ASUS Launches Tinker Board in North America
Tinker Board, ASUS’ answer to the Raspberry Pi 3, will finally be available in North America. The small DIY computer, which was announced in January and has been available in Europe and Asia for a few months already, will be cost $55 and features several improved specifications compared to its open-source rival — which explains the price difference.
The Tinker Board is powered by a Rockchip RK3288 quad-core ARM SoC with a clock speed of 1.8GHz — as opposed to the 1.2GHz clock of the Raspberry Pi 3 — and has an integrated Mali-T764 GPU that puts out 600MHz. This makes the Tinker Board a very powerful little machine suitable for any DIY project an enthusiast might want to tinker on in their spare time. With this kind of performance, the Tinker Board may very well move the goalposts when it comes to the kind of projects that can be built in a garage.
The other specs for the Tinker Board are equally impressive, as the little computer has UHD video and high-end audio support, has 2GB of dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM and has a slot for an SD card. The Tinker Board connects to the wider world through either its 1Gb ethernet connection or a Bluetooth 4.0, and also has four USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4 and a standard audio jack. It also has an OS prepackaged with it, a debian-based Linux distro called TinkerOS which should help users get the very most out of the Tinker Board.
Besides having a ready-made OS, the Tinker Board also comes with Python and Scratch apps installed, making it so developers can hit the ground running as soon as they take their new purchase out of the box. Taken altogether, it seems ASUS has a real winner on its hand with this new product, though nothing is ever certain in the somewhat fickle realm of DIY development.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.