We’re big fans of board computers and their ability to easily integrate into a whole load of projects. If there’s any knock on Arduinos and the Raspberry Pis, though, it’s that they don’t quite bring it in the horsepower department. The ASUS Tinker Board looks to set itself apart on that front by bringing enough muscle to play 4K video and 24-bit audio.
More robust than your average board computer, the system bundles a powerful machine on a single compact board, cramming together a beefy CPU, a fast GPU, and a full set of connectivity features. Simply put, it’s a ready-to-use PC (just build a suitable case), although it should also serve as an excellent computer for your homebrewed projects.
The ASUS Tinker Board packs a quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, ARM Mali-T764 graphics, and 2GB of RAM, with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, five USB ports (including one that can read 4K video at the necessary speeds), an Ethernet slot, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm jack, and an SD card slot for plugging in onboard storage. For expansion, it comes with a 40-pin internal header (28 GPIO pins), contact points for PWM and S/PDIF signals, a CSI port for a camera, and a DSI port.
For now, the only compatible platform listed is Debian OS, in case you want to use the board as an HTPC for running Kodi, so you won’t quite get the same support as more popular board computers. It measures just 3.4 x 2.1 inches.
Available now, the ASUS Tinker Board is priced at £55.