The Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular single-board computers in the world; it’s affordable, versatile and easy to get a hold of. It however lacks 4K video playback – and that’s where the Pine 64 comes in.
Not only can the Pine 64 handle 4K video content but it’s also more affordable than the $35 (£30) Raspberry Pi 3, priced at just $15 (£10). Unfortunately, the cheapest model lacks Wi-Fi, which the Raspberry Pi 3 comes equipped with as standard. Thankfully if Wi-Fi is that important then for an extra $14 (£9) users can add Wi-Fi – and it’s still cheaper.
The Pine 64 was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that managed to raise $1.7m (£1.1m); way over the company’s $31,416 (£22,000) funding goal. The company has just started shipping the boards to those who back it however.
There are some notable similarities and differences between the Raspberry Pi 3 and Pine 64; both have a 64-bit ARM-based Cortex A53 CPU, a microSD card slot, Ethernet and HDMI ports, but the Pine 64 boasts a better GPU – an ARM Mali 400 MP2 – that’s what gives it the power to render 4K content. The Raspberry Pi 3 does have the Pine 64 beat on the number of USB ports however, with four ports to the Pine 64’s two.
Unlike the Raspberry Pi 3, which comes in a one-size fits all price point, the Pine 64 is available in three different specifications. The $15 model is equipped with 512MB DDR3 RAM and lacks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, while the $19 (£14) model upgrades the RAM to 1GB and also includes a 5-megapixel camera port and MIPI video port. If Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are important features however, users will have to opt for the $29 model, which also gets 2GB RAM.
Pre-orders are currently available for those who didn’t back the Kickstarter campaign, but the $15 model is sold out. The $19 and $29 models are available however, although they both sport a May shipping date.