FriendlyElec NanoPi M4: Price drop brings the RK3399 powered Raspberry Pi 4 competitor down to US$50
The Raspberry Pi 4 caught the tech world's attention last week, with practically every website reporting on its unexpected release. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has priced its new single-board computer (SBC) aggressively, with the base model retailing for just US$35. The top of the range 4 GB of RAM model costs a mere US$55 too, making other SBCs look mighty pricey.
FriendlyElec has recognised this, cutting the price of its NanoPi M4 accordingly. The company currently sells two versions, which only differ by the volume of DDR3 RAM that it includes. The base model comes with 2 GB and originally retailed for US$65, with the 4 GB model costing an additional US$30. The two SKUs have been reduced to US$50 and US$75 respectively, a permanent saving of over 20% each.
While the NanoPi M4 remains more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 4, early benchmarks put the RK3399 ahead of the Broadcom BCM2711, meaning that the former is theoretically more powerful than the latter when equipped with the same volume of RAM. CNX Software has published an extensive benchmarks article detailing its methodology and benchmark tests used, so please see its corresponding article for more details.
As a refresher, the NanoPi M4 comes not only with two ARM Cortex-A72 cores, four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and an ARM Mali-T864 GPU courtesy of the Rockchip RK3399 SoC, but also an abundance of connectors, ports and sensors. FriendlyElec has included two GPIO headers, the smaller of which supports PCIe x2 and USB 2.0 across its 24-pins. Meanwhile, the NanoPi M4 has a 40-pin GPIO for I2C, I2S, UART and SPI, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet and an HDMI 2.0a port for up to 4K video output at 60 Hz. Moreover, FriendlyElec has included a USB Type-C port for power and data, a 2.4 GHz/5 GHz modem with Bluetooth 4.1 support and an eMMC connector along with a microSD card reader.
FriendlyARM has published a comprehensive wiki too, from which you can find information on how to install Android 8.1 Oreo, Armbian and Lubuntu among other images. Please note that you will need an eMMC memory module to run Android. The NanoPi M4 supports Raspberry Pi HATs and has some purpose-built ones too including one that can transform it into a NAS. Both models are available to order from FriendlyARM now.