FriendlyElec’s NanoPi R5C is a small, cheap computer with a 2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor, support for up to 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and a selection of ports that includes HDMI 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet jacks, which could make this an interesting board for use as a router, firewall, or other networking applications.
And all of that fits inside a chassis that measures just 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.1″. The NanoPi R5C is available now for $49 and up.
The starting price is for a model with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, but you can upgrade to a 4GB/32GB version for just $10 more.
One thing to keep in mind is that the starting prices also don’t include a wireless module. But the computer has an M.2 E-Key slot that you can use to add a WiFi & Bluetooth module or you can use a USB dongle. If you don’t want to bring your own, you can pay an extra $18 and FriendlyELEC will add an M.2 Realtek RTL8822CE WiFi 5 module to your order.
That brings the price for a top of the line model with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and WiFi to $77.
At the heart of the NanoPi R5C is a single-board computer that measures 2.3″ x 2.3″ and which has the Rockchip RK35668B2 processor, LPDDR4X memory, and eMMC storage soldered into place. The board also features:
- 2 x 2.5 GBps Ethernet ports
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 port
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports
- 1 x microSD card reader with support for UHS-I cards
- 1 x USB Type-C port for 5V power input
- 1 x M.2 E-Key slot (PCIe 2.1 x1, USB 2.0 support)
- 4 LED lights
The computer also features a metal chassis with connectors on the side that can be used for wireless antennae.
According to the FriendlyELEC wiki, the little computer supports several operating systems including Android and several GNU/Linux distributions including Debian and FriendlyELEC’s versions of OpenWrt and Ubuntu Core. It also supports booting from a microSD card, so you can flash one operating system to internal storage and another to a removable card.
The R5C isn’t the company’s first NanoPi R5-series device. Earlier this year FriendlyELEC introduced the NanoPi R5S. It’s a slightly larger model that has one additional Ethernet port, at least 2GB of RAM, an M.2 slot large enough to support an SSD, and a starting price of $59.