Hardware

NanoPi K1 Plus: A $35 Raspberry Pi clone with Gigabit Ethernet, 2x RAM, stronger GPU

The latest single-board computer from FriendlyElec features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The NanoPi K1 Plus from FriendlyElec is a Raspberry Pi clone that has double the RAM of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
  • For storage on the NanoPi K1 Plus, users can leverage a microSD card reader and an optional eMMC module.

The new NanoPi K1 Plus single-board computer from FriendlyElec offers similar features to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with double the RAM for the same price—$35.

The NanoPi K1 Plus mirrors the access of the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with a 40-pin header, and also uses the ARM architecture, according to the website. The NanoPi uses a 1.3 GHz Allwinner H5 ARM processor with ARM Mali-450 hexa-core graphics, as opposed to the 1.4 GHz Broadcom BCM2837 SoC used by the Raspberry Pi.

The big difference is in the memory. The NanoPi K1 Plus claims 2GB DDR3 of RAM, which is double the 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM of the Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

Storage on the NanoPi K1 Plus is handled through a microSD card reader (which supports external storage up to 128GB), and users have the option to add an eMMC module for additional storage.

One other difference between the two devices is in wireless connectivity. While the Raspberry Pi features 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless, the NanoPi K1 Plus only has 802.11.b/g/n with a PCB Antenna, the website said. So, for users who absolutely need AC wireless, it may not be a good fit.

Additionally, the NanoPi has an onboard microphone and infrared receiver. These features could make it a good fit for an embedded computing solution, such as a smart kiosk or digital sign in an office.

Other features include Gigabit Ethernet support, three USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a DVP camera, and HDMI. The NanoPi has the same dimensions as the Raspberry Pi 3 and, in theory, should be able to fit in any of its available enclosures.

Also see

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Image: FriendlyElec

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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