FriendlyELEC’s latest pocket-sized single-board computer is about the size of a Raspberry Pi, but the NanoPi M4 has more input and output options, supports up to 4GB of RAM, and features a more powerful processor than the latest Raspberry Pi.
Those features come at a cost: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ sells for $35, while the NanoPi M4 has a starting price of $65. But that still makes it more affordable than some other single-board mini PCs with similar features.
The NanoPi M4 is powered by a Rokchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with two ARM Cortex-A72 CPU cores and four Cortex-A53 cores and Mali-T864 graphics. It’s basically the same chip used in Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook Plus (2017) and Acer Chromebook Tab 10 (2018).
FriendlyELEC currently offers a model with 2GB of storage for $65 and a 4GB model for $95. Both prices seem to reflect a $10 discount though: the list prices are said to be $75 and $105, respectively.
Each model features DDR3-1866 memory and has a microSD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, HDMI, and 3.5mm audio ports as well as four USB 3.0 Type-A ports and a USB 2.0 Type-C port.
There’s also a 40-pin GPIO header, a second 24-pin GPIO header, a 4-lane MIPI-DSI output for an optional camera module, and a socket for connecting an optional eMMC module.
FriendlyELEC sells an 8GB eMMC module if you want one, as well as optional accessories including 2MP or 13.2MP cameras, a heat sink, or various cables and adapters.
The company says the system supports Android 7.1.2, Lubuntu 16.04 32-bit, or FriendlyCore 18.04 or FriendlyDesktop 18.04 64-bit operating systems (those last two are based on Ubuntu).
The little computer measures about 3.5″ x 2.2″, making it almost exactly the same size as a Raspberry Pi.