related: Raspberry Pi 3 review
1. Tinker Board is a single-board computer
The Tinker Board is a single-board computer (SBC). That means all of the Tinkerboard’s functions and features are on a single printed-circuit board (PCB), so it’s small, cheap, and easy to build into projects or devices you’re trying to create.
Basically, it’s an ideal solution for hobbyists looking to make something ‘smart’, but who don’t need significant amounts of computing heft.
2. It’s a lot like the Raspberry Pi
And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. The layout of both devices is very similar, and they do basically the same thing too. That’s no surprise, but it’s important to note nonetheless.
For instance, both are powered by a Micro USB port positioned on the bottom of the board. And like the Pi, this sits next to a 3.5mm audio jack and a HDMI port. The top edge, meanwhile, houses a 40-pin GPIO connector; the right side has a Gbit Ethernet connector and four USB 2.0 ports, and the left side has a display input. There’s a camera input too, which sits next to the audio jack.
All in all, it’s a capable and well connected Pi rival.
Related: Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2
3. Tinker Board’s specs look solid – and it's 4K-ready
It should offer a decent amount of grunt, too. The real heft comes courtesy of a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 processor that’s built by Rockchip. It’s not 64-bit (unlike the Raspberry Pi 3), but has a higher clock speed (up from 1.2GHz). The Tinker Board also wins out on RAM, offering 2GB of LPDDR3 dual-channel memory, up from the 1GB of SDRAM (shared with the GPU) that the Raspberry Pi 3 boasts.
There’s also built-in support for 802.11/b/g/n Wi-Fi connections and Bluetooth 4.0, the option to upgrade to an external anetnna, and the Tinker Board has an HDMI 2.0 for 4K support, and a DSI port for HD content.
4. It’s available right now...
The good news is that you can buy it right now. Sort of. Asus is selling the device in the UK, but the only place we’ve been able to find it is at online retailer CPC.
At time of writing, it was sold out, but you can still order it – it just won't ship to you until more units become available, and the site isn't listing an expected delivery date.
- Buy Now: Asus Tinker Board from CPC for £55
5. But it’s more expensive than the Pi
The bad news is that it’s quite a bit more expensive than the Raspberry Pi.
Including tax, the Asus Tinker Board will cost you a heft £55. That’s far higher than the £34 that the rival Raspberry Pi 3 costs. That said the Tinker Board has – on paper – more computing heft than the Pi. So if you’re looking to get a bit more done then perhaps the Tinker Board is the SBC for you.
6. Kodi is a killer feature
Asus' Tinker Board runs the Debian Linux distro, which means it's fully supportive of Kodi, an open-source media player that rivals the likes of Plex and is increasingly popular in mainstream circle.
Combine this with the 4K support and you've got a single-board computer that sounds ideal for powering a DIY home media suite.
Related: Best Raspberry Pi projects
Watch: MWC 2017 – What to expect
What do you think of the Asus Tinker Board? Let us know in the comments below.