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Asus Tinker Board S

Description of product

Description

The Tinker Board S is the second iteration of a single board computer by Asus, a major PC manufacturer.

Immediately obvious is that it has the exact same size, layout, feature set, and 40-pin connector as a standard Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. That means the Tinker Board S can function as a drop-in replacement for any fruity computers you already have in circulation. But why would you want to do that?

That brings us to the second point, which concerns the specs. While an RPi is substantially cheaper, the Tinker Board S has a faster — albeit still 32-bit — processor, the Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 @ 1.8GHz). It also has a more powerful Mali T760 GPU, 2GB RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet instead of Fast Ethernet.

This Raspberry Pi alternative also has 16GB of built-in eMMC memory and supports upscaled 4K/30fps playback. Other features include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4x USB 2.0 ports, plus microSD, micro-USB, and HDMI interfaces. Oh, and something called a smart audio jack that provides S/PDIF for digital audio rates up to 24Bit/192kHz (but you can still hook it up to your stereo).

A growing community site has a forum and other resources to get you started. In addition to TinkerOS, a fork of Debian Linux, there are images for Android and Armbian, plus emerging support from applications like Retropie and Volumio.

Ah, but there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? The Tinker Board S has a suggested retail price of $89, though the older Tinker Board (which omits the 16GB eMMC)