Raspberry Pi Alternatives: Why They Are a Better BuyBy Ava Jones, UniversityHerald Reporter
Raspberry Pi is not the baddest mini computer in the world, and it's what its competitors are trying to say to the rest of the world. Now and then, a new mini computer is released on the market promising to be the biggest one to take down Raspberry Pi. In fact, there's a new Raspberry Pi killer called NanoPi M1 Plus, which is Ubuntu-Linux ready and costs $30.
The Raspberry Pi is introduced with four models over the years. These include Raspberry Pi Model B+, Pi 2Model B, Zero, and the latest which is Pi 3 Model B.
Pi 3 was created to make sure that Raspberry Pi can please anyone with a cheap computer for programming. It has upgraded CPU with the Cortex A53, Hackaday reported, and runs on 1.2 GHz. At $35, the Raspberry Pi is the most popular of all.
The Raspberry Pi, however, is not the only singleboard computer for homebrewed projects. There are plenty more in the market that cost less, and then some that can do more than Raspberry Pi for a little extra, ZD Net reported.
For starters, there's the Omega 2, which has a modular nature allowing programmers to add Bluetooth or GPS easily. It has built-in Wi-Fi and flash storage; the OS is Linux distribution based on the OpenWrt program. The Omega 2 costs $5 and can also run on FreeBSD OS, which is why it's ideal for students.
The BBC Micro:bit costs$16 and is perfect for students for their learning and prototyping projects. A 32-bit ARM Cortex processor powers it from the inside and it stands out from the rest because of its 5x5 LED matrix. This feature offers 25 individually programmable red LEDs for basic output.
There's also the BeagleBone Black, which costs $55 and like the Raspberry Pi, is also a community-supported platform both for hobbyists and developers. It works fast; it can boost Linux in less than 10 seconds and can develop in under 5 minutes. It is powered by AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8512MB DDR3 RAM.
Another one is the NanoPi M1 Plus, which was dubbed as the new Raspberry Pi killer. At $30, it promises to have a more robust design and layout and was able to integrate important features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It also happens to have an IR receiver, microphone, 8GB storage, and power and reset buttons.
But the best feature of NanoPi M1 Plus is its capability to run Ubuntu-Mate, Ubuntu-Core, and Debian, Beta News reported. It's ideal for enterprise users, developers, hobbyists, and students.