The NanoPi R4S is a tiny, low-power computer from FriendlyELEC is a 2.6″ x 2.6″ single-board PC with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. With two Ethernet ports but no video output, the little device is designed for use as a headless computer or compact router rather than a desktop computer that can be plugged into a monitor or TV.

When FriendlyELEC first launched the NanoPi R4S in late 2020 it shipped without any storage, meaning you needed to install an operating system on a bootable microSD card. Now there’s also a NanoPi R4SE model that comes with 32GB of eMMC pre-installed, so the microSD card is entirely optional.

NanoPi R4S

The NanoPi R4S and R4SE are available from the FriendlyELEC store with prices starting at $65 for a model with 4GB of RAM and no storage or $70 for a 4GB/32GB configuration. Theoretically you could also pay as little as $45 for a model with 1GB of memory… if those models were still in stock, but it appears FriendlyELEC has sold out of the lower-priced options.

At the heart of the little computer is the RK399 processor, which features two ARM Cortex-A72 CPU performance cores and four Cortex-A53 efficiency cores and Mali-T864 graphics (which I suppose could come in handy for decoding streaming video or games for streaming even if you can’t plug in a display).

NanoPi R4SE (with 32GB eMMC)

Other features include:

  • 1 x microSD card reader for storage
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports (plus a USB 2.0 4-pin header)
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 x USB Type-C port for 5V/3A power input

There are also GPIO and UART pins, status LED lights, an RTC connector, and a connector for an optional fan – but keep in mind that the metal case was designed for fanless use.

Similar headless, single-board computers from the company like the NanoPi R2S support open source software including U-boot, Ubuntu Core, and OpenWrt, so it’s likely the new model will follow suit once it’s officially launched.

You can find more details about the hardware at the FriendlyELEC wiki, where you’ll also find download links for several operating systems including the Ubuntu-based FriendlyCore and OpenWrt-based FriendlyWrt.

This article was originally published November 12, 2020 and last updated July 25, 2022.

via CNX Software (1)(2)(3)

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12 replies on “NanoPi R4S is a tiny headless PC with RK3399 processor and two Gigabit Ethernet ports”

  1. If only they’d put a few gpios and a second UART, this would have been an awesome box for an gps based ntp server. The chip itself can support pps via gpio with interrupts, so it would have been highly accurate.

    The Ethernet chips they’re using even support hardware ptp time stamping

  2. why not external socket for wifi antena?
    this running from usb?

    every router need a minimal ups. why not pus lipo, AA, 3.7V acumulator?

    1. Agree…good pihole device. Although, I switched from Pihole this year to Quidsup’s NoTrack…I’ve been torn on if I want to switch back or not. NoTrack is an excellent piece of kit. Hooks up the same way as Pihole…directly to the router.

      Steven B.

      1. Never heard about NoTrack before, but been using Pi-hole for few years, quick googling I didn’t found any advantages over. How do you find NoTrack vs Pi-hole?

  3. Something like this is ideal for fanless version of the palmsized mini cube PC ?

    1. It doesn’t support video at all, that I see (though I am happy to see they went with usb-c pd for the power supply instead of a barrel adapter).

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