ASUS Launches Raspberry Pi-Esque 'Tinker Board' With 4K Support

Image: ASUS, via CPC

It doesn't matter if you want a computer the size of a card, a thumb drive or dice box -- there's a manufacturer out there that has you covered. You can now count ASUS in that mix, with the launch of its "Tinker Board", a Cortex-powered mini-machine aimed at the Raspberry Pi crowd.

At first glance, it looks like any other card computer... you could even mistake it for a Raspberry Pi. You can clearly see the USB, HDMI and Ethernet ports, along with the CPU -- a quad-core ARM Cortex-A17.

What sets it apart are its capabilities. The hardware is advertised as supporting 4K, while the Ethernet is Gigabit (compared to the Pi's 100Mb/s). This might be enough to sway Pi enthusiasts with a taste for compact home theatre boxes.

Image: ASUS, via CPC

Here are the full specifications (via CPC):

  • Quad core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 CPU
  • 2GB Dual channel LPDDR3 memory
  • Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR connectivity
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • 40-pin Internal header with 28 GPIO pins
  • Contact points for PWM and S/PDIF signals
  • 1x 3.5mm Audio jack connection
  • CSI port for camera connection
  • DSI port supporting HD resolution
  • 1x HDMI 2.0 port to support 4K resolution
  • Micro SD port supports UHS-I
  • Supports Debian OS with KODI
  • Power supply: 5V/ 2A Micro USB (not included)

Unfortunately, while the board is available in Europe and the UK, there doesn't appear to be a local distributor. On top of this, you'll need to jump through some hoops if you want to get it shipped here.

It's also dearer than the Pi at £45 ($73), so depending on what you use it for, there might be better options, such as the various Allwinner-powered gadgets you can get these days. Still, you have to start somewhere and this looks like a decent offering from ASUS.

ASUS Tinker Board [CPC, via Liliputing]

Originally posted on Gizmodo Australia.


Comments

    Looks good. I'd give it a few months for the prize to normalize.

      prize???
      did you mean price ?

        Did you mean:

        "Prize? Did you mean price?"

        Or didn't you mean that?

    This is a perfect board for making the best streaming hardware needed for playing a Plex database from a server to a television. I currently use an older windows computer with a USB remote keyboard/touchpad (touchpads are preferable due to not bringing up a cursor when you move it) connected by a 1Gbit ethernet cable. I am playing lossless MKV files, some of which are 3D, so the streams can be higher than a 100Mbit connection can handle. In order to play 3D streams, I use Stereoscopic player (tricky to set up). It isn't an ideal system, but works perfectly. I have read claims that VLC can play 3D MKV streams, but didn't manage to get that to work using the windows version.
    With this board, you should be able to do everything I did with a windows machine to play full quality lossless MKV streams and possibly 3D as well (VLC and the graphics capability of the hardware permitting). With a fast enough external device connected via USB, I believe you could even use external thumbdrives/harddrives.
    Even for someone like myself who has already resolved these problems another way, this is exciting because this card will be put into the guts of higher NASes so that you can stream right from the NAS to the TV without any transcoding or network difficulties. I look forward to this being in the next NAS I buy.
    Thanks for the great article with specs. So many say "It has an ethernet port" without stating what type of ethernet port it has.

    No USB 3 ?
    No SATA ?
    I think you guys forgot something...

    £55 Inc VAT

    Same old same old. Banana Pi and hummingboard have had the same or better specs for that price for ages and hardly anyone buys them.

    People just want the Raspberry Pi.

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