The Wandboard is a tiny computer or developer board which looks a bit like a Raspberry Pi, but which has a starting price about three times as high and which packs significantly more power.
That’s because while the Raspberry Pi has an ARM11 single-core processor, the Wandboard features a faster Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 processor. Up until now single and dual-core versions have been available, and now Wandboard is offering a new quad-core model.
Wandboard’s new quad-core model has a Freescale i.MX6 Quad processor, 2GB of RAM, 2 microSD card slots, HDMI and USB ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. It also features built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
The Wandboard Quad sells for $129, while the single and dual-core models sell for $79 and $99, respectively.
But not only does the Wandboard Quad have more processor cores than the cheaper models, it also has more memory, and it’s the only model with a SATA connector for hooking up a hard drive or solid state disk.
The Freescale i.MX6 Quad is a 1 GHz processor with Vivante GC2000 graphics. It’s not the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 chip around, but it offers decent overall performance. It’s also a good choice for this type of developer board because not only does it support Google Android, but Freescale offers plenty of documentation for the chipset and developers are able to run Ubuntu and other Linux-based operating systems on devices with Freescale chips.
Wandboard expects to start shipping the new quad-core boards in June.
These little computers are aimed at developers, hackers, and DIY computing enthusiasts rather than the general public. They don’t include a case, you’ll need to install the operating system on a microSD card yourself, and it’d probably take a bit of elbow grease to turn a Wandboard device into a full-fledged desktop PC or media center.
But they provide a way to test apps on a low-cost ARM-based system and they could be an inexpensive solution for anyone looking for an inexpensive computer that doesn’t need to have bleeding-edge performance.
it’s interesting, but for the general public who need easy install and case the Cubox of solidrun http://www.solid-run.com would be comfortable solution especially for XBMC console and Ubuntu.
I wish someone could convince Liz and her husband to do a kickstarter for a low cost and high powered new pi.
If they could do a kickstarter for several hundred thousand units, they could reduce the cost and get a quality A9 spec board at less than $100.
Case, etc… they can leave up to their current partners or new manufacturers so as to encourage an ecosystem around this device as they did with the PI..
And with their reputation and that volume, you could be sure that the device would have tons of official and community support.
The participation of Liz and/or Eben Upton is not required in order to do this. Anything they do will be required to be based around a Broadcom SoC anyway.
BTW, Liz has a reputation for being extremely abrasive at times and both her and Eben have overstated the abilities of the Raspberry Pi many times while understating the performance of its competitors. Given the choice, I’d rather not deal with either of them ever again.
The Cubieboard also has a SATA connector
There is an enclosure for wandboard listed on their homepage
Nice, finally something decent. Price coule be lower however, but still I will keep eye on it.thanks for review
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