There isn’t a single reason behind the immense popularity of single board computers; there are many! For instance, the pioneering Raspberry Pi opened the way for users looking to learn code. But that isn’t all. Single board computers are equally useful as media and gaming platforms. Besides that, they can also be used by people looking to experiment with IoT and programme robotics.
If any of those have caught your eye and you are out shopping for single board computers, then the list below can help:
The Banana Pi represents not one, but a range of different single board computers just like the Raspberry Pi did. The two are compatible but more than that, Banana Pi is an open source board. That means you can also run Debian, NetBSD, Ubuntu, and Android on it.
The reason Banana Pi is ideally suited for running various applications is that it has Mali400MP2 GPU and an ARM Cortex-A7 Dual-core CPU. Besides that, you can also enjoy Wi-Fi module capabilities. Finally, the Banana Pi could also be used as a private data storage server.
Asus Tinker Board S
If you don’t think the Banana Pi is not for you, then you might want to consider the Tinker Board S. Its manufacturers, Asus is well-known in the world of PC manufacturing. This single board computer has features similar to that of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ regarding size, layout, etc.
So, if you don’t fancy buying a single board computer with a fruity name, then you may want to consider the Tinker Board. What makes this computer a good option is its faster 32-bit processor, the Rockchip RK3288. Another reason to consider it is a Gigabit Ethernet, 2GB RAM, and faster Mali T760 GPU.
A supplementary 16GB of eMMC memory, smart audio jack, compatibility with 4K/30fps playback are other features that make the Tinker a good choice.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
This is the successor to the single board computer that heralded a new age back in 2012. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comes with a BCM2837 CPU from Broadcom. Besides having 1.2 GHz at your command, you can also enjoy a Videocore IV powerful GPU.
What’s more, it comes with 1 GB of memory, four USB 2.0 ports, and a DSI display port. There is a plethora of third-party software tools and hardware accessories that will work with this computer too. However, its selling point is the community of actively sharing and contributing users. Beginners can find support on any topic regarding the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
The Odroid XU4 has a DDR3 RAM (2GB) and an Exynos 5422 processor. Besides that, it can be used to run distros (Ubuntu, Kali Linux, etc.), and Android. You can depend on getting the phenomenal performance that you are used to with XU4 due to an octa-core processor. Finally, you can use this ultra-powerful SBC as a PC too since it can deliver 4K video.
The BeagleBoard-X15 is beefy because it is powered by both a quad-core (Cortex-M4) and a dual-core (Sitara AM5728 ARM Cortex A15). You will also enjoy a smorgasbord of ways to connect with your BeagleBoard-X15 due to a 4GB eMMC, 157 GPIO I/O ports, and an HDMI out. If you are looking for a Raspberry Pi alternative on which you can run Android and Chrome OS, then this is your best bet.
Rock64 Media Board
The Rock64 Media Board was released by Pine64 and is fitted with a quad-core 64-bit CPU. Besides being extremely affordable, this single board computer offers a choice between 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM. Other reasons for its popularity are a USB 3.0 port, 4K output support, and an eMMC socket. The only drawback with this computer is there is no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The Orange Pi has specs identical to Raspberry but is available at a lower price. You can browse around because the project has different boards that are all worth a look. Expect to enjoy WiFi connectivity, an Allwinner’s H5 processor, Gigabit Ethernet, and 2GB of RAM among other features.
Newer breeds of Single Board Computers hit the market every year. The trick is to know which one is affordable and fulfills your requirements as well. We hope this list will help in that regard!