5 Raspberry Pi Alternate options You Have to Know About in 2022

The Raspberry Pi modified DIY computing fully. Since its launch, the pocket-sized pc has proved to be the multi-tool of DIY software program and {hardware} crossover improvement. We’ve already lined it extensively, with newbie guides for individuals new to the board and tasks to deal with to place your Pi to make use of.

Nonetheless, The Raspberry Pi is not your solely possibility for single-board computer systems (SBCs). So, listed below are just a few Raspberry Pi alternate options to think about if you’re having a tough time discovering one in inventory.


First on the checklist of Raspberry Pi alternate options is the ODROID-C4 from Exhausting Kernel. Whereas it wasn’t explicitly aiming to be a Raspberry Pi 4 competitor, it undoubtedly offers it a run for its cash!

One place the place the ODROID-C4 shines is its value. The C4 is at present out there for $54.99 from the Exhausting Kernel retailer web page. That is a incredible value for an SBC with 4 GB RAM and a speedy Amlogic S905X3 processor. You additionally get all of the acquainted Raspberry Pi Ports like Ethernet and HDMI, together with just a few the Pi is lacking, like an eMMC slot and built-in infrared receiver.

This board looks as if a no brainer, then? Properly, it is not with out its limitations. It has no onboard help for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, whereas the Raspberry Pi has each. The ODROID-C4 have to be powered by a DC barrel jack, and whereas this is not an enormous deal, it’s not as handy because the Raspberry Pi’s USB energy port.

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One other situation you may run into with all Raspberry Pi opponents is software program help. You’ll be able to run many Linux distributions and even Android on the ODROID-C4, however do not count on the identical degree of neighborhood and help because the Raspberry Pi!

2. Banana Pi BPI-M5

One other robust contender for the most effective Raspberry Pi different is the Banana Pi BPI-M5. It has the identical Amlogic S905X3 processor because the ODROID-C4 and even the identical 4 GB RAM, nevertheless it comes with one enormous benefit—16GB onboard eMMC storage.

Very similar to the Pi, this board crams many options right into a tiny footprint. Nonetheless, it lacks onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which is likely to be a dealbreaker for some. That stated, 16GB of built-in storage, USB-C energy, and the acquainted 40-pin GPIO setup shall be fairly a draw to these desirous to run bodily computing tasks with out counting on SD Playing cards to run the working system.

The flexibility of this board additionally applies to working programs. Very similar to the ODROID-C4, this board will run Android natively—one thing the Raspberry Pi nonetheless can’t do.

You may additionally get an enormous array of Linux-based distributions to work with, and with the Banana Pi’s onboard Mali GPU, this might be an actual contender for a small media system. Costs fluctuate on a regular basis for the Banana Pi, like all SBCs, nevertheless it’s out there on Amazon and in inventory on the time of writing.

3. Lenovo ThinkCentre

This is not an ARM-based pc and even an SBC, however for a number of years Lenovo has been making slimline PCs for varied use instances, they usually’ve taken a powerful flip in the direction of embedded computer systems and residential automation just lately.

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Not solely are their newer merchandise designed with residence automation in thoughts, however many of us struggling to search out ARM-based SBCs for residence automation and residential networking makes use of have been turning to the older ThinkCentre gadgets in tandem with Arduino and comparable boards.

In case you do not want GPIO pins, it is likely to be price wanting into getting a second-hand ThinkCentre and putting in Linux onto it. You may nonetheless be getting a number of energy in comparison with an ARM SBC, and if you’re fortunate, you will get it for as little as $60! Older ThinkCentre gadgets are listed all over the place, however eBay stays a fantastic alternative for locating them.

Till just lately, an inventory of Raspberry PI opponents can be full of virtually similar boards. Now, it is price pondering exterior the field and understanding precisely what you’d need to use a Raspberry Pi for.

4. Raspberry Pi Pico W

Now we’re heading within the different course. Sure, this can be a Raspberry Pi, however not the sort you might be used to! The Pico W has Raspberry Pi’s personal RP2040 silicon at its coronary heart. It is a microcontroller, so it does not run Linux and is nowhere close to as highly effective as any of the opposite boards on this checklist. What units the Pico W apart, nonetheless, is its connectivity.

As a $6 microcontroller-based board with onboard Wi-Fi, the Raspberry Pi Pico W is ideal for varied bodily computing duties. It could possibly act as a light-weight net server for working with GPIO pins and, in lots of instances, might be used as the premise for a complete sensible residence system.

Whereas it is lacking the bells and whistles of a fully-fledged Linux-on-ARM SBC, it has one factor that no different board on this checklist has: Raspberry PI’s documentation and neighborhood. Getting began with the Raspberry Pi Pico W is a breeze due to the easy-to-use MicroPython libraries and stellar official tutorials.

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5. Firefly ROC-RK3588S-PC

The Firefly ROC-RK3588S-PC is not precisely the catchiest identify, however it’s an extremely highly effective SBC and among the many strongest ARM improvement boards ever made. It makes use of the Rockchip RK3588S 8-core 64-bit processor and might include as much as 32GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC. It could possibly encode and decode 8K video and deal with a number of video streams.

In addition to offering an enormous I/O interface for exterior sensors, cameras, and peripherals, it has an M.2 slot for an NVMe drive and a devoted neural processing unit (NPU) for edge AI and pc imaginative and prescient duties.

This step up in energy additionally comes with a leap in value. The Firefly ROC-RK3588S-PC begins at $219 for the bottom variant with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC and goes as much as $409 for the 16GB RAM/128GB storage model. One factor that may be a bonus for the Firefly is its availability. Whereas many different SBCs are unavailable, the Firefly ROC-RK3588S-PC has remained out there in all its configurations through the Firefly retailer web page.

Choose the Proper Raspberry Pi Various

Selecting a single board pc might be onerous, particularly when they’re continuously out of inventory or affected by inflated costs from scalpers. Every of those boards brings some side of the Raspberry Pi expertise to the desk, however with a little bit of Linux command line information, you may discover the variations aren’t so vital in any case.