Tiny But Helpful: 13 Raspberry Pi Zero Alternate options That Value Much less Than $20


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The Raspberry Pi Zero and the Raspberry Pi Zero W had been added to the road up of Raspberry Pi’s in the previous few years. These ultra-small form-factor SBC’s have been a giant hit and proceed to be part of Raspberry Pi initiatives from the maker and DIY communities.

Because of the smaller type issue and the costs these boards are focusing on, they’ve needed to lower down on many options like a devoted Ethernet port, slower processor (in comparison with their full-fledged cousins).

In an earlier article, we listed one of the best alternate options to Raspberry Pi. On this one, I’ll checklist some alternate options to Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W.

Various to Raspberry Pi Zero: Tiny single board computer systems for IoT and Embedded Tasks

Raspberry Pi Zero Alterantives

We have now nice alternate options with number of characteristic units for various initiatives, because of open supply designs and open supply software program stacks. All of the boards on this spherical up run embedded Linux in varied flavors.

Though the Raspberry Pi Zero was launched at $5 and the Zero W at $10, it’s typically very exhausting to search out them at these costs even in US. Outdoors US they normally price round $12 – $20 .

Retaining that in thoughts let’s check out a number of the alternate options for the Raspberry Pi Zero boards for beneath $20.

1. Banana Pi BPI M2 Zero

Banana Pi Zero 1

The Banana Pi M2 Zero at $18 is has the identical structure as a Raspberry Pi Zero W. It seems to be like a clone of the Pi Zero W however aside from the shape issue it’s something however a clone. It has a sooner Allwinner H2+ SOC at its coronary heart and Ethernet might be added externally . It will possibly additionally run a wide range of Linux primarily based working programs.

Key Specs

Allwinner H2+ Quad-core Cortex-A7 H265/HEVC 1080P with Mali400MP2 for the GPU512M DDR3(shared with GPU)40 Pins Header,appropriate with Raspberry Pi 3WiFi (AP6212) & Bluetooth onboard. Further antenna connectorA CSI enter connector CameraPower and Reset ButtonMini HDMI Output

You will get extra info from the Banana Pi Wiki and choose one up from right here.

2. Banana Pi BPI-M2 Magic (BPi-M2M)

Banana Pi M2m board

There are two variants of this board the one with out the eMMC flash onboard prices $20. It’s one other tiny SBC with various processing energy for its dimension. Off the highest of my head this board is an effective match for a contact management panel and dashboard for IoT and residential automation. The on-board battery administration system is sort of engaging.

Key Specs

Allwinner A33/R16 Quad Core ARM Cortex-A7, MALI 400 MP2 GPUWiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz (AP6212) & BT v4.zero with BLE512MB DDR3 (shared with GPU)MIPI Show Serial Interface (DSI) interface(four knowledge lanes)A CSI enter connector Digital camera, video seize up-to 1080p at 30fpsOnboard microphone and battery managementNo HDMI output

You will get extra info from the Banana Pi Wiki and choose one up from right here.

three. Banana Pi BPI-P2 Maker

Banana Pi P2 Zero

This board at $13 ($19 with POE module) is without doubt one of the smallest SBC’s with on board Ethernet and help for POE(energy over ethernet). With the identical Allwinner H2+ SOC because the M2 zero, that is fairly an attention-grabbing board.It has an onboard eMMC storage of 8Gb and a digital camera interface, with POE you possibly can convert this right into a DIY safety digital camera and in addition use the highly effective processor for fundamental ML.

Key Specs

CPU: Allwinner H2+, Quad-core Cortex-A7512MB DDR three SDRAM.WiFi (AP6212) & Bluetooth onboard.8G eMMC flash onboard100M LANMini HDMICSI Digital camera InterfaceIEEE 802.3af PoE normal PoE module help

You will get extra info from the Banana Pi Wiki and choose one up from right here.

four. Orange Pi Zero LTS

Orange Pi Zero Lts

At $11.49 ($9.49 for the 256 MB model) that is the most cost effective and the smallest board with onboard Ethernet and POE performance. It has the ever widespread Alwinner H2+ at its coronary heart and a strong enlargement choices by way of the GPIO and the 13 pin purposeful header.

Key Specs

Allwinner H2+ Quad-core Cortex-A7 H.265/HEVC 1080PMali400MP2 GPU @600MHz256MB/512MB DDR3 SDRAM(Share with GPU)(256MB model is Customary model)10/100M Ethernet RJ45 POE is default offWiFi with XR819, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n26 Pin GPIO Header13 Pins Header, with 2x USB, IR pin, AUDIO(MIC, AV)

You will get extra info from their official web page and choose one up from Amazon.

5. Orange Pi i96

Orange Pi I96

At $eight.eight this board is smallest one but at 6cm x 3cm. It makes use of the RDA8810PL SOC meant for a reasonably superior characteristic cellphone. The board is suited to digital camera purposes(in response to the producer) can seize upto 1080p at 30fps. It has a fairy good IO for the worth.

Key Specs

RDA8810PL ARM Cortex-A5 32bit single core processorVivante’s GC860 GPUIntegrated 256MB LPDDR2 SDRAMWiFi + BT utilizing the RDA5991CSI Digital camera Enter40 pin GPIO header

You will get extra info from their official web page and choose one up from right here.

6. Orange Pi PC

Orange Pi PC

This board packs in a variety of goodies for $15. It’s one of many only a few boards which supply 1GB of RAM at such a worth level. It makes use of the Allwinner H3 SOC and might decode 4K HEVC/H.265 video. It has an HDMI port with help for HDCP , CEC as effectively. This SBC could make a superb media field with the fitting software program. It even has onboard IR Receiver and a Microphone.

Key Specs

Allwinner H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7 , 1.6GHz1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)HDMI with help for 4K videoCSI Digital camera interface and onboard microphoneSD Card slotIR Receiver3.5mm Audio JackEthernetNo WiFi/Bluetooth onboard

There’s additionally a lower down model of the Orange Pi PC powered by the identical SOC however with much less RAM.

You will get extra info from their official web page and choose one up from right here.

7. Orange Pi One & Orange Pi Lite

These two boards are additionally powered by the Alwinner H3 SoC used within the Orange Pi PC. However these include 512MB of RAM as an alternative of the 1GB supplied by the Orange Pi PC.

Key Specs

Allwinner H3 Quad CoreHDMI with 4K supportSD Card slot512 MB of DDR3 RAMCSI Digital camera InterfaceOrange Pi LiteOrange Pi LiteOrange Pi OneOrange Pi One

The Orange Pi Lite is available in at $12, it doesn’t characteristic an on-board Ethernet and gives WiFi as an alternative. It additionally has onboard microphone and IR receiver. You will get extra data from their official web page and purchase one from right here.

The Orange Pi One on is available in at $11 and options on-board Ethernet for wired networking and doesn’t supply any WiFi help. You will get extra data from their official web page and purchase one from right here.

Earlier than we end up with the Orange Pi boards, I do need to rapidly point out a pair extra boards they provide for customized purposes.

Orange Pi R1 – This can be a tiny board with twin Ethernet ports, you should utilize it to construct a community machine.Orange Pi 2G IOT & Orange Pi 3G IOT- These boards characteristic 2G & 3G mobile connectivity for IoT Purposes.

These boards additionally price lower than $20 and you’ll examine them out on their official web site.

eight. NanoPi Neo LTS

Nano Pi Neo LTS

Beginning at $9.99, this board could be very easy and tiny(4cm x 4cm), an analogous type issue because the Orange Pi Zero. In contrast to the Orange Pi Zero it’s powered by the extra highly effective Allwinner H3 SoC and upto 512MB of RAM. It doesn’t characteristic any onboard WiFi/BT chipset however you possibly can add one by way of the USB port. This can be a actually good board to run headless Linux servers, DNS filters like Pi-Gap and it’ll make a very good edge machine for any IoT Purposes. Utilizing the GPIO you possibly can develop the performance to match your wants.

Key Specs

Allwinner H3 Quad Core Cortex A7 upto 1.2GHzUpto 512 MB of RAMMicro SD slot (upto 128GB)10/100 EthernetAdditional interfaces by way of the considerable GPIO

You will get extra info and in addition buy them from their official web page .

NanoPi NEO Core LTS

There’s a naked bones model of the NanoPi NEO known as the NanoPi NEO Core LTS which provides eMMC for industrial purposes and lets go of the onboard USB and Ethernet ports. All options can be found by way of the GPIO enlargement. You possibly can test it out right here .

NanoPi NEO Air

There’s additionally a WiFi/BT model of the NanoPi NEO known as the NanoPi NEO Air which additionally provides eMMC and digital camera enter and lets go of the onboard USB and Ethernet ports. You possibly can test it out right here.

9. Zero Pi

Zero Pi

That is one among my favourite boards from this spherical up, it prices $9.99 and has a quick 1Gbps Ethernet onboard. With the Allwinner H3 at its coronary heart, this could be a very highly effective and tiny machine in your community. It helps OpenWRT which is nice contemplating the 1Gbps Ethernet. You possibly can simply run a number of cases of Pi-Gap together with a DNS Server.

Key Specs

Allwinner H3 Quad Core Cortex A7 at upto 1.2GHz512MB of RAMUSB 2.zero PortSupport for OpenWRT

You will get extra info and in addition buy them from their official web page .

10. NanoPi NEO 2

NanoPi NEO 2

At $19.99 , the NanoPi NEO 2 prices twice the NEO. It retains the identical type issue and brings within the Allwinner H5 SoC and 1Gbps Ethernet. This makes the board a tiny energy home.

Key Specs

Allwinner H5, Quad-core 64-bit high-performance management Cortex A53Hexacore Mali450 GPU512MB RAM1Gbps onboard Ethernet24 pin GPIOFunctional headers for Audio and different interfaces like IR

You will get extra info and in addition buy them from their official web page .

That’s about all of the boards within the NanoPi collection, additionally they have a number of extra attention-grabbing boards with twin 1Gbps ports and a pair centered round digital camera.

11. La Frite

La Frite

From the makers of the Le Potato , this board at $20 is especially geared in the direction of purposes involving media consumption or media streaming. It helps 1080p video playback with HDR metadata by way of the HDMI 2.zero port. It helps the most recent Android 9/TV, upstream Linux, u-boot, Kodi, and extra.

Key Specs

Amlogic S805X SoC, Quad Core Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHzUpto 1GB DDR4 SDRAMAmlogic Video Engine 10, help for H.264,H.265 and VP9 decoding upto 1080p 60fps100Mbps EthernetIR Receiver40 pin GPIO

You will get extra info from their official web page .

12. Onion Omega2+

Onion Omega 2+

When you’re in search of an IoT software the Onion Omega 2+ could be a good different to the Raspberry Pi Zero. It’s an IoT centric improvement platfrom and runs on LEDE (Linux Embedded Improvement Setting) Linux OS – a distribution primarily based on OpenWRT.

Key Specs

MT7688 SoC2.four GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi128 MB DDR2 RAM32 MB on-board flash storageMicroSD slotUSB 2.012 GPIO pins

You possibly can choose one up as naked bones module for $13 or varied kits from their web site.

13. VoCore2


The VoCore2 is unquestionably the smallest of the bunch, the bare-bones module is just one″x1″ in dimension and prices $17.99. The tiny dimension makes it simple to embed in numerous purposes and permits selective enlargement of options primarily based on the necessity. It’s powered by the MediaTek MT7628 which was specifically designed for low to mid-range routers. The producer claims that they’ll sustain the manufacturing until 2025 which is actually good.

Key Specs

MediaTek MT7628, 580 MHz, MIPS 24Ok128MB RAM, DDR2 166MHzEthernet – 1 port/5 ports, as much as 100MbpsWireless – 802.11n, 2T2R, pace as much as 300MbpsStorage – 16M NOR on board, help SDXC as much as 2TBOne on board U.FL slot (Antenna Connector)

You will get extra details about the board from right here and choose one up from their official web site.

Wrapping up

It’s simple that there are all types of SBC’s obtainable in varied type elements and have units for all kinds of use circumstances. On high of that the majority of those are open supply designs and run on open supply software program. An absolute wonderland for a hardcore tinkerer.

With COVID-19 hanging round it may be just a little powerful to get your arms on these boards. Let’s hope issues get higher quickly!

When you guys know of another attention-grabbing alternate options for the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W put them within the feedback beneath and we’ll examine them out.

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