The Asus Tinker Board is a new ARM-based single-board computer (SBC) which stands out from the crowd. It’s tiny, with great performance, and is targeted at the DIY/hobbyist market.
If you lie in that category you must have heard of Raspberry Pi. With sales exceeding 10 million units, the Raspberry Pi is the most popular single board computer ever produced. Things could change with the Tinker Board. And not just because the board is developed by Asus, the 4th-largest PC vendor.
IN THE BOX
In the box, we get the single board computer protected in an anti-static bag on a cardboard tray and a stick-on heatsink is supplied for the processor. This helps improve heat dissipation under heavy load. And there is also a brief quick start guide.
Anyone who has previously used a Raspberry Pi or clone will be familiar with the process. Connect a suitable micro USB charger, attach the HDMI cable to the monitor, and plug in a USB keyboard and mouse. The operating system boots from a configured Micro SD card.
Download and write the operating system image to the card. The TinkerOS and Android OS image is available to download from Asus’s website.
To write image easily use Etcher, simply because it’s so easy to use. Just drag and drop the image and select the Micro SD card.
|Processor||Rockchip RK3288 Cortex-A17 Quad-core 1.8GHz|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T764 equipped with H.264/H.265 hardware decoder|
|Display||Full-size HDMI 1.4 supports up to 4K
15-pin MIPI DSI supports up to HD
|Memory||Dual-channel LPDDR3 2GB|
|Storage||Micro SD card slot|
|Connectivity||RTL8211E-VB-CG GbE LAN
AW-NB177NF Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR
|Audio||RTL ALC4040 Codec with 1 x 3.5mm audio jack with 192K/24bit audio|
|USB||4 x USB 2.0 ports|
|Camera Interface||1 x 15-pin MIPI CSI slot for camera|
|Internal Headers||1 x 40-pin GPIO equipped header|
|OS||TinkerOS (Debian) / Android M|
|Size||85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm|
The integrated ARM-based Mali T764 GPU decodes H.264 and H.265 formats for smooth 4K video playback. While the Raspberry Pi 3 offers hardware support for 1080p, the Tinker Board has the hardware to offer 4k decoding. Asus will be releasing the Rockchip Player in the TinkerOS with native hardware decoding for HD/UHD video content.
For audio, Tinker Board provides an HD codec that supports up to 192kHz/24-bit audio. The audio jack has both audio output and a microphone in, without needing an extension module. Other refinements include Gigabit Ethernet and 4 USB Ports.
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