It’s been 8 months since Asus unveiled its a single-board computer with an NXP i.MX8M 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor and Google’s Coral Edge TPU system-on-module for AI.

Now the Asus Tinker Edge T is available for purchase — Provantage is selling it for $168, although its worth noting that the picture on that website is inaccurate. Other retailers should be selling the Tinker Edge T soon as well — Connection already has a product page, but lists the computer as out of stock.

While the Tinker Edge T looks a bit like a Raspberry Pi, the addition of Google’s AI hardware helps set it apart, as well as 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port.

It also features full-sized Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI ports, 1GB of LPDDR4 memory, 8GB of eMMC flash storage, a microSD card reader, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

The little computer has a 40-pin, Raspberry Pi-compatible header and the whole thing is about the size of a Raspberry Pi, at 85mm a 56mm (3.3″ x 2.2″).

Unlike lower-cost single-board computers like those made by Raspberry Pi (or the Asus Tinker Board), the new Tinker Edge computers are aimed at hardware and software developers looking to do machine learning on a budget without relying on cloud computing.

Asus recently showed off the Tinker Edge T as well as the Rockchip RK3399-powered Tinker Edge R during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the folks at Abt got a brief overview of the new products.

via NotebookCheck and LinuxGizmos

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5 replies on “Asus Tinker Edge T single-board computer with i.MX8M now available for $168”

  1. I’m not really understanding why ASUS has even bothered here. They’ve already abandoned their original Tinkerboard. The software hasn’t been updated in over a year and the forums are now essentially a ghost town.

    Since I’ve purchased the Raspberry Pi 4, my Tinkerboard has been relegated to collecting dust in the drawer. I checked the specs of the ‘R’ version that should soon be released…no one wanted the RK3399 chip when it was released…why would they want it now? Even with the PRO moniker.

    One thing is…the R version isn’t going to be cheap either. I don’t see these selling well, if at all.

    From my perspective…ASUS has completely dropped the ball. Yes, I can see selective use case scenarios where these are plausible to deploy into the field, but the inherent lack of any software support/dev interest weighs heavily on any decision to use these boards.

    Even the community which at least tried to rally around this new board is dying off. I myself was watching ASUS very carefully when they released the original tinkerboard…they never showed one ounce of real enthusiasm or support for their own board. This doesn’t make sense to me and to be forthright…I am shocked at how bad the support has been. Almost non-existent, even a pathetic half-hearted attempt would have been a solid improvement. To date…only a small handful of updates to Tinker OS and as mentioned not a single update in over a year.

    Last time I checked, I couldn’t display 720p/30 in a video without lag.

    I’ll be passing. We’ve gone with the Raspberry Pi 4 boards and were not looking back.

  2. How are NXP ARM boards better or worse compared to the popular Raspberry Pi? I know. It depends on your definition of better or worse and your use case.

    1. The i.MX8 boards have more PCIe lanes (RPi 4 just has one for the USB 3.0 hub). The Google “Edge TPU coprocessor” has a PCIe interface allowing higher throughput and lower latency compared to USB 3.0 TPU coprocessors. I believe latency is the most important feature.
      I would not be surprised if a new RPi version has more PCIe lanes (probably won’t see that for another year or two).

    2. Hi Steve. The general reviews I find for non-Pi makerboards are that nearly anything else can have more performance or lower cost, or both, than a Raspberry Pi; especially if you seek more RAM, more CPU, or more connections. However…

      Specs don’t make a computer. Software is a huge part of it. My experience, even with Pine, (the next most active make-it-work community), is that even with excitement of a new widget (Pinebook Pro), the software is a lot more on my mind than the hardware. Has someone figured out how to make X work, where X is a thing I want to do?

      If they haven’t, have tools and documentation been made for Y and Z, the supporting bits for X, been made or will I have to make them?

      Real entities mine their own copper ore to build chip fabs to manufacture chips for their PCs, yeah. But sometimes I want to use the body of work which exists in ways that don’t require me to smelt iron to paperclip something together. Linux, Android, BSD, etc have come a long long way. For the most part if you can get an OS to boot, off you go. And the RK3399 is being pushed by Pine in their current gear, so more development is happening near the same CPU.

      But Asus keeps dropping these like Google with old projects. I am reluctant to pay $168 for a 6-core ARM cpu and a coprocessor. Then again I’m not their target. If offline AI is your thing, this might be exactly you. You’d know better than I would. I’m interested in offline AI, but don’t have the budgeted time or cash for one like this.

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