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best raspberry pi alternatives

The Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

A single-board computer has been developed by the British foundation Raspberry Pi. It contains a single-chip SoC system with an ARM CPU. The shape of the board resembles a credit card. Raspberry Pi has been on the market since 2012 with great success. The device is widely used as a media center with HD resolution and HDMI interface.

The operating system used is mainly Linux with a graphical user interface. However, the latest models also have Windows 10. The system is booted via a removable SD card. The latest models can also be booted via USB mass storage or network.

Banana Bi M3

The Banana Bi M3 is a single-board computer with 2 GB of RAM and an octa-core processor. Furthermore, a Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, WiFi, 2 USB, Bluetooth and HDMI connections are present.

The computer can work with a variety of systems such as Android, Ubuntu, Raspbian, Debian and Lubuntu. BPI is an open platform for all developers, entrepreneurs, do-it-yourselfers, tech enthusiasts and others with the support of a wide community. The M3 masters the art of octa-core and has a SATA port to connect to a hard drive.

Main features of the BPI M3

  • Allwinner A83T Octa-Core 1.8 GHz powerful CPU,
  • HDMI,
  • 2 GB LPDDR3 memory,
  • 8 GB eMMC memory,
  • IR control,
  • MIPI DSI interface,
  • WiFi & Bluetooth on board,
  • CSI camera interface,
  • USB Sata,
  • Powe VR SGX544MP1.

Technical specifications

In brief, the technical specifications are summarized:

  • Allwinner A83T ARM Cortex-A7 Octa-Core 1.8 GHz,
  • GPu: PowerVR SGX544MP1,
  • 2GB LPDDR3,
  • 8G eMMC Flash Onboard MicrosSD slot, SATA 2.0 port,
  • Network: 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0,
  • Video output: HDMI port and multi-channel audio output/MIPI DSI for LCD,
  • Video input: CSI camera interface,
  • Audio output: 3.5 mm jack and HDMI,
  • USB ports: 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x USB OTG,
  • Audio input: onboard microphone,
  • GPIO: GPIO (x28), power supply (+5 V; + 3.3 V and GND), UART, I2C, SPI or PWM,
  • Power consumption: 5 volts at 2 A,
  • Size, weight: 92 x 60 mm, 48 g,
  • OS: Android and Linux.

Remote control is via an IR receiver (x1). Switches include a reset, power and submarine switch. The BPI-M3 has a 40-pin GPIO header like the Raspberry Pi 3. The CSI camera connection is via a 40-pin FPC connector with an external camera module. This interface is labeled CSI on the board.

The display connector is also a 40-pin FPC connector and is labeled DSI. The software provided is the manual for Android, Linux and possibly Opnewrt or TinaLinux. The hardware interaction is broken down for the Front Side and for the Rear Side.

On the rear side, you can see the connectors for MicroSD card slot and WiFi and BT Antenna (optional). All other ports and components are located on the front. These include HDMI, SATA, USB, Enternet Interface, Display Interface and other components.

What is needed for a quick start?

When operating the computer for the first time, the following items are required: a micro SD card, HDMI, a keyboard or mouse, an Ethernet cable, a micro USB power adapter, an audio cable, and a mobile hard drive. The minimum size for the optional SD card should be 8 GB.

Any standard USB keyboard or mouse should work. For storage, a mobile hard drive to the USB port is suitable. Other basics needed are a BPI-SBC, a class 10 or higher MicroSD card, a power adapter with 5V/2A power supply, a host computer running Ubuntu 64, and a serial communication card.

The operating system image is loaded onto the formatted SD card, which is then used to set up the operating system. Once everything is properly connected, the system boots and the screen displays the OS GUI.

Rock Pi 4C RK3399 Single Board Computer

Rock Pi 4C RK3399 Single Board Computer
43 Reviews
Rock Pi 4C RK3399 Single Board Computer
  • Class-Leading Performance-ROCK Pi has a modern and powerful…
  • IO performance-ROCK Pi development board comes with multiple…
  • Maker Friendly, IoT Connectivity-ROCK Pi features maker…
  • Multi Storage eMMC module-Optional industrial compatible…
  • AI Capabilities- ROCK Pi supports mainstream AI stack with…

Rock Pi4 is a single board computer with a very small form factor and high mechanical compatibility. Required are the Rock Pi with Model A or B with 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB RAM, a power supply with USB-C connector and at least 15 W of power, a MicroSD card or an eMMC module with eMMC to USB adapter card, a keyboard and a mouse and a monitor with HDMI input. The Rock Pi 4 can be accessed remotely via SSH or the Internet.

Technical specifications

  • Processor: 64bit Hexa Core, Rockchip PK3399, Dual Cortex-A72 with 1.8 GHz with Quad Cortex-A53 and 14 GHz frequency,
  • Memory: LPDDR4 64bit Dual Channel with 3200 Mb/s, 1 GB/2 GB/4 GB optional,
  • Storage: eMMC modules, optional 8G/16G/32G/64G/128G are available,
  • USD Card: USD Slot up to 128 GB, M.2 SSD: M.2 Connector up to 2T m.2 NVME SSD,
  • Display: HDMI 2.0 up to [email protected],
  • MIPI DSI: Mipi DSI lanes via FPC Connector, HDMI and MIPI DSI can work with the same time, support mirror mode, extend mode,
  • Audio: 3.5 mm jack with MIC, HD codec with supports up to 24 bit/96 kHz audio,
  • Camera: MIPI CSI, MIPI CSI 2 lanes via FPC connector, support up to 8 MP camera,
  • Wireless: None, or 802.11 ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, with onboard antenna,
  • USB: USB 3.0 OTG x1 upper one, USB 3.0 HOST x1 lower one, USB 2. HOST x2.
  • Ethernet: GbE LAN, GbE LAN with PoE support, plus HAT,
  • IO: 40-pin expansion header: 1 x UART, 2 x SPI bus, 2 x I2 C bus, 1 x SPDIF, 1 x PWM, 1 x ADC, 6 x GPIO, 2 x 5 V DC power pin, 2 x 3.3 V power pin,
  • Other: RTC, RTC Connector for backup optional,
  • Power: USB PD support USB Type C PD 2.0 9V/2A, 12V/2A, 15V/2A, 20V/2A,
  • [email protected] Charge, support for QC3.0/2.0 adapter with 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A,
  • Size: 85mm x 54mm.

The computer offers top-notch performance and very good mechanical compatibility. The device features a hexacore ARM-based processor RK3399 with improved performance. All models are equipped with LPDDR4 3200 MB/s RAM and optional eMMC modules.

The device features vendor-friendly expansion options. For example, there is the 40-pin GPIO interface for a variety of inputs with buttons, sensors and switches. Bluetooth 5.0 is used for improved speed and longer range.

RockPi4 has an independent USB 3.0 host and a USB 3.0 OTP port with 5 Gbps/s each. A B variant has 802.11 ac 2.4 G & 5 G WLAN. Exsit cameras can be connected via the MPI CSI port.

Rock Pi4 supports GPU acceleration and the mainstream AI stack. To further improve performance, it is equipped with 6 cores and features an ARM-based RK3399 SoC. Rock.Pi’s GPU offers up to 4 cores with 600 MHz clock speed. Rock Pi has excellent read and write performance. This has improved copying, working and backup and overall data usage.

Asus Tinker Board S

Asus Tinker Board S
461 Reviews
Asus Tinker Board S
  • High performance Quad-core ARM SoC up to 1. 8GHz with 2GB…
  • Non shared GB LAN & USB, shielded Wi-Fi & BT with upgradable…
  • Highly compatible PCB & topology –leveraging industry…
  • Hd & UHD video support and HD Audio– Tinker Board S…
  • DIY Design – Tinker Board S features multiple DIY use…

The improved Tinker Board S single-board computer has higher durability, better stability and a better user experience worldwide. The longer durability is ensured by an integrated 16GB eMMC memory and MicroSD slot for better performance, stability and flexibility. Added to this is low-voltage input detection to ensure system stability and avoid voltage issues when using an unqualified power supply.

From the user experience, HDMI CEC capability emerged for comprehensive video entertainment. This makes it possible to remotely control the Tinker Board together with the TV using only one remote control. Furthermore, the audio jack detection and automatic switching from other interfaces to 3.5mm audio jacks has been further developed. Besides, the onboard power-on pin and an extended I2S pin with slave mode gives better compatibility.

Technical specifications

The following technical details result for the Tinker Board S:

  • Processor: Cortex-A17 Quad-Core 1.8 GHz,
  • Display connection: 1 x 15-pin MIPI DSI with support up to HD resolution, 1 x HDMI with up to 4 K/30 fps, for HDMI CEC hardware,
  • Memory size: Dual-CH LPDDR3 2 GB,
  • Memory: Onboard 16 GB eMMC, Micro-SD (TF) card slot,
  • Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 6 BT 4.0 + EDR,
  • Audio: RTL HD codec with 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, supports plug-in detection and auto-switch,
  • USB: 4 x USB 2.0 interfaces,
  • internal connectors: 1 x 40-pin GPIO header with extended I2S, 1 x 2-pin eMMC recovery header,
  • Power connector: micro USB (5V/2~3A), detects low voltage,
  • Supported operating systems: Debian 9 / Android 6,
  • Dimensions: 8.6 cm x 5.4 cm ( 3.37 inches x 2.125 inches).


The board offers first-class performance and more performance with the quad-core processor. The 2 GB LPDDR3 memory with the integrated 16 GB eMMC and the SD 3.0 interface provide more flexibility. This provides faster read and write speeds for the operating system, applications and file storage.

With the graphics unit, the board is suitable for high-quality multimedia playback, gaming, computer vision, gesture recognition, image stabilization, image processing, photography, and more.

Enhanced HD audio quality provides audio playback up to 24-bit/ 192 kHz. The audio jack automatically switches audio output when a speaker or headset is detected. The board is maker-friendly with IoT connectivity. The computer does not have a SATA port.


36 Reviews
  • Includes power supply!!!
  • 4GB DDR4 (1320MHz, 2640MT/s) 32-bit RAM

Odroid N2, as a single-board computer, is more powerful and stable than the older generation of N1. It was developed by the hardware manufacturer Hardkernel. All Odroid types have a multi-core processor with ARM architecture. The maximum clock rates range between 1.5 and 2 GHz.

Linux in the variants Ubuntu or Arch Linux and Android are considered as operating systems. HDMI, USB and an integrated network card with an RJ45 port are available.

Technical specifications

  • Memory: 2 GB DDR4 with 32-bit 1.2 V 1320 MHz,
  • CPU: Armlogic S922X Hexa-Core-CPU ARMv8-A with Big-Little-Architecture (Quad-Core-CPU Cortex-A73 with 1.8 Ghz and Dual-Core-CPU Cortex-A53 with 1.9 GHz,
  • GPU: Mali-G52 (846 MHz) (OpenGL-ES 1.1, and 3.2 vowie OpenCL and 2.0),
  • Connections: eMMC up to 128 GB, microSD slot (DS/HS modes up to UHS-I SDR104,
    HDMI 2.0(up to [email protected] Hz with HDR, SEC, EDID), LAN (RJ45, supports 10/100/1000 Mbit/s), audio (3.5 mm jack), 2 x ADC input, RTC, IR receiver,
  • Power consumption: IDLE: 1.9 W / CPU load: 5.5 W / Power off: 0.2 W,
  • Operating voltage: 12 V / A (high jack 5.5 mm outside and 2.1 mm inside),
  • 40-pin header: ( 2 x DC 5 V, 2 x DC 3.3 V, 1 x DC 1.8 V, 8 x GND, 1 x SPI, 1 x UART, 2 x IsC, 25 x GPIO),
  • Cooler fan connector: 5 V, 2-pin for optional 60 x 60 mm fan,
  • Board dimensions (L x W x H): 90 x 90 x 17 mm,
  • Dimensions heatsink/housing (L x W x H): 100 x 91 x 24 mm.


The 4 GB edition includes an 8 GB Industrial MicrooSD UHs-1 N2 Linux with CoreElec pre-installed and a power supply 12 V/ 2A with selected plug type. The new generation media center operating system is designed for best functionality with excellent output image quality. It has 4K HDRIO and HLG capable platforms.

The hardware is specialized in automatic frame rate switching and dynamic range adjustment. A stable GB Ethernet is available for reliable 7.1 HD audio – 4K HDR Bluray Rip home network streaming.

It is the only Linux Kodi-Leia device that outputs accurate 4K HDR infoframe data. It is considered the most powerful and affordable ARM-based Linux board for 4K HDR video player on the market.

The computer offers 40% better CPU performance than predecessors and 20% better graphics performance. The hexacore CPU with 2 higher clocked CPU cores further accelerate the work. Ubuntu can be downloaded from the Odroid homepage.

5/5 - (7 votes)

Last product update on 2022-06-28 | Source: Amazon Affiliate