Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives and Their Features

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The Raspberry Pi has taken the world by storm, launching a whole new hobby computing revolution. The little microcomputer has inspired makers, developers and enthusiasts to create their own projects in fields as diverse as IoT, home automation, and even space exploration.

However, if the Raspberry Pi isn’t quite right for you, there are plenty of other single-board computers to choose from. So if it doesn’t quite float your boat, here are some of the best alternatives.

Huawei’s HiKey 960

The HiKey 960 is intended to act as a tool for Android devs to test software and drivers, but it could also be used in the production of robotics, drones, and digital home devices. Google, ARM, Archermind, and LeMaker all had a hand in the board’s development, but it was Linaro’s aim of bringing “access to the latest ARM technology to the developer community,” that seems to have been the driving force behind the project.

As for the specs, the HiKey 960 will ship with an octa-core Kirin 960 processor (as you might have already guessed) with four high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 and four low-power Cortex-A53 cores, a Mali-G71 GPU and 3 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. That means the board will be roughly as powerful as the Huawei Mate 9— though that houses an extra gigabyte of RAM.

MinnowBoard MAX 

MinnowBoard MAX is a compact, affordable, and powerful development board for both professionals and makers. The open hardware design allows for endless customization and integration potential. It uses the 64-bit Intel® Atom™ E38xx Series SoC CPU, with integrated Intel HD graphics. Video and digital audio output is via HDMI, with analog audio to be available separately via an expansion board. Other I/O include: microSD, SATA2, USB 3.0 (host), USB 2.0 (host), Gigabit Ethernet, I²C, SPI, and serial debug via FTDI cable (not included). Eight buffered GPIO pins are available as well, with 2 pins supporting PWM. MinnowBoard MAX is now FCC/CE certified.

UDOO Dual Basic

UDOO Single Board Computers can be used with Android or Linux and paired with an Arduino-compatible processor. They are powerful prototyping boards for software development and design.

UDOO boards are easy to use, allowing projects to be developed with minimal knowledge of hardware design. They are open hardware, low-cost platforms equipped with an ARM i.MX6 Freescale processor and an Arduino Due compatible section based on the ATMEL SAM3X8E ARM processor.

Radxa Rock2 Square

Rock2 Square is a square base board for the Rock2 some for the radix community. It aims at a small size, low cost, full function. The device offers either 2GB or 4GB of RAM for all the users. You can find 16GB or 32 GB of solid-state storage on this board. It is compatible with a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive. Some of the connectivity features include Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI port, Ethernet port, headphone port, SD storage card port and a lot more. Speaking about the power offered by this device, the normal Raspberry Pi doesn’t have the standard to rival this board. The Radxa Rock2 Square is truly versatile compared to other onboard devices available in the market. It fundamentally runs Android, Linux, and Firefox operating systems.

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