Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives of 2018 | Single Board ComputersMandip
Without any doubt in mind, we will say that all the members of the Raspberry Pi family are excellent and value for money. Whether it is the first experimental Pi model or the fastest Raspberry Pi 3, the $5 Pi Zero computer or its upgraded and latest version Pi Zero W, each of the newly launched model is better than its predecessor in either one or more areas.
You can do anything with this single board computer like displaying on board messages, running the Android, doubling as a wireless router, or using it as a fully-functional computer. With such a huge demand and popularity, many brands were inspired to build such low-cost and feature-rich single board computers to become the top recommendations for the Raspberry Pi alternatives. Many of them failed to gain the popularity as the Pi has, but some of them indeed became the Raspberry Pi Competitors.
Today, we will discuss such great Raspberry Pi 3 alternatives like Beaglebone, Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Asus Tinker Board, etc. and check the comparison of Beaglebone Vs Raspberry Pi 3 which will give you a clear idea about the alternatives to Raspberry Pi.
Top 6 Raspberry Pi Alternatives
1) Orange Pi Project Board
The Orange Pi Plus offers better specifications and performance than the Raspberry Pi 3 at a similar price. But, one thing it lacks is the large community support and enough documentation to solve the setup and debugging issues.
Some amazing features that make the Orange Pi a better Raspberry Pi 3 alternative:
- It has higher hardware specifications than Pi 3 at lower price
- It has SATA, IR, Gigabit Ethernet, and also a built-in mic which cannot be found on any of the Raspberry Pi models yet
- Instead of the traditional Broadcom Arm processor, it comes with an Allwinner Quad-core H5 Cortex-A53 CPU
This single board computer has an open source support and can run Android, Debian, Ubuntu, etc. It comes with a 1GB SDRAM, 16GB internal storage, 4K video support, and much more features to give a tough competition to Pi.
2) Banana Pi Single Board Computer
Banana Pi is a single board open source computer which can run Kali Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, Android, Cubieboard image and even the Raspberry Pi image. You can build games, WiFi server, sound and music, Android, HD videos, a fully functional computer and much more.
Top-class features of Banana Pi Single Board Computer:
- It has an SATA port and Gigabit Ethernet port
- AllWinner SoC and SDRAM of 1GB provides an optimal performance
- This open source computer will not only allow you to consume the technology but also lets you create something unique to control your surrounding world
The build of Banana Pi is somewhat similar to the Raspberry Pi, but it has a faster CPU compared to the Pi models. With the lower price than the Raspberry Pi and onboard SATA support to connect your any mass storage device without configuring the USB port, the Banana Pi is giving a headache to Raspberry Pi family and became one of top Raspberry Pi 3 alternatives.
3) ASUS Tinker Board
The Asus Tinker Board has made us take it into the notice because it beats the Raspberry Pi in many benchmarks. It has impressive hardware specifications with well-executed design at a mid-range price. This single board is an all-in-one computer with motherboard, GPU, CPU, memory, and much more added to it.
Some high-quality hardware specifications of Asus Tinker Board include:
- Gigabit Ethernet LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR connectivity
- LPDDR3 2GB memory
- HDMI port which supports 4K resolution
- Four USB ports to have multiple connections
- Latest 802.11 b/g/n Wireless support
The Asus Tinker Board supports Debian OS with inbuilt KODI compatibility. It has a more powerful processor than the Raspberry Pi and also has a double RAM support. Also, it supports 4K videos and 192K/24bit audio which are greater than the Raspberry Pi 3. It consumes more power than the Pi, though, but it is very marginal which can be neglected.
The Asus Tinker Board is perhaps the newest Raspberry Pi 3 alternative, but if it wants to become the best competitor to Pi, then it should build a good community support and get available for global users (p.s. – It currently available only in the UK).
4) Beagleboard (BeagleBone Rev C)
The Beagleboard is a single board computer system which consumes low power than its competitor – Raspberry Pi. Due to the open source hardware and software support to the users, it allows you to create a various design out of your mind.
Some noticeable features and specifications of Beagleboard BeagleBone Rev C are:
- With the dimensions of just 75X75 mm, it is extremely lightweight and portable
- ARM Cortex A8 Processor supports RISC OS, Open BSD, Free BSD, Linux Minix, Sybian and other OS
- 4GB onboard storage with a 512MB DDR3 RAM makes it a beast
- It boots Linux OS in less than 5 seconds, and you can start development in less than 5 minutes
If we compare both, then we see that the Beagleboard is a cheap priced development single board computer which is a great alternative to Raspberry Pi. It lacks the Android support, but the company is aimed to provide it soon to the users. It is a fully potential board for the open source developers.
5) Arduino Board
The first Arduino board was launched in 2005, and since then it remains as the top Raspberry Pi competitor. It supports a long list of excellent open source creations. It is the only company that has tremendous community support just like the Raspberry Pi or better than it. It is not a single board computer but still it competes with Rpi.
The Arduino board comes with features like:
- It supports programming languages like C, C++, etc. to code different projects of the real world
- It is a perfect open source development platform for the electronic enthusiasts, robotic machine developers, and many other ventures
- The UNO Rev3 board uses the ATmega328 processor with a high number of PWM outputs and digital I/O pins
- It supports an integrated platform to any software and hardware project development environment
Most of the automation machines are based on the Arduino platform. With a full community and development support, the Arduino is the best Raspberry Pi alternative till the date.
6) ODROID-XU4 Single Board Computer
The ODROID-XU4 comes with a 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, USB 3.0, and a quad-core 2GHz A15 processor. It is claimed as working 2-4 times faster than the fastest Raspberry Pi 3 SBC.
Features of ODROID-XU4 Single Board Computer are:
- It includes energy-efficient hardware configurations which provide powerful performance
- It has Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and eMMC 5.0 interfaces to provide super-fast data transfer speeds
- It is more compact, more expandable, and more affordable than the other single board computers
- It has all the capabilities to support the ARM devices with some exceptional processing power support
If you test the ODROID-XU4, then you will definitely see the upgrade it booting, browsing, gaming, and computing speeds. With a small form factor, faster processing speeds, and support to almost all the Operating Systems, the ODROID-XU4 is a good Raspberry Pi 3 alternative.
You should try one of these Raspberry Pi 3 Alternatives
If you find the synonym of a single board computer, you will get Raspberry Pi as an answer. This powerful device is helping the electronic enthusiasts to make some really cool designs. But, if you want to try something different than the mass community, then you can go for the Raspberry Pi alternatives.
One of the most important advantages of the Raspberry Pi is its tremendous community support where you can solve your all queries related to it. There are some top Raspberry Pi 3 alternatives of 2017 available which provide better hardware at almost the same price, but one question comes to mind that is they really compelling enough to become the best competitor to Pi? Well, you should try at least one of them to find the answer.