The Raspberry Pi may be the most popular wallet-friendly, credit-card sized single-board computers, but it’s far from the only one on the market. Taiwanese firm Asus has just launched its own model, named Tinker Board, and it offers a few features that even the most expensive Raspberry Pi lacks – 4K video capability.
The Asus Tinker Board is roughly the same size as the Raspberry Pi 3, but its quad-core Rockchip processor has the power to play 4K video and 24-bit audio. This means it could be ideal for those wanting to build a media server using software like Plex, rather than spending thousands on a Kaleidescape system.
To beef up the power on the Tinker Board even more, Asus has packed in 2GB of RAM, gigabit Ethernet and the latest generation of SDIO for add-on boards. The software is also designed to be nippy, with a variant of Debian Linux shipping as standard. The Raspberry Pi can be used for Plex, but is recommended as a device to serve the media, rather than the server itself. The Tinker Board should be a little more capable of running as a server.
Like the Raspberry Pi 3, the Asus Tinker Board is designed to not only be highly adaptable, but also extremely affordable. Asus’ hardware is a little pricier at £55, but for installers wanting to control lighting, media and more from a customised solution it’s certainly more affordable than commercial solutions out there in the marketplace.
This isn’t the first Raspberry Pi competitor to boast 4K and it’s unlikely to be the last. The Raspberry Pi 3 is also beginning to get a little old, meaning it might not be long until a Raspberry Pi 4 comes out boasting 4K video playback.