Thursday, April 20th 2017

ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

ASUS is bringing its higher-performing Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, the "Tinker Board" to markets in North America. Priced at a nice easy 54.99, ASUS touts the machines horsepower as being nearly double that of a Raspberry Pi 3 and says it is "capable of powering all of your projects from robots to media boxes to coding machine for budding programmers."

The machine's specifications are certainly more capable than a Raspberry Pi 3, and being it is Linux based there will certainly be a plethora of community support for this device. Interestingly enough, Android Support is a bit behind (being only on Marshmallow at the moment), but ASUS has a pledge for Nougat support in place.

Specifications are listed below, and I have also kindly provided a link to the products amazon page for those interested.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VSBVQWS/

PS: Yes, I am aware this is not exactly "PC Hardware" but I felt enough of us might have some use for a cheap Single Board Computer to find this interesting.Source: HotHardware
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34 Comments on ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

#1
alucasa
These hardware has its place and quite popular among those who have the need for it. I know some even run a low traffic DNS server on it.

Having said that, the spec is definitely better. I wonder power consumption though.
Posted on Reply
#2
R-T-B
alucasa said:
Having said that, the spec is definitely better. I wonder power consumption though.
Unsure, but I will confess that 4k decode makes it look interesting for a media box.
Posted on Reply
#3
Indurain
This board will suffer the same fate as most other non Raspberry Pi boards, with no community behind it everything will have to come from Asus. There is not a lot to like about the Rockchip 3288, no one liked in in cheap Chinese tablets, no one will like it in an SBC.
Posted on Reply
#4
alucasa
Right now, Raspberry runs completely fanless and does not require flow of air. That's why I am asking about the power consumption. Spec is all nice and good but if it requires an active fan or decent airflow, it kinda defeats the charm.
Posted on Reply
#5
Indurain
@alucasa you can probably run fanless with this, tablets using the same chip are doing it all the time. One very good thing is that the Gb ethernet does not share bandwidth with the USB ports like they did on the rPi. The big issue for me will be the lack of support. You can run a ton of stuff on the rPi, Asus is only planning a Debian release and no indication of whether or not any of their code will be OSS.
Posted on Reply
#6
natr0n
Would make an ideal emulation system.
Posted on Reply
#7
erocker
Senior Moderator
Finally!
Posted on Reply
#8
R-T-B
Indurain said:
This board will suffer the same fate as most other non Raspberry Pi boards, with no community behind it everything will have to come from Asus. There is not a lot to like about the Rockchip 3288, no one liked in in cheap Chinese tablets, no one will like it in an SBC.
Not too concerned about that personally, being I am a gentoo user and all these parts have maintained open source drivers.

I suppose if you want a canned system that could be a legit concern.
Posted on Reply
#9
silentbogo
I think it's been out for awhile now. Last time it was in the news section, it was already available in retail.
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/asus-unveils-the-tinkerboard-to-rival-raspberry-pi-and-intel-edison.230999/

Preliminary reviews from february:
http://hackaday.com/2017/02/15/review-the-asus-tinker-board/
https://geektimes.ru/post/284976/

The board is completely uninteresting, except for its more or less adequate iGPU.
Other than that, it is hot, expensive, outdated.
Posted on Reply
#10
medi01
silentbogo said:
The board is completely uninteresting, except for its more or less adequate iGPU.
Mm, conclusion that Pi is somehow "average joe friendly" and that's a cons vs asus makes me giggle.
Posted on Reply
#11
silentbogo
medi01 said:
Mm, conclusion that Pi is somehow "average joe friendly" and that's a cons vs asus makes me giggle.
I'm not talking about Pi, because I'm not a fan either.
I'm talking about more "tinker-oriented" products like Odrioid, NanoPi, Cubieboard, OrangePi etc.
At same or much lower price you get twice the performance and a lot more features (not just Pi with a better CPU).
Posted on Reply
#12
R-T-B
silentbogo said:
I think it's been out for awhile now
Not in North America.
Posted on Reply
#13
silentbogo
R-T-B said:
Not in North America.
You mean not on amazon.
Officially it launched in US on January 30th, but only hit the shelves a month later, on February 26-28th.
What's even worse, is that besides Amazon no one really seems to care about this board at this point (not even ASUS themselves).
Posted on Reply
#14
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
So this thingy can beat my zebra finches in processing power?
Posted on Reply
#15
R-T-B
silentbogo said:
You mean not on amazon.
Officially it launched in US on January 30th, but only hit the shelves a month later, on February 26-28th.
What's even worse, is that besides Amazon no one really seems to care about this board at this point (not even ASUS themselves).
According to my source, it only officially launched in North America on April 19th.
Posted on Reply
#16
iO
This "4k decode capability" really needs triple quotes as its only available in a single Android Rom and then only if you use Rockchips own closed source video app and it supports only 30 Hz output..
Posted on Reply
#17
jabbadap
iO said:
This "4k decode capability" really needs triple quotes as its only available in a single Android Rom and then only if you use Rockchips own closed source video app and it supports only 30 Hz output..
So it seems, someone should really put pressure to asus to get really working drivers for it. Debian based tinker os while might be cool and good. I would prefer to get it running on libreELEC(or openELEC) for my own evil purposes.
Posted on Reply
#18
Indurain
The big issue most people will have with this is similar but not exactly the same as the rPi, Rockchip has some closed source drivers as does Broadcomm on the Pi, and they don't support a lot of linux distros. If they support OpenElec then you could run a better version of Kodi but it looks like only Debian will be supported. The same thing has happened to OrangePi, BananaPi and most of the others, kernel support isn't there and what is available is dated and limited.
Posted on Reply
#19
Patriot
The problem with it being faster... is that it is back to a 32bit chip... It is painful to switch arm versions...
It is incompatible with everything... closed source will kill it.

Right now we have excellent cheap options if you want more power than the PI...
You get an odroid... they start around the same price and probably blow this lil asus board out of the water.
Posted on Reply
#20
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
anything with a rockchip SOC is not something you want
they are pure garbage

they blatantly disregard the gpl and there chip are crapola
Posted on Reply
#21
Readlight
Rasbery haw problems for watching youtobe only 480p and it does not haw mmc it needs fast micro sd.
i see it is for programmers.
Hawent tested alot linux mint mybe its beter than windows spying,
Posted on Reply
#22
lexluthermiester
OneMoar said:
anything with a rockchip SOC is not something you want
they are pure garbage

they blatantly disregard the gpl and there chip are crapola
You are completely incorrect.

Rockchip SOC's have always performed very well at their price-point and competitively compared to everything else. I have several rk3288 based devices and each of them runs very well. Three tablets and a TV box. This SBC is going to be a ton of fun for the people who buy them.

And for the record, Rockchip has been accused of violating GPL, but it was never proven because the code is open for inspection. Please stop spreading false rumors. It's very childish.

iO said:
This "4k decode capability" really needs triple quotes as its only available in a single Android Rom and then only if you use Rockchips own closed source video app and it supports only 30 Hz output..
Also incorrect information. The Android & rk3288 based devices I own will show 4k30 with ANY app that supports the format, including the MKV files I play on them. Rockchip's code is NOT required. And there are MANY custom roms for the rk3288 SOC which make use of optimized Mali drivers so making a smooth running rom for this SBC will present little challenge.

silentbogo said:
I think it's been out for awhile now. Last time it was in the news section, it was already available in retail.
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/asus-unveils-the-tinkerboard-to-rival-raspberry-pi-and-intel-edison.230999/

Preliminary reviews from february:
http://hackaday.com/2017/02/15/review-the-asus-tinker-board/
https://geektimes.ru/post/284976/

The board is completely uninteresting, except for its more or less adequate iGPU.
Other than that, it is hot, expensive, outdated.
By your metric of qualification, the RPi3 is even more uninteresting and outdated. So your argument is a bit self-defeating. The GPU has better performance, but the CPU is also much improved over the RPi3. It's all about perspective. Compared to the RPi3 this SBC is a big improvement. The support is there and growing. The software side of things will come. The thing is brand new and in 6 months there will be a very good level of OS and software support.
Posted on Reply
#23
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
lexluthermiester said:
You are completely incorrect.

Rockchip SOC's have always performed very well at their price-point and competitively compared to everything else. I have several rk3288 based devices and each of them runs very well. Three tablets and a TV box. This SBC is going to be a ton of fun for the people who buy them.

And for the record, Rockchip has been accused of violating GPL, but it was never proven because the code is open for inspection. Please stop spreading false rumors. It's very childish.


Also incorrect information. The Android & rk3288 based devices I own will show 4k30 with ANY app that supports the format, including the MKV files I play on them. Rockchip's code is NOT required. And there are MANY custom roms for the rk3288 SOC which make use of optimized Mali drivers so making a smooth running rom for this SBC will present little challenge.


By your metric of qualification, the RPi3 is even more uninteresting and outdated. So your argument is a bit self-defeating. The GPU has better performance, but the CPU is also much improved over the RPi3. It's all about perspective. Compared to the RPi3 this SBC is a big improvement. The support is there and growing. The software side of things will come. The thing is brand new and in 6 months there will be a very good level of OS and software support.
no they don't perform very well at all they are cheap garbage with questionable software of the finest(lowest) chinesium
and yes they do violate the gpl they don't provide kernel source or rom source for reference when when asked you get no reply
the roms and drivers are always compete and utter trash because there is no sources to work with and whatever offbrand device you get with one of these god aweful chips in it you are likely to get no support

been there done that NO
you can do better for the money e.g a ODROID c2
there is nothing about rockchip that is good period buy something sensible that works and you get real support on
Posted on Reply
#24
lexluthermiester
OneMoar said:
no they don't perform very well at all they are cheap garbage with questionable software of the finest(lowest) chinesium
and yes they do violate the gpl they don't provide kernel source or rom source for reference when when asked you get no reply
the roms and drivers are always compete and utter trash because there is no sources to work with and whatever offbrand device you get with one of these god aweful chips in it you are likely to get no support

been there done that NO
you can do better for the money e.g a ODROID c2
there is nothing about rockchip that is good period buy something sensible that works and you get real support on
Clearly you've had bad experiences with Rockchip based devices. But that's just you. Not everyone has had that experience. Many like and actually prefer devices based on Rockchip SOC's because they have been the better performers, bang for buck. As every single one of my devices has a custom rom installed[out of multiple custom roms available for each], there's hardly a lack of software support. And I personally have seen Rockchip deliver code to custom rom devs, so your statement just doesn't jive with reality. You ARE incorrect on those points.

You got one point right. ODroid SBC's are very good and well supported. But those have been around for a while and the company/community support exists for them.

TinkerBoard is less than 6 months old. ASUS was aiming to bring an alternative to the RPi form-factor market. I think they've done well! And as soon as someone releases an Android rom for it, I'll be buying one.
Posted on Reply
#25
silentbogo
lexluthermiester said:
By your metric of qualification, the RPi3 is even more uninteresting and outdated. So your argument is a bit self-defeating.
Why all of you think I'm trying to defend RPi? Excluding BeagleBone, it is by far one of the most outdated and underpowered platforms on the market.

lexluthermiester said:
Also incorrect information. The Android & rk3288 based devices I own will show 4k30 with ANY app that supports the format, including the MKV files I play on them. Rockchip's code is NOT required. And there are MANY custom roms for the rk3288 SOC which make use of optimized Mali drivers so making a smooth running rom for this SBC will present little challenge.
ARM are the ones to blame.
...and there are no "optimized drivers", since they are all based on the same set of binary blobs from ARM....
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